If you wanted faster export times you could have gone with one of the cheaper Nvidia cards and still exported far faster than you are now. So part of the answer to your question you already know. Get an Nvidia card.
BTW plugins often vary in threading performance. Some plugins thread very well because they are updated for that and others dont multithread at all. Some thread as you see. Remove the plugin and try another that is not 3rd party and then check the threading.
As said your GPU usage is 0%, that 41% is the percentage of your fan speed. Here is my Task Manager window with the start of a 1920 x 1080 AVCHD clip with color correction and lots of audio ajustments. Encoding to MPEG2-DVD (down scaling and encoding) with "Match Source Attributes (Highest Quality)" as the preset. This is a 8 minute 18 second video with AME (not export from Premiere) encoding time of 4 minutes 6 seconds. Better than 200% encoding speed with my overclocked i7-980X and 24 GB of RAM. While the screen shot says 65% CPU utilization the average is above about 72%.
Message was edited by: Bill Gehrke
Oh, Yes, I forgot to mention that this is of course CUDA/MPE enabled with a GTX 580
Thanks for the responses. I am planning on buying an Nvidia card soon. Just don't have the funds at the moment. Like I said, when I first built this machine it was to run Final Cut Pro (didn't need an Nvidia to do that)...if I knew I was loading Windows 7 on it and running Premiere Pro I would have gone Nvidia route.
I think it boils down to Magic Bullet Looks not being able to Hyperthread. I tested some other sequences without MBL on them and they used all 12 virtual cores. Pity. Wish I opted for that 980x! Probably going to upgrade my ram soon. I seem to keep capping out on my 12gb.