I agree. You really don't need this kind of system to run this program on.
You should be able to edit in Premiere Elements on an off-the-shelf computer running an i5 or i7 processor (depending on whether you're editing standard DV or hi-def AVCHD).
This is a consumer program, after all, so it should work on a consumer computer system.
You really can't eliminate the need to render. Every video editing system in the world needs to render at some point! But, by using the proper project presets, you can at least limit your rendering to clips you've added effects and transitions to.
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It really depends on much video one is doing.
I paid a premium for the Matrox RT100 9 years ago. What took minutes was done in seconds. It really helped support my interest in SD videos.
Fast forward to today and I may do a handful of videos each year. I no longer make money from my work, so Elements meets my needs on a quad-core as I can't justify CS with MXO2.
However when do Picture in Picture with a second or third video, I wonder if that was a smart move. Also rendering that YouTube or Blu-ray 1920 HD video makes me crave for more performance.
Note the X2 by the original post does not support 1920 video that modern HD cameras produce.
Thanks all, this was quite helpful!