1 person found this helpful
With AVCHD material, your CPU is horribly underpowered. Most see a current Quad-core as the absolute minimum, and an i7 even better, with dual i7's being ideal.
With a single physical HDD, you are also limited with regards to playback of any format/CODEC. Normally, throughput is limited by the I/O sub-system, i.e. your HDD's, their speed, etc., but then AVCHD uses the CPU much more than other formats.
Audio is also tough on the I/O, though it's smoothness that comes into play, and not the Gain/Levels. That is most likely another issue.
For most material, having more, fast internal HDD's will help. With AVCHD, you will also want to look at a recent Quad as the minimum. Were I building now, I'd go with i7, or dual i7's, and also a RAID 0 on a dedicated hardware controller just for my media, and also for my Audio.
Thanks for the response. Do you think that once I update my CPU, should I stay withe Premiere Elements 8 or upgrade
to Creative Suite?
Do you think that once I update my CPU, should I stay withe Premiere Elements 8 or upgrade to Creative Suite?
This is a question of both budget and also features that will be useful to you. I use PrPro CS2 Production Studio, and love it. I use PrE more as a utility, but also for smaller Projects, where I do not need the control of PrPro and can appreciate some of the automated features of PrE. For final DVD-Video production, I still use Encore for all of my authoring, even for short Projects, because I could not give up its power and control, but that is just me.
I found that the learning curve for PrPro from several versions of Pinnacle Studio, and Avid Liquid, to be quite easy. Because PrE was changed greatly between PrE 3 and PrE 4 (my current version), it actually took me a bit longer to get the "hang" of PrE 4, but then I spend 95% of my time in PrPro, so it's like a very good, old friend. I also found more to be intuitive, for me, in PrPro, but you have to consider how much time I spent with it, the fact that I came to PrE after years with PrPro and also that I come from a film background, where everything (and I do mean everything) was done manually, with zero automation. My experiences here are probably moot for a comparison.
That said, it seemed that CS4 had issues, and the first two updates did little to fix those. The CS4.1 (and soon CS4.2) update appears to have fixed most of those problems, but I have not migrated up yet.
Before you spend the additional $'s, I'd do the trial. Remember, if you do go with CS4.x and had the trial installed, you will need to completely remove the trial, run Adobe Clean Script CS4 a few times, BEFORE installing the full-paid version. Also, note that the CS4 trial does not do ANYTHING in MPEG - all MPEG is disabled, so no trial of Encore included. This has been a hangup for many, and is worth noting before you go for the trial.
Good luck, and wish that I could be of more help here. Personally, PrPro is the best NLE that I have ever used, and Encore is one of the best < $15,000 authoring apps that I have used. I cannot imagine ever giving these two up, even if I won a complete Mac system with FCP.
PS - many have moved to PrE from earlier versions of PrPro and loved the ease of use - I'm just a control freak.
Hunt gave you the bare minimum HW specs for AVCHD.
As a stop gap you can convert to traditional HDV, which may be good enough for you to squeak by with your current set up, while considering an upgrade.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
See this FAQ for details: