I upgraded from Premiere Pro 1.5 to CS4 Production bundle, which I am now running on Vista64, i7Quad core, 9GB ram, with a 2 TB RAID.
I am simply appalled by how resource hungry, unstable, and badly designed the PPro, AME, Encore combination is. When I review the Adobe marketing material (all that guff about 227% speed increase) I think it borders on the.. well I won't say.
1) Encore crashes all the time. The best you can do is a highly "defensive" workflow where you set each clip to transcode separately, save after each successful clip transcode (because a crash will make it forget it has transcoded the asset). Long clips (anything bigger than a couple of GB or longer than 10min) will likely crash it. And make sure you create an ISO, because its treatment of a disc in a drive is also highly unstable (all the other DVD burning programs I have installed seem to manage it!).
2) Premiere Pro is slower and less responsive (and I'm a fairly high end hardware spec, although only one processor) than any previous version I have used or run.
a. My project files typically consist of one 10-15min timeline (I love to be able to edit an entire feature in a single project file like you can on Final Cut Pro, but even previous versions of PPro couldn't do that), and quite a large clip library. Even after the project is supposedly open, the importer insists on loading all the clips in the background, even unused ones, which takes several minutes for a big project). Previous versions coped fine.
b. The open process silently fails and crashes if a video clip is incompatible or corrupt, regardless of whether that clip is used in any sequence timeline.
c. You have to open the media encoder to export a SINGLE FRAME!! This in itself is crazy, but notice that the premiereproheadless process opens an entire duplicate copy of the project you're exporting. This effectively halves the maximum size / complexity of the project that is workable for any given hardware. (Because you have two copies of PPro running with identical projects, one without the GUI).
Finally, render times are incredibly slow. Much slower than previous versions for equivalent hardware. Across the board.
I have to conclude that Adobe is a marketing led company, big on hype, but not that interested in making their products usable in the real world. I have no doubt that the "independent" white paper on the Premiere site produced the results it claimed, but the tests performed cannot have been remotely comparable to a genuine real world workflow. I have little confidence that this opinion will go anywhere close to where it should go, but my message to Adobe would be WAKE UP!
And I will be much more wary about believing any Adobe marketing in future.
PS - the one good point in the bundle is AE CS4 - seems robust, stable, and more capable than previous versions I've used.