Video editing is one area which can potentially gain quite a bit from 64-bit computing. However, Adobe's consumer-oriented Premiere Elements has remained 32-bit, despite the company's professional-grade Premiere Pro switching over very successfully with the CS5 iteration, which hit the market more than a year ago. In the interim, CyberLink beat Adobe to the punch, with its PowerDirector 9 Ultra64. Now Adobe is catching up, with Premiere Elements 10 making the leap to 64-bit at long last.
A 32-bit operating system can address a maximum of 4GB of RAM, and in reality just half of that is available for applications most of the time. With a 64-bit operating system, terabytes of RAM can be addressed. If you're working with HD video, multiple high resolution frames need to be loaded into memory at a time, so they can be mixed and effects applied. So the more memory you can use, the more smoothly your video editing will be.
To test this facility, we loaded over an hour of HD footage onto the timeline, and although scrubbing and moving around the timeline wasn't exactly lag-free, it was decidedly usable - and much more so than the previous iteration. Similarly, we found most filters could be applied in real time, and fivex layers of AVCHD played as picture in picture. Our test rig was a reasonably sprightly 3GHz Intel Core 2 X9650 with 8GB of RAM. This is the most fundamental new capability of version 10 but unfortunately it's not available to all 64-bit users, and obviously not if you're running a 32-bit operating system. In fact, only Windows 7 is supported in 64-bit, with users of 64-bit Windows XP or Vista, or MacOS, forced to stick with the 32-bit engine.