I'm using a quad core Windows 64-bit machine with 6 gig of memory, and it's always been fast enough for video and games so far. But it looks as though my current project's too much for it.
The project is nearly three hours long, in hi-def (1920 x 1080, 29.97 FPS). I'm rendering it out at resolutions for YouTube and for DVDs, which helps me reframe shots without losing resolution. I tried a test render, just taking about three hours' worth of hi-def video, with _no_ adjustments or reframing... and Premiere Pro reports that it would take _forty-three hours_ to render the video.
(That 6 gig of memory I mentioned? That's after I added four gig, hoping that it'd speed things up. It didn't.)
So whiole I'm resigned to setting aside days for when the machine just has to cook unattended for two days, I'm not happy-- especially if I see mistakes after the rendering, and have to repeat the process. And I can't buy a new machine, as this one's less than a year old and pretty frickin' fast to begin with. But what options are there for speeding up the rendering process? Are there companies that do it as a service? Is there hardware one can buy? Is there an FAQ on such things?
All things being equal, the primary method of speeding things up is to get a faster CPU. With CS5, adding a supported graphics card can also help speed things up, especially when resizing HD footage as you are doing.
Either way, it means new hardware.
Agreed with Jim on that... What kind of HD are you exporting (codec, etc.?) That could have an effect as well...