I have a stock 4yr old HP a520n that runs very slowly when trying to do some light video editing. I import digital video directly from my camcoder with out too much duifficulty, but when I try to edit the file (even small 5 min files), the software (Pinnacle Studio 11) hangs up for minutes at a time. Question...with bump in RAM, can my system handle this type of editing without the hang-up, or is the combo of processor, graphics card and RAM together too outdated?
That machine doesn't have the power for editing, bumping up to 2GB of RAM might help a little but probably not worth the money given you won't be able to use it in a new build. Upgrading the video card really won't help since video editing doesn't really on the video card. Video editing is very CPU intensive and in fact can benefit from a quad core processor. Sounds like it's time to look at getting a new machine. Suggest you do a post in home build, that's a good title, and post your budget and you'll get some very good suggestions.
Thanks for the advice g-paw. Interesting to know that video editing doesn't really utilize the video card! I was considering a new machine, but don't yet have the facts on just how much better the dual-core or quad-core processors are. Sounds like the best path to take. Thanks again.
For video if it fits your budget, quad is the way to go. While the AMD Phenom is not as fast as the Intel quad, it doesn't lag in video editing the way it does in games and would be less expensive than Intel. You could do a complete Intel Q6600 machine including case, hdd, and Windows for around a $1100 or less, this would be my current video editing dream machine and a similar AMD for $100 or so less. You certainly could build a good video editing machine for much less. The above estimates would be for what I would consider a reasonable top of the line machine. A higher budget could give you more hdd, fancy case, etc. but not more power unless you were into heavy overclocking.
How would what you described stack up against something like this from a local "big box" store for the same $$: HP - Pavilion Elite Q6600 TV Desktop - (2 QuadProcessor Speed 2.4GHz, 3GB DDR2 RAM, 720 GB HD, NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT.
If it's a wash, then I'd rather skip the DIY build.