I'm thinking of maybe patching up my comp sometime soon or maybe getting a laptop, so I was wondering if you guys would suggest anything?
What's the better processor, motherboard, graphics card, that would still be affordable? Which laptop brand would offer most reliability, decent customer service and maybe last 3 years?
And while we're on the topic, anyone know where I can find a translation of the features that the graphics cards put in? I can understand that a 256 MB has more than a 128 MB, but does the memory really make a difference? What do pixel shaders, filters, the different types of mapping do? Heck, everything looks the same to me either way, there's probably a few differences, but sometimes the slower effects make the game uglier. And although games like TES: Oblivion make full use of the gfx card, it looks tacky, kinda like the original Baldur's Gate, once showing off their 64-bit backgrounds, 5 CD game, and the ground didn't use tiles (!).
But back on the topic... on my part, I'd recommend Somic for anything audio. And I'd highly recommend *NOT* buying anything from Sony. Everything I have that's of poor quality is from Sony. CD drives, Walkmans, headphones, speakers, everything that I actually picked up and asked "who the hell manufactured this?" is from Sony.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.
AMD Athlon 64, GeForce (I have had a ATi Radeon go bang on me - they run too damn hot!).
Graphics card wise make sure it has true Direct X 9 shaders, or it will run modern games a lot worse - the GeForce 5700 was a bugger for this!. Also make sure it has at least 128 bit ram (or better). Cheaper cards i used to see had 64 Bit RAM - which will instantly half throughput to a 128 bit (or more) GPU.
Also be careful on a lot of cards they used to clock the RAM 128 MB models less than the 64 MB models, and the throughput used to be better on the 64MB ones due to the increased clock rate!, i'm guessing that still goes on with 128 to 256 and 256 to 512MB models.
Motherboard wise get quality. I have had a PC-Chips in my workhorse PC go bang the once (With the radeon ). In my workhorse PC i have a cheap AS-Rock - and thats been as good as gold! - and it was dirt cheap. Very happy with it for what i paid but perhaps i dropped lucky, so try to get an ASUS if you can afford it .
Sound Wise just get a sound blaster with a decent HiFi and bung line out into your HiFi amp. I had a so called 1.21 "jiggawatt" super surround sound thing, it sucked and was not loud so it went out the window.
Now i have a 60's kenwood (called Trio in the UK back then ) seperate system hooked up with some decent Philips Speakers (each 100W rms and 30 years old!) and it kicks ass. Freinds say how good it sounds even from my PC (records are better). Dont bother with PC speakers most of them suck, and way over rated at like 80W per sateilleite PMPO (thats about 2 Watts RMS if your lucky - FFS they are usually 3/2 inch speakers!).
All my info is old now - been out of the PC building malarky too long