Most intensive NLE applications are closely tied to the versions of various software installed on the machine. Typically this is at the OS level, but also can encompass such third party applications as Quicktime. This bottleneck can be remedied by creating a dual boot system – something developers have been doing for years.
This is especially useful under Mac OS X. Since the OS is not serialized – that is, you can install it as many times as you want on the same machine, thus creating multiple boot partitions – without violating licensing agreements. The Mac OS installer, when launched, has the Disk Utility application, which allows a user to partition one hard drive into multiple virtual drives – partitions. Slicing up 1 hard drive (or simply installing OS X on multiple physical drives) allows for each instance of the OS to have updates applied without conflicting with the other. This means those updates you need to apply for Adobe CS4 won’t break, for example, your older version of Avid. You can even create a “test” partition – a space just to experiment with software and updates. As an example, my MacBook Pro has 3 partitions: 1 with Final Cut Pro, 1 with Avid, and 1 with Pro Tools.
Of course, read the fine print with your software to verify multiple installs on the same CPU are allowed under their license agreement.