I know there have been other threads on this topic but they are all way over my head! I'm a beginner/amateur. I want to edit home movies but do a bit more than iMovie will allow. Currently, I have an old MacBook Pro with a 120 GB hard drive (not sure of speed), 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM. I have a 500 GB and a 2 TB external drive, both G-Tech drives, 7200 rpm and another 1TB Drive of unknown but slower speed. I'm using the 2TB drive both to store video and as my scratch disk, so it's reading and writing files to the same drive, which I understand makes things slower (?). Rendering anything more than a minute or two in length takes FOREVER. I'd love your opinion about: 1) Why my current setup is so incredibly slow 2) I'm about to order a new Mac laptop (desktop is impractical) and want to know if I should get the 500 GB 7200 or the 750 GB 5400 hard drive option (same price). It will come with a 2.3 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM. If I'm using an external drive as the scratch disk, does the write speed of my internal hard drive matter? 3) How should I set up my external hard drives for maximum rendering speed. Should I store my video on one drive and use another as a scratch disk? Or use my internal drive? Thanks so much for your advice! Thank you for using baby words--I'm very new to all this.