To be honest, neither of your planned "upgrades" would improve performance all that much because you have too few drives and you will still have too little RAM. Premiere Pro CS5 still needs more than 12GB of RAM just to perform at its best. In addition, two drives (in your planned upgrade case, one SSD and one HDD) barely meet Adobe's stated minimum system requirements; Adobe strongly recommends more than three separate drives. (In your case, you'd need at least four completely matched hard drives in two (R)AID 0 arrays, with each matched pair in one array, in addition to the SSD.) And current AMD x4 CPU-based systems perform at least three to four times slower than a fast Intel-based system because the AMD CPUs do not fully support the SSE 4.x extensions that Adobe makes heavy use of.
As currently configured, you have a system that's at least 8 to 10 times slower than a fast, properly tuned Intel-based system. And even after you perform the so-called "AMD upgrade", your upgraded system will still be six to eight times slower than a fast mid-priced Intel-based system. And all that is due to the fact that you'd still have only two drives and too little RAM (IIRC you'd still have only 4GB of RAM and only a single hard drive for everything except the OS and programs even after the AMD-based "upgrade").
Do you have, or plan to get Premiere CS5 or CS5.5?
If so, I'd definitely say go for the "sell your current rig and buy a new one" option. With CS5 (or 5.5) and the new PC, your render speed would be magnitudes faster than what you are using currently.
Two suggested tweaks for your new PC build list, which looks good by the way, include:
- increase RAM to 16GB (helps w/ rendering speed, which seems very important to you)
- add a 2nd 1TB drive (separate drive for export also helps with render speed)
Finally, run the PPBM5 benchmark to see where you are at now and compare your DVD and Blu-ray render speeds with other PCs on the list to get a feel for how much things will really change. (www.ppbm5.com)
If you do not plan to use CS5 or 5.5, then you can ignore everything that I've said!
1 - Would an SSD help with render times?
Say if it takes 10 minutes to render a video to my W.D Caviar Black 500GB 7200rpm, if i used an SSD instead, specifically the, OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD 2.5", which has a max write speed of 475MB/s, could i bring render speeds down to less than 5 minutes?
The settings for the videos i render are, 1280x720, 5MBPS Constant and MP4.
The SSD is SATA 3, so i'd upgrade my MB to a AM3 SATA III mobo, or should i sell my current rig, and use those funds to go towards building a new rig?
Encoding is a more proper word than rendering when you are using those settings. This prevents confusion with Rendering the Timeline.
Your proposed upgrade to an SSD will not help with the encoding. It is highly CPU and somewhat GPU dependent. And more than likely CPU dependent of the missing instruction set that Intel does have and currently AMD does not have.
Since we have no hard data on the future AMD product it is impossible to say buy or sell. If you need immediate satisfaction the solution is sell it and get an Intel solution.