Originally Posted by bdw8
Hardball: Well if I were to wait, what kind of price range do you think I'll be looking at with the 64-bit processor for what I need? I can pick up a Dell 9300 with everything I need (all upgrades and extras, warranty, etc.) for around 1800.
I would say, that to go with a good company with good reputation, such as ASUS, ACER, or Fujitsu, some of the high end HP stuff might also be quite good. You might plan somewhere between 1500 - 2200 in price range, depending on which processor you want to get.
To get a machine with 3200+ right now is actually economical. But to get one with 3700+ or especially S939 4000+ right now or in the near future is quite a premium to pay, but only brings 15-25% performance increase.
If you just game occassionally, but is not a hardcore gamer, then you might acutallly want to consider getting a Gateway 7426GX from BestBuy, which is 1500USD regular price, and cheaper when on sale, with a 3700+, and definitely get the extended warranty. The graphics leaves a little wanting, MR9550, but is still decent for an occassional game. The only thing is that they only offer XP Home, but you can always add XP Pro later yourself. I have been very happy with its predecessor, the 7405GX, with 3200+ , and I study Computational Linguistics in a graduate program; it's plenty fast for compiling GCC or interpreting Python codes, and running live acoustic segmentation and analysis. Although it is not a gaming machine, but I have played UT 2004 with settings turned down to medium.
hope it helps