Sorry, forgot to add that I currently work with a Dell Latitude E6520 i5 @2.50GHz / 4 GB Ram / Windows 7 64-bit OS. I'm not sure about the video card. I bet it's nothing special b/c it's from Dell's office range.
Choppy video on the system described is logical with the source material you are editing. You are using DSLR material, which is a difficult codec and requires quite a beefy computer. Unfortunately, your Dell is way underpowered for that material and does not meet minimum requirements.
If the YouTube playback quality is lacking on YT, use a YouTube H.264 preset for the export. Do not use any QT codec on export.
I checked out your link but noticed that your codec rating slide doesn't list DSLR. Does it fit in with the "easy" "intermediate" or "difficult"?
I have been using a H.264 preset for export. I use the Youtube Widescreen HD preset.
Is it possible to dumb-down the quality some to be able to work on my computer? If so, what are some ways to accomplish this?
You are using DSLR material, which is a difficult codec and requires quite a beefy computer.
I think it was pretty clear.
Dumb down the quality by lowering the bitrate.
This seemed to work when the video was viewed on Youtube, so I guess I'll have to find that sweet spot for the bitrate.
I do have another question. Even with the higher bitrate, the mp4 video exported from Premiere Pro looked good when viewed with Windows Media Player but had problems when viewed through Youtube. Why is my computer power an issue only with the video's output on Youtube?
That looks like a YouTube problem, not your system.