[moved to hardware forum]
I know very little about the guts of your computer and almost nothing about Mac's in general.
You have a plus working for you, that is CS5. If you update to a later version of Premiere it will be slower.
Can your MacBook Pro be upgraded to more RAM? This might help a little, but the prime problem problem is that going from SD to the much higher compressed HD requires a lot more CPU power.
CS5 can also benefit from a proper nVidia GPU which you probably do not have..
No, a 5 year old laptop is not going to handle HD nearly as well as newer gear, especially if the newer laptop or workstation has a video card that supports Adobe's MPE (Mercury Playback Engine).
Have you played with the resoltuion setting in the playback panel in CS5? In Windows (may be different on Mac?), a right-click of the mouse brings up a resolution selector -- for example, full, 1/2, 1/4, etc. Possibly tweaking that could assist with your current playback issues.
Thanks for your reply Jim. I thought that would be the answer. I had my computer is just having a hard time with the size of the HD files. Time to get a new computer.
I have not had a chance to try the resolution setting in the playback window yet. Thanks for the advise.
Thanks for the links John. They were helpful.
If you must use a laptop to edit HD, you need a LOT more computing power... as discussed at the links I posted
......I am surprised no one mentioned that you can transcode your clips to a more edit friendly codecThat is what I, and many did, when we had machines like yours.
cineform is one codec......there are many.
Native footage is highly compressed and requires a powerful machine to edit natively. However, YOU CAN EDIT SUCCESSFULLY using transcoded files.
Best to have : system memory maxxed out, minimum 2 separate fast hard drives.........will not work well with just one. So, a 7200 rpm onboard hdd for OS, programs, and pagefile. If no second onboard hdd bay,use eSATA external port to connect " dedicated" external 7,200 rpm hdd which would hold footage and project files. Then, place previews, and all cache files on C drive.
If no high speed external port......still use what you have......Firewire 800,or, even USB2.....to connect that second drive. Will still be way better than only one drive.
I had to start in this manner myself !!
Thanks JF for the info. I will have to try to transcode my footage. My system is maxed out already so I will see how it perfroms.