First, increase your memory to 12 GB.
Second, improve your PSU. Get the Pro version of eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Pro v2.5 and set CPU load at 100% and capacitor aging at 30% and then add 10 - 15% to the total to be safe. The Fermi card alone can use 400 W under load.
Third, get at least 2 other Samsung disks. 1 disk for storage is not enough.
Four, get at least an 80 GB SSD, 40 is too small. If you want to save some money, get a conventional boot disk for OS & programs.
As for the hacking thing.
Although what you do isn't that big of a deal, if I understand the process correctly, you add the card to a text file (very briefly explained, there are more to it), so that when the CUDA recognizer software in Premiere Pro runs it'll verify that it is CUDA enabled. So you fool Premiere Pro CS5 to believe that your card is supported.
That said, the disadvantage is that the card isn't officially supported, so if something isn't working as it should, that might be the reason.
This list is the officially supported cards: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2738623
In case you need help, the support might also ask you to remove the card from the list as a troubleshooting step, and if that works, you might have ended up buying a card which won't work as well as you want it to.
It is a gamble at this point, so if you really want to have a supported card, the list in the thread mentioned above is the cards to get. I do believe the supported card list will be increased at some point, but that is up to you if you want to take the chance of buying an unsupported card and make the hack.
I mean who knows, a patch comes out and disable the easy workaround. Although I personally do not think Adobe will go totally Apple on everyone.
Is the 12GB necessary from the get go? Couldn't I go with 6 and then upgrade if I really need it? Just asking, as I am sure this machine will be a major difference granted I am currently on a C2D 8600GTm setup now.
Are you telling me to use the program with the same PSU, or that I need one with more wattage?
I am thinking I should just maybe get 4 of those Spinrites as opposed to the SSD.
As for the hacking, the video was might convincing hence wanting to go with that setup. Since the 285 is officially supported, maybe I would be safe getting that card? You think I might get similar playback? I will be working with mostly SD footage, but HD will be in there as well. My MO is realtime playback as per that youtube vid. I guess I am obsessed with that video since I was able to clearly see the results. If I could see a similar vid with the 285 then I could save some serious money! I'll search the forum for any stories on the 285 and mercury.
Appreciate the help thus far.
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of people are using 480 successfully. I believe Harm is one of those.
So if you want a 480 card, I'm sure you can make it work, so I hope I didn't scare you away from that. I see in retrospect I might have done that, and that wasn't the intention, sorry about that.
12 Gb is not required from the start. It will certainly help performance, but a more important reason is that if you start with three sticks and then later decide to go for 6 sticks, it may be hard to find matched pairs, with the risk that you may need 6 new sticks, which is not very economical.
Use the calculator, because I guess you will need at least 850 W or more.
Four Samsungs make more sense IMO than the SSD.
The 285 has been discontinued and may be hard to find. As to the Fermi cards, rumors are the 470 will be supported, but there are also rumors that support for the 480 will come in Q3. It would be unlikely that the top two Fermi cards would not be supported by Adobe.
I use the 480 and the softmod and have not yet experienced any problems.
I am in the process of building a very similer system (P6T motherboard, CoolerMaster 932 case, etc). I've got it completely built but still waiting on UPS for the delivery of my RAM. I, too, having read the threads and watched videos debated the video card issue. In the end, I bought a GTX285 on ebay for $260. Since they are discontinued, that is one of the few places I could find one. I did order 12GB of RAM (Corsair DDR3 1333MHz) and believe that it will definitely help. As far as drives, I bought a 10,000RPM raptor for my boot drive and 2 - 500GB SATA drives for raid 0 to use as my primary work/data drives. I also have a 1 TB drive that I will add for extra storage. Back to the graphics card, I "believe" you will be happy and have no problems with one of the other cards and the "hack", but I just went with the "sure thing" while I could still find a GTX285.
Let us know how much you're able to push the 285 then!
I'm wondering if 2TB drives are safe to get or what, as opposed to all those 1TB drives.
I just got the UPS tracking information on my RAM and it won't be delivered until next Monday (June 14th) so my new build is completely ready except for the RAM and I cannot even turn on the machine until next week. As far as a 2 TB drives, I imagine they are as reliable as the 1TB drives, but drives can go bad and the bigger the drive, the more you have to lose if that happens.