I have a couple of questions that I hope you'll be able to answer in order to help me decide whether I could do with a hardware upgrade or if it's simply my workflow that needs improvement.

I currently work on a MacBook Pro with the following specs:

Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 8GB DDR3 RAM
Graphcs: AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512MB
Software: OS X Lion 10.7.4

Basically, I do a lot of video editing with Premiere Pro and After Effects. A lot of my work involves linking compositions from After Effects into Premiere Pro for colour correction and the animation of titles and other assets. Sometimes I work solely with After Effects to create up to 10 minute long showreels or other animation-heavy projects.

I try to leave the addition of titles and effects etc. to the end of the post-production process, but sometimes it's necessary to add them earlier on for the sake of keeping timing correct. Or if they are added at the end, I sometimes need to spend a little extra time working with them to make adjustments until I'm happy.

With certain projects, I occasionally find myself dealing with incredible slowdown. I filmed a presentation recently which lasted 30 minutes, and the final output was simply the entire 30 minute clip placed into Premiere with some After Effects titles added to it on another video track.

I found myself constantly waiting for Premiere to catch up with itself when jumping between points in the timeline (even before the AE compositions had been added). Is that a hardware issue, or is it simply because I was working with such a long video clip?

I also edited another video recently that was about 40 seconds long. I imported about 50 clips to the project, chopped them up in the source monitor, and placed them into the timeline as desired. I had the program and source quality set to 1/4 and still noticed poor playback when watching the video back in the timeline, even before any effects or colour correction had been added.

I suppose what I'm asking is: at what point would I need a hardware upgrade from my current setup. What sort of work would you expect to be too much for a MacBook Pro of these specs? Or is there something else that I need to do to speed up my laptop?