Well, it depends what you consider "significantly faster." In general, CS5.5 is more responsive than CS5; projects load and save faster, GPU acceleration has been refined a bit, and shuttling through a busy timeline is--with most media--very fluid. I've had some issues with H.264 stuff, though; I'm convinced (or, at least, I've convinced myself) that CS5.5 hiccups a bit more with such footage than CS5 did. My projects use a lot of such media, now--primarily AF100 AVCHD and Canon DSLR. This could totally be placebo effect, though--I haven't done any real scientific measurements. It's not enough for me to decry CS5.5 as "bad" in this respect, because it's not.
There are a few operational enhancements, as you're aware, but if you don't need them or can live without them, they're nothing to go crazy about. I've only tinkered with Merge Clips to see what it does, and the Audition integration is interesting but not something I'm too likely to use for my kind of work.
I'd really suggest downloading the trial and giving it a go; while you won't be able to do anything with your projects that have DL'ed comps (PPro CS5.5 won't talk to AE CS5), you could import one of your other projects and beat on it for a bit. It'll will ask you to convert the project, so it'll leave the original alone. I think the only true way to ascertain whether it's a worthwhile upgrade for you is to kick the tires yourself.
I might not be the best judge of this, since I usually will upgrade within a few weeks of release just because I like to stay current, but I think that on the whole, CS5.5 is worth it, even if it's not bringing a whole lot of whiz-bang to the table.
That's my two cents, but what with the exchange rate these days, that's not much
:/ I guess I'm going to have to download it. Grr... You're right. I just hate downloading such a huge file(s) and then having two versions of it on the same system. I think Murphy loves me because every Adobe trial I always get causes my non-trial versions to ask me for serial numbers after the trial period, etc.... then 3 hours with tech support hand-offs in India answering the same questions over and over again. Ugh! Flashbacks.
What I usually end up doing is just buying the new software so I can use my programs again--even if I didn't really want it! Sly marketing on Adobe's part. Just kidding. I'm sure it's just me. I love Adobe! (Just please improve your silly multicam!)
Be on the look out for a post in 30 days that says "CS5.5 Trial Disabled my CS5.0. HELP!"
If it is any more responsive, I'll be happy.
Ok, well, just thought of something. Don't laugh. Is it possible to have the 2 versions of Premiere running at the same time AFTER purchasing 5.5? Or does 5.5 overwrite 5.0? I'd love to be able to work on 2 Premiere projects on the same computer.
Running at the same time? Do you mean installed simultaneously, or actually open and working? Installed, yeah... and open... yeah. But working? Hmm... I suppose, but that's going to be pretty tasking on the system, to the point where you're probably going to see significantly lower performance in both. And really--be honest--how much work are you going to get down in two programs at the same time?
Here it is; CS5 on the right, CS5.5 on the left!
No way in heck would I want to work like this It's probably doable, but I really wouldn't want to compromise the stability of one app because I thought I'd be more productive with two
I would like to work like this. Sometimes I have another person working on parts of one of my projects (say, sound effects). I'd like to open up his project side by side of my master project and copy/paste in the sound effects from his to my project. Sort of like how you can have various Photoshop projects open at the same time and copy/paste/move elements from one canvas to another seamlesslessly, I'd like to the same thing in Premiere.
You can import a previously saved project into your current project and then copy/paste at will. Does that help?