Sorry, but I have never heard of anyone ever getting Mercury Playback Enigine Hardware acceleration with an HD 5770. We have three tested systems (out of todays total of 1191 submissions) that have been tested in our PPBM5 tests and all three used CS5.03.and got no GPU hardware acceleration.
The introduction of MPE GPU assistance was introduced with CS5 and required CUDA capabilities and the HD 5770 does not have CUDA.therefore there must be some confusion on your part.
There are two specific ATI cards that do hardware MPE... on a Mac with a specific OS version (or later, I presume... I don't do Mac)
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/773101 has a link
As Bill said... no hardware MPE with any ATI card when using Windows
Like Bill stated, no Windows version of Premiere Pro to date has ever supported hardware MPE GPU accelerated playback with any ATI/AMD GPUs. You also mistakenly assumed that you automatically have GPU acceleration when you, in fact, do not: All ATI GPU-equipped PCs with CS5 are permanently locked to the software-only mode. The reason as to why CS6 seemed even slower is that it demands a more powerful CPU and more RAM than CS5 did. And even heavily overclocked, your AMD quad-core CPU is no faster than a similarly overclocked five-year-old Socket LGA 775 Intel Core 2 Quad CPU.
Ok so I'm accepting that I won't be able to use merucury playback and that I probably wasn't able to before. Anyway, I pretty much need mercury playback now, I can't afford to convert my files before editing because that would use up way to much space and I really don't have the time to render, so I need help deciding on my next course of action.
Option 1: Upgrade to a 580 and sell both of my 5770s
Option 2: Upgrade to a cheaper nvidia card that will still work but keep my 5770s for other things or still possibly sell them
Option 3: Build a hackintosh (most expensive option) not completely sure about this because I don't really see myself taking my workstation with me to college and I'm going to college in 2 years so is it worth all the money for 2 years?
Option 4: Wait for someone to release some sort of hack or for adobe to release an update allowing 5770s to work on PCs for mercury playback
What do you guys think? If I don't go with the 580 what are some cheaper but still pretty powerful GPUs for premire? I know MPE likes cuda cores and the 680 has more but I think the amount in the 580 are adequette.
I don't edit any 4k at the moment and I don't really expect to (unless a 1DC comes my way) For the most part I edit 1080p footage from my 7d, 1080 60 footage from my gopro, and 2.7k footage from my gopro. I use warp stabilizer and 3 way color most frequently but also use looks and do some time remapping.
Thanks so much for the info
Don't waste your money on a high-end GPU because you have only an AMD CPU. The problem is that the AMD Phenom II CPU does not fully support the SSE 4.x instruction set that Adobe makes very extensive use of. This cripples performance in Premiere Pro and some other Adobe Creative Suite applications. The cost of the high-end GPU is only worth it if you also have a CPU that matches its performance. For that particular AMD CPU it is a definite waste of money to go with anything higher than a GTX 650.
I pretty much need mercury playback now, I can't afford to convert my files before editing
Hardware acceleration doesn't help with simple playback in a matching sequence. If your system can't handle the media, you need a better CPU, not a better GPU.
Option 3: Build a hackintosh (most expensive option)
Your best option (meaning most performance for the money) is a self-built Windows 8 machine.