Advice on Upgrade for Video Editing


I'm a bit of a n00b to all this, so any assistance would be very appreciated.

I built a hackintosh system about a year ago, which I use exclusively for video editing. It is much better than my existing system, but still leaves something to be desired. I use Adobe Premiere primarily, and while I can live-view some of my more intensive effects (mostly Magic Bullet) in 720p, when I try to do that kind of editing on 1080p video it can't do it - at the best it's choppy, at the worst it just freezes video and only plays sound.

I'd like to get my machine to the point where I can do intensive overlays in 1080p and still preview it as I go. But I don't know what to upgrade. I'm not sure if the bottleneck is RAM, my video card, my processor, or my hard drive (I currently use a 7200 for scratch and a 7200 for files; would an SSD for scratch help?).

Here is my current configuration:

Intel i7-950 Quad-Core @ 3.83GHz
12GB(3x4GB) DDR3-1333MHz RAM
Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Motherboard
Nvidia GTX 470 1280MB DDR5 Video Card
2x Samsung 1TB 7,200RPM 32MB Cache HDD in RAID0
1x Samsung 1TB 7,200RPM 32MB Cache HDD

Any advice would be very appreciated! I don't have infinite money, but I'll spend what it takes to get this up to what I need it to do (preferably under $1k).

3 answers Last reply
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  1. Hm. This seems pretty balanced, really. An SSD would definitely be nice.
  2. Definitely not doing what I need it to do though, and I can't figure out where the bottleneck is. Do I need to invest a crazy amount of money in a pro video card (2GB or 4GB?)? I really need to be able to preview the effects I put on my videos in 1080p - it's just too bulky a workflow to have to do it all in 720p and then swap out the source.

    Is there a good test I can run to see what I might need to upgrade? I have my Geekbench scores, but they tell me very little.
  3. I think the CPU's probably the biggest issue. However, there's definitely a way to see what the problem is: open the Windows Performance Monitor and make your RAM and CPU usage visible. I don't think it can handle the GPU (I don't think the 470's slowing you down, but I'm not sure), so get and run EVGA Precision. Have all of this running while the problem's going on and see what maxes out.
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