Yes, with your setup it is no wonder you get limited performance, specially when your project grows and gets more complex.
Have a look at these guides, specially the one about storage.
Can you be a -bit- more specific? My understanding is that 32 bit apps can't use more than 4GB ram so I stopped there. I can certainly get a 2nd HD. Is the video card -also- a likely suspect or is that secondary?
Again, it's a 5 minute video, few effects, no After Effects gimmicks and certainly not Citizen Kane, so I am a -bit- surprised.
Music videos often have a lot of different clips. OK they are not long but they all reside on different locations on your hard disk and that makes it taxing. For video editing at least three disks are advised. This is all explained in the Storage guide, hence my link. Your video card will not be a problem, unless it is from the previous century. The two main performance factors, given at least 2 GB of RAM, will be CPU and disk speed. A single disk will not do.
Just out of curiosity... If you have 3 disks as per your article,
E: Scratch Disk
1. where does one put the PageFile? On the E: drive?
2. When you say 'Scratch Disk' do you mean specifically the Media Cache and Media Cache DB in the options page? Are there -other- 'scratch' files and if so, how does one specify their location(s)?
3. If one only has -2- drives, is it better to combine C and E or E and F?
4. Is 10k 'better' than 7200? In the audio world, anything above 7200 is usually not the best use of money... Drive cache size is far more important. Is that the case with video? IOW: is 32mb important vs. 16?
BTW: Nice tux.
2. In project settings/scratch disks
3. E & F
4. 10K disks (Velociraptor) are only marginally faster than 7200/32 disks, but way more expensive in $/GB. For OS a Velociraptor makes sense, for scratch and media you are better off with 7200/32 disks.
-some- are on a network drive on Ethernet 100.
I could easily believe that might cause these issues, depending on other network traffic.
FWIW: The networked clips were indeed a problem. Not with rendering, but with playback. When I moved these to a local drive, playback begins without any hiccoughs.
Look into adding two more HDD's and allocate them per Harm's article. You will be back to editing and enjoying it.
Fry's (Western US retailer) just had Seagate ATA-300 1TB 7200RPM units for US$89. The SATA II's will obviously be more, but not THAT much more.
I ended up getting two 7200/32 WDs for $59 ea. and a Gigabyte dual-head 512MB nVidia card for $30. Installed. Editing is -much- better.
Frankly, the biggest help was your suggestion to get a 2nd monitor. Moving the playback monitor onto it's own screen has changed my life. The new HDs may be helping a little, but that was huge.... that and getting all the clips off the network and onto the local drive.
Great news, and I'm glad that it's working out for you.
I would not give up my dual 21" for anything, except maybe dual Apple Cine 30" monitors. While I love editing by the pool on my laptop, even with a 17" very sharp display, the danged screen real estate is a hassle. Been using the dual-heads for too long to go back.