I am not sure I understand your question. Please let allow me to respond to what I think you are asking and then you can correct me if I am way off target.
These different Premiere Elements versions are all standalone projects. When you move to a later version, it is a different version. The only significance of "upgrade" in the Premiere Elements world is a possible price break when you buy the later version if you can prove that you have an earlier version.
I have found that the Premiere Elements versions that you mention in your question (8.0/8.0.1, 11, and 12) run well on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit computer. The bonus is that versions 11 and 12 on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit are then 64 bit applications and can then take advantage of the 64 bit resources. Means getting a larger project taken to successful conclusion with a greater frequency than if the program was a 32 bit application. Your version 8.0/8.0.1 is a 32 bit application even if you use it on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit.
I would suggest that whatever your decision go the tryout route before purchase. The interface change from 8.0/8.0.1 to 11 or 12 is dramatic.
Please review the above. After you do, please let me know if I have targeted your question. I will clarify further if requested.
I was pretty much asking if it was possible to use the APE12 update on a full version of APE8 xD but yes I think you've answered that question.
For some reason my APE8 crashes when I try using certain areas of the program... mostly the animations or presets.. and last I tried I couldn't use the help tips that popped up. I'm pretty sure I've updated it to 8.0.1 but yet still have the crashing so I was hoping a newer version would do better.
Thanks for the follow up.
With Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1, two major areas to double check
a. Is the automatic Background Rendering still turned off in preferences (Edit Menu/Preferences/General)
b. Is the AutoAnalzyer still turned off in the Elements Organizer 8 (Edit Menu/Preferences/AutoAnalzyer and all its options?
c. Have you tried Enable GPU Playable with and without check mark (Edit Menu/Preferences/General)?
Have you gone through the drill of assuring that you video card driver version is upto date according to the web site of the manufacturer of the video card...does your computer use one or two video cards (See Device Manager/Display Adapters)?
In spite of all, one of the factors that usually stopped my workflow progress was the status of the Scratch Disks....double check that you do not have major pile ups of preview files, conformed audio files, and conformed video files (See Adobe Folder and its Adobe Premiere Elements Preview Files Folder and Media Cache Folder; Edit Menu/Preferences/Media to get a clean button for the conformed video.)
Please update us on your progress when you get a chance. If you need clarification on anything that I have written, please do not hesitate to ask.