Perhaps the most exciting addition to Premiere Pro CS5 is the Mercury playback engine. Right off the bat however, is the requirement that you have a 64 bit operating system.
On your PC, that means Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or Windows 7. For Macs the Snow Leopard addition provides 64 bit VIDEOMARK.
For your CPU, Quad core with Hyper-Threading provides a marriage to large memory addressing with the ability to process your larger tasks in ‘chunks’ yet accessing your information and application in high speed RAM. A link with a friendly overview to Intel Core I7 is provided at the end of this article. You can think of multiple cores as multiple processers and Premiere Pro CS5 has been written to take advantage having multiple tasks handled at once with these processors.
From Intel’s site:
“Intel® Hyper-Threading technology enables highly threaded applications to get more work done in parallel. With 8 threads available to the operating system, multi-tasking becomes even easier.”
In today’s world, when you see recommendations for new software applications, you can be confident this is what you will see on new models offered at the best prices ever in our pc generation. The turn around in technology development and it’s appearance on the discount shelf is faster than ever.
Most experts recommend a minimum of 8 GB RAM. It is not unusual to see this in an off the shelf high performance gaming pc. For most Web media developers however, running multiple graphic applications at once is the staple of blending their features and separate contributions. Premiere Pro is the source for your video. This is where you edit, cut and splice. At the same time you are probably exporting this into After Effects or adding touches from Photoshop or Illustrator so 16 GB RAM is much more realistic. Windows 7 Professional can address up to 192 GB of memory so one piece of advice I’ve seen is, get all the memory your pc can handle. It will be well worth it.
Fortunately these applications can dynamically share memory in Creative Suite 5.
One of the most significant advances available only in Premiere Pro CS5 is the Mercury playback engine and for this you must use an Nvidia graphics card. At these early stages we get different reports and I’m sure Nvidia is responding to the community but initially the requirement was Nvidia Quadro series card which we associate with work stations only.
I’m already seeing other reports that suggest the GeForce, any ‘Cuda’ enabled Nvidia card will support the Mercury Playback Engine ( MPE ). This is very important. For all your resources, expensive processor, mountains of memory, the MPE is the special software that allows Premiere Pro to offload much of the graphic processing to the Nvidia GPU. It relieves the main processor while having the graphics tasks handled exclusively by the Graphics Processing Unit on the Nvidia card.