IMO any upgrade you plan on this system is a complete waste of money. The CPU's are way too slow, you don't have enough memory and the memory can't be ported to a new machine. I think you are much better off with an overclocked i7-950 system.
1. GTX 260--try it and see if it works, generally we say generally 1 GB of RAM is necessary. There are five GTX 260's that all appear to work providing hardware acceleration of MPE on the PPBM results page. You will have to modify the "cuda_supported_cards.txt". Do not bother with a Quadro card.
2. For your old dual core dual Xeons I would suggest equal RAM for each CPU. The HP spec that I just looked at implied that 2 GB modules are supported. Are you certain that 4 GB modules will work in it? You definitely do need lots more RAM, if 4GB modules work I would suggest getting four of them. Do not forget that you require Registered ECC modules.
3. For HD video you propably would be well advised to have two disk drives in R0
4. For your AVCHD video you really should start thinking a new single processor system since your system is many generations old and may not be worth the cost of the upgrades.
Harm & Bill,
Thanks to both of you for making it clear that I'd be foolish to try and modernize my 5-year old system. I guess I probably knew this before I read your replies but I didn't want to admit it to myself. Your "tough love" about wasting my money was just what I needed.
So I'm off to investigate some i7 systems. I see there's lots of posts in this forum about specs for new systems, so I'll read them all. I live in Canada and I'm not sure if anyone here provides ready-made systems for CS5 video editing (like http://www.adkvideoediting.com/ does in the U.S.) I have found a few companies that sell i7 gaming systems. Is an i7 gaming system really any different than an i7 video editing system? NCIX.com offers a lot of customizable i7 systems. Harm, I'm not sure why you specifically mentioned an over clocked 950. Would a 970 or a 990X be an alternative to over clocking a 950?
At least I think I'm now on the right track after having discarded my 'upgrade' idea based upon your feedback.
Thanks and regards, Mardon
>i7 gaming systems
A video editing computer has 2 or 3 hard drives... or raid for some files
You will find all this once you start reading the FAQ articles from the drop down list on the hardware main page