Not too sure about your theory about the software as Pinnacle are out in the front of the easy to use but effective video editors. I must admit that I don't like the amount of preview materials in their products which you have to pay more to use (a bit like a theme park where you pay to go in and then find additional charges for interesting rides) but the product itself I find works fine. Oddly I upgraded from Videowave (then MGI but taken over by Roxio) to Pinnacle 8 and then, more recently, to Pinnacle 9Plus. I use a cheap and cheerful Firewire card like yourself and don't suffer dropped frames - I do use a seperate drive for capture, however, and am using an AthlonXP 3200 with 1gb RAM. No doubt you have tried uninstalling and reinstalling - if not, then I would suggest this as your first action. Explore other hardware issues and possible software conflicts with your other authoring programs before spending good money on another package which is likely to have the same failings on your particular system.