I'm using an Asus A7M266-D with dual Athlon 2100's. Duals help with Premiere for effects that require rendering, like scrolling titles, and most export transcoding other than the realtime DVD export. Duals don't really help for Realtime Export for DVD, which is limited to realtime by the hardware. My duals are running at about 20% utilization each during realtime export.
You do want the drive configuration Matrox recommends.
IDE1 MAS - boot
IDE1 SLA - export
IDE2 MAS - video
IDE2 SLA - cd/dvd
I tried an Audigy, as originally recommended, but it caused frequent BAD_POOL_CALLER BSOD. I'm back to using the built-in C-Media audio until the Audigy problem is fixed. For me, the C-Media would give an occasional pop, but it apparently was only an output problem. The original video and audio were fine each time it happened and I went back and played them over.
Don't know about the tested dual Xeon board, other than Xeon's cost a lot more than Athlon MP's.
Here is our advice. These ar enot hard rules, just our take on the current situation.
If you are going to run a single processor system, we recommend P4 2.2 or faster. If you are goijng to go dual processor then it's we say get daul Athlon 2000+.
On our tests and Matrox's we've found that a single P4 delivers a ton of NLE performance. I talking with Matrox, they say it is attributable to utilization of multimedia extensions in the new P4 chips.
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