Which version of Premiere Pro are you using?
If it's CS5 or later, then the choice of ANY ATi Radeon card is the problem: Premiere Pro CS5 to CS6 does not support OpenCL at all for GPU accelerated playback. Only CUDA is supported, which means that a graphics card with a decent nVidia GPU is required for this function. Without GPU acceleration, Premiere runs in software-only mode, which means that even the very fastest Radeon GPU is no faster than onboard integrated graphics.
On the other hand, if you're running CS4, then there's your problem: That version demands more system resources than it can use. For example, CS4 is a 32-bit program that cannot use more than about 3GB or so of RAM - yet it demands far more than that! Sort of like having an otherwise 240-MPH-capable NASCAR race car whose top speed is governor-limited to only 55 MPH.
I am using CS6. What card is recommended that does a great job with room to breathe but won't cost out the ying/yang? There are so many options, and it'd to expensive of a purchase to guess at....
With that particular system, get a 2GB card with a GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost (make sure that it has the word "Boost" after the "Ti"; otherwise, the GTX 650 Ti without the "Boost" is noticeably slower than the "Boost" version). That card (if you're here in the US) shouldn't cost more than about $170.
And even with OpenCL GPU acceleration support in the forthcoming Premiere CC, your current ATi Radeon HD 4300/4500 series cannot use Premiere CC's GPU acceleration at all because that GPU is not only too old to be supported, but also because most cards with such an old, low-end GPU have too little RAM (only 256 to 512MB) for such a mode to even work at all.
In addition to the above, how many disks do you have installed in your system? If you have just one single hard disk (that's used for everything including the OS, media and project files and exports, among other things), that could be part of the problem. If that's the case, then, concentrate on getting more physical disks (not additional partitions) before you upgrade the GPU at all. Not enough disks can also cause jerky playback.
I would second your relative need for a GTX video card.
And, if your motherboard supports it, make sure you have a good cpu cooler and overclock you cpu at least a bit. You have an Intel "extreme" series CPU, so a 10 to 15% overclock would be simple to do and definitely speed things up.
Regarding your Vista Operating System, I'm pretty sure that Adobe does not support Vista for either CS6 or the announced but not shipping CC (Creative Cloud, the successor to CS6) versions. Can you confirm you are running 6.0.3, the latest patched CS6 release?
Yes, I'm on CC myself.
And I have two monitors, forgot to mention that as well...
Regarding the card, would more GB on the card be better? I don't know what all the GHZ stuff means in the real world here lol...
How about the
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW+ 04G-P4-3673-KR Video Card - 4GB GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0(x16), 1x Dual-link DVI-I, 1x Dual-link DVI-D, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, DirectX 11, SLI Ready, Dual-Slot
That GTX 670 is quite overkill for a system with only a quad-core CPU (even a heavily overclocked one) and only PCI-e 2.0 capability. In fact, I would not go above a plain, non-Ti GTX 660 for such an older system.
Ok..so I just bought and installed the GTX 660TI card (3GB).....I also increased my RAM to 24GB I'm still having problems with the playback stuttering and being choppy and stuff.... what's up?
not sure, but maybe...
- drives tool full (suggest no more than 75% full)
- drives need defragging
- CS6 issues with some media (lots on this in software forum section)
You still didn't answer one of my questions:
In addition to what Jim told you, how many hard disks do you have installed?
As I tried to explain, if you have only a single (and truly single) hard disk, there's your problem. The SATA interface (or more specifically, a single SATA channel) simply cannot handle simultaneous two-way traffic.