My advice is to have 512 to 1024 Megabytes of RAM and wait to see the 64-bit play out just a month or two. For video work, this will be a "big deal."
Those who over-expend may feel upset about having that expensive 32-bit only machine.
You already have 512M of RAM, so don't expect more than a 1% payoff in going to 1G. I see only a few minutes saved over hours on the 1G box vs. 512M on DVD encoding, so a slightly faster CPU has more impact.
I'm a cinematographer who runs his own part-time business with a friend. I'm also a student and gamer. Currently, I built my own computer that I use in work, school and games. It's specs are:
Processor: AMD Athlon XP +2600
Motherboard: Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
Video Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 SE
Sound Card: Audigy 2 Platinum ZS
Hard Drive: Western Digital 160GB and 100GB drives
RAM: Kingston DDR400 PC3200 512mb
Media Drivew: Sony DRU-510A and HP (not sure of model, bought off of a friend) CD-ROM
It's a UV case with decals on the side with the computer name "Hardcore".
Now I'm probably going to have about $400-$600 to spend this summer. I'm currently debating either selling my rig and building a new one or simply upgrading it. If I upgraded, what would you suggest I do? I know I want to replace the RAM and CPU, any other suggestions? What do you think about getting the new X800s? Or swapping mobo and going to 64-bit? Would that be a hassle? Has anyone done that?
If I got a new machine, I'm thinking about several things. One is a FireGL card, but I'm not to sure how those rate against the X800s. I'm also tempted by a dual CPU machine. What do you guys think of a Dual CPU rig? Are they worth it? Dual 32-bits CPUs better then a single 64-bit? If you did build a Dual CPU rig, what would you use?
I'm currently reading up on it and would like some tips and pointers! Thanks for all your help.