First, I would suggest getting a CUDA GPU and replace the AMD/ATI GPU. Depending on how many MPE accelerated effects or features you are using it could accelerate the encoding appreciably. This new GPU acceleration was not available in CS4.
Second, you might try direct export from the timeline rather than queue it up for encoding in AME if that is what you were doing.
If you take a look at our Premiere Pro BenchMark (PPBM5) you can see that as we suggest to only compare similar versions of Premiere as encoding times have increased with the newer more feature rich versions.
Yes. A CUDA card is on my wishlist, but my company may be tapped out for a while after new ram and an upgrade to CS6.
I did queue this one. I wasn't aware that this would make a difference. I'll try the direct export method next time.
RE: "encoding times have increased with the newer more feature rich versions" Really? So was I just mislead/misinformed that a 64 bit version of this encoder would be faster? Wow, that sucks. But is there no way for AME to access more than 6GB of my ram? I guess the slowness may be the price you pay for stability. My 8-hr project failed two times in AME4. I have 5 hours left of encoding on AME6. It's my last, best hope for being able to deliver this project on time.