I should probably give a little more information....
typically, HDV, AVCHD to dvd mpeg2 and h264 bluray
No, do like many of us have here - overclock your current CPU!
What components is your PC built from now? A full listing of your hardware (case, power supply, motherboard, RAM, drives, drive configuration, cpu, cooler, etc.) will allow for responses to target your exact situation.
I overclock a bit already. Is the CPU the primary factor in transcoding time? or do multiple components play a significant role?
do different components affect different transcode formats (bluray, dvd, mpeg, h264, AVCHD, HDV)?
here are the specs:
AMD Phenom II 1055 2.8 GHz, O.C. 3.3 GHz
8 Gb Kingston ValueRam 1333
Cooler Master 700w
(3) Samsung Spinpoint F3
using Generic Guidelines for Storage recommendation
Cooler Master Haf 932
Cooler Master V8
Win 7 Home 64 bit
Only one solution: Get a new Intel based PC. All AMD's are seriously hampered by the lack of support for SSE 4.+ instructions.
I agree. Even overclocked to 3.3 GHz, that Phenom II X6 1055T is barely competitive with a stock-speed i7-920 in CS5.5 editing performance.