There's SO many things that interplay in how any computer runs these programs ... PLEASE, from the "Overview" page of this forum, note in a panel to the right side, the "Hardware forum" ... please go there and post some questions. Also, the Tweaker's Page ( Tweakers Page ) is a vast resource of information, tests, and test data.
Basically ... first thing to note is CPU, how many cores it's got, cache, clock-speed, then how well the motherboard integrates this into the RAM, video card, & attached drives (the system bus & drive connections), then the GPU, then the drive array you're running.
- CPU: more cores always better of course, and "virtual" cores don't count. Your i5 is a minimalist item for the Adobe DVA's. My i7 is a bit better, but still not nearly "ideal". Mine has supposedly "eight" cores, but four are virtual ... not real. These programs will rag out the real parts of the CPU, there's no extra wait-states for it to load things out to cache & back in to "virtual reality". Clock speed is of course a biggy, and not just as high as you can go but set at a speed that works with the system bus & RAM and GPU best. There's ways to figure that setting out, naturally. It's ... complicated.
-RAM: Your 8 gigs is barely enough to operate. I've got 16, and it's nowhere near enough. 32 is pretty decent, and I drool at the folks with 96+ gigs of RAM and a mobo that actually uses it all.
-Mobo: The throughput's the thing ... and the more throughput your mobo has through the system bus/s the better. And such things as ... how many drive connections does it have? You may very well end up needing to connect 6 or 8 drives for best performance ... can you, without the data to all those drives bunging around into each other on the mobo's bus?
-GPU/vRAM: Getting a hot card is cool ... but ONLY if your machine can handle it. My GTX770/4Gb vRAM is really a bit overkill for my current system. Putting it mildly. A good GPU for the use you're doing (there's charts on the Tweaker's page) with a couple gigs of vRAM, and a LOT of CUDA cores running at a pretty decent speed when matched to system/CPU frequencies ... yea, the right card is great ... too much card is a total waste of money, too little and you've created a choke-point. GPU is only used for certain things, so it's not quite the Holy Grail we oft think it is.
-Drives: There is a LOT of writing/reading of data going on constantly. USB3 is NOT sufficient for read/write, though it may work fine for say reading only, like standard footage (but not 4k stuff). For the most part, the drives should be connected to the mobo directly ... and a highly recommended layout is OS/programs/pagefile on a large FAST SSD (and no, they're not all the same); another SSD for things like previews, PrPro cache & database files, and then either separate discs for projects, footage, & exports or even better a hardware RAID 0 of 4 or 5 2TB drives for the project files & footage.
As they say always on the Tweaker's Page, the system only works as fast as the slowest choke-point. You gotta figure that one out ...
Note that in the link on GPU/CUDA stuff that dummergold provided, there's mention of "suppoted" cards in PrPro ... which is out dated, so don't worry about that. PrPro will utilize any card the best it can. But as noted on the Tweaker's Page, not all cards resources are equal ...
Thank you so much! Sorry I didn't realize there was a hardware forum on this community and I'll be looking there for further questions. But thank you for that detailed answer, I've learned a lot from it! I'm not that experienced yet with tweaking and adjusting settings of a computer yet. It actually makes me kind of nervous messing around with them. But I gotta learn some time to get the best performance out of this thing.
woops, sorry Neil, I deleted it. I replied at the same time as you to the initial post with first link to the tweekers (same as you). My reply was slower due to my response time and by the time it was posted I saw your reply. I immediately deleted it, so I paste my previous second link below. Yes, it does have a 2011 date
The "fun" thing about the CC model is that things change often and frequently fast enough that it seems Adobe's staffers have lost interest in trying to keep documentation up with current operating builds. It's such a relatively fast-moving target, and SO much to cover, they just ... upgrade this or that bit of verbiage now & then. It's a time and frustration issue for the internal folk I'm guessing. So ... one of the functions of these forums is passing on those things that are still applicable, and noting the bits & pieces that have changed within those. It's far easier to be farther down the line for knowledge than starting out ... and it's just getting more so.