The i3 is a multi-core processor, Scott, so it's definitely got more than enough horsepower to run this program.
In my books I list our "real world" recommendations for hardware to run this program -- and they are at least double the minimums Adobe recommends. For AVCHD, a quad core processor is recommended -- but your i3 will certainly fit the bill.
Thanks for your prompt reply, Steve. On my way to look at your books!
I have a sony vaio and intel core with i3 and 4gb of ram. It is a windows 7 home edition and i can't edit a 10 minute mov file as it doesnt playback smoothly.
To smoothly edit any HD material, that uses the H.264 CODEC, like AVCHD, I recommend an i7 (a fast Quad-Core can work, but will never be really smooth). The H.264 CODEC takes a lot of CPU horsepower, and while a lesser CPU can run the program, and allow for marginal playback, to do it smoothly, one needs more power. Many users feel that the Adobe Minimum System Requirements are too low - just enough to launch the program, or do very simple editing, on less demanding material. For smooth, fluid editing, they are too light, in all respects.
A side note: Win7, if the 64-bit version, needs at least 4GB RAM, just to run, and 6GB is considered the real-world minimum. I recommend 12 - 24GB, to really get the most out of Win7-64. Are you running the 32-bit, or 64-bit version?
Ah, one physical HDD. Here again, MY "minimum system requirements" are a 3x HDD I/O, but many have gotten by with but a single physical HDD. However, many, who have added just one additional physical HDD, are amazed at the performance increase. While a third additional, physical HDD increases performance, the increase is not as great as they got, when they added the second disc, but there is still an increase with the third.
For HD material, I would also go with a RAID array for the media disc, though much beyond that can only really be measured with benchmarks, and not so much with the "seat-of-the-pants" observations.
One can probably struggle by with an old, slow Quad-Core CPU and a single physical HDD, while editing H.264 material, but it will not be pretty, or smooth. Still, it can be done. Programs, like Final Cut got around some of that need for power, by converting all footage to an easier-to-edit intermediate CODEC, but the Adobe NLE's work with the footage natively, and that takes power.
Just my personal observations,