Thank you for all the info! I do not need anything quite as speedy as a gamer computer, but I do need something a bit better than "average" because of the software that I will be using for the math/science. I want another laptop, because I like the fact that it is small and I can carry it around. Except if I could build my own I would want to have something external for CD/DVD RW and etc., leaving more room to cool the insides (and thus hopefully avert the heating problem). If I can't do that, then I will start looking at the desktop idea. It seems that desktops are cheaper because they don't have to squish all the parts in such a small space, but if I could have the CD/DVD, maybe a larger external hard drive, and any other non-essentials put in that, and then use the drive in the laptop as the primary drive, in addition to using the laptop screen as a monitor, that would be awesome. A real franken-puter
How do I know what the different numbers translate to? For instance I know that 3 GHz is faster than 1 GHz, and that 1 Gig of RAM is better than 512 Megs (the more, the better!), but for other parts such as the motherboard, or video card, how do I know what the numbers translate to? I was looking around and some seemed to have the same speed, but some other small differences that led to huge price gaps between the two. How do I know how to interpret the specs and tell what I need vs. overkill?
Sorry if a bit redundant, and thank you for your help