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No, your CPU. It just is not up to the task of editing AVCHD. Either upgrade to better CPU's/mobo etc. or upgrade to a more editable video format.
You can try to see where your system is in comparison to other systems by using the http://ppbm4.com/ benchmark test. That will show you how your system comes out in comparison to other systems and where the weaknesses are.
So do you think if I purchased another CPU for the other socket it wouldn't really help?
I've read that some aren't really dealing with AVCHD and that they are just transcoding to another format. Would you have any suggestion as to what I can use to transcode? Cineform comes to mind, but I'm not positive that's what I'm looking for. Maybe I can just transcode until I can actually purchase my Supermicro MB and the 2x Xeon E5520.
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Just yesterday my son bought a new Dell T410 PowerEdge with dual E5520's, 12 GB 1333 RAM and a PERC raid controller for use as a server with ESX/VMWare/Hyper-V and the like, as a test system. Somewhat comparable to what you have used your system for.
Today, after he had ordered, he expressed his doubts about the speed and performance of this system in comparison to mine, which is solely used for video editing. He wondered if he had not bought a sub-par system for a relatively hefty price-tag.
I'm convinced he made the right decision for his budget and his purpose (virtualization and testing as a server), but not for video editing. Even dual E5520's are left in the dust by a finely tuned i7-920 for a much lower price. Look at this benchmark score: http://www.passmark.com/baselines/top.html
and you will notice that even dual W5580's with rank 11 and 19 have trouble keeping up with finely tuned i7's. At different clock speeds my personal scores are 1, 10 and 18.
You will undoubtedly profit in a significant way from adding a second CPU to your system, but first try the PPBM benchmark to see where you are. That will give much more accurate info on how your current system performs and what your next steps should be.
Thanks again Harm!
I guess I shouldn't be stuck on getting a dual Xeon board and paying the hefty pricetag for it. I do like the build quality that Supermicro has, and I'll probably end up building an i7 system from there.
Can you suggest what I can do with my AVCHD files in the meantime? Transcoding program?
Cineform has a good reputation, but check out http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/cineform-software-showcase/ and specifically look for posts by David Newman about any problems their software may have with CS4. David is a super guy, CTO of Cineform who is extremely helpful and honest about possible shortcomings in their software. No beating around the bush. Their support is fabulous, something Adobe should take as an example.
lI am surprised this is coming from me rather than Harm. Overclock your system. With your ASUS board you more than likely have at least some overclocking capability. I have a Supermicro board with no provisions in the BIOS to overclock. I have 5410's and even without any BIOS adjustments available to me I have been able to overclock to 3 GHz with no problem at all. If I had some BIOS adjustments that could be saved I would probably run it that way regularly.
I do not have any AVCHD material to see how it works but I think it would be fine.