Buying 2nd laptop, +Questions!!!

Hello everybody!!!! =]

This is my first post on Tom's Hardware! =D Fastest registration I have ever seen, no hassle to join.

PROBLEM:
So, My Acer Aspire 5100 has been crippled from 3 years of use. It has an assorted field of problems including:

1. Went through 2 hdd
2. PATA hdd
3. The laptop has been punched in frustration causing the connection to the hdd to be faulty. Laptop will not boot up 50% of the time showing a missing hdd screen
4. 1 gig of ram
5. went through 3 chargers
7. Sleeping the computer will prevent back-light from going above 10%
8. Battery lasts 43 second
9. Missing several keys
10. Protective layer on the key missing giving it a weird feel (that greasy feel)
11. charger heats up incredibly hot to the point it will burn you ( I have been burned )
12. installing programs will eventually cause it to bsod
13. Thermal grease on the computer is non-existent
14. heatsink has been bent out of place, giving it horrible heat dissipation
15. Missing several screws from me fixing it. I accidentally removed the screw that attaches the lever to pop open the battery, so I now have to use a pen to pop out the battery.
16. Blemishes, paint removed from the outside cover, scratches
17. 1 Inch Diameter crater below the keyboard
18. Needs a bios upgrade
19. hdd cushions have moved out of place and at times booting up will cause it to sound like a lawnmower
20. Stupid Acer cpu management keeps underclocking the cpu speed by half
21. Computer cannot run games minimum requirement games that are 10 years old without massive lag (prob b/c of heat)
22. Most games will cause the computer to crash
23. BSOD'S ALL THE TIME ( I have bsod'd in the middle of a movie with no background programs )
24. Sometimes will freeze and show this striped screen and crash
25. Will lag if i open more than 4 programs
26. Leaving the computer on screensaver for 30 minutes will cause it to lag
27. Gmail no longer works in firefox
28. programmable keys lag to the point that it would be faster if i navigated to the program files folder and ran their individual exe's
29. cap lock LED lags
30. I have probably reinstalled window..clean c erase and reinstall... prob 20 times
31. Bootup time of 5 mins

This is probably not the worst laptop in the world, but I am extremely frustrated with it. Right now it repeatedly crashes, so I am borrowing a mac while I find a replacement. I can probably attempt to fix many of these problems, but it will return to an unusable state within several weeks. soo....

Solution:

Budget: 800$ (May increase, but for now 800 max)
Lifespan: 2 years
Size: 15inch's or less
Resolution: no pixelation
Games: Would like to be able to launch games and play them on low requirements. wow, cs, hl, doom, quake. This is a preference, it would be fine if I can't.
Programs: (required) Watching movies, music, virus scan in background, office, script editors -eclipse, visual studios, etc-
(preferred) Desktop enhancement program -samurize, rainmeter, etc-, Adobe flash, adobe suite, GIMP, running low end game engines -torque-
HDD: space doesn't matter, it just can't be slow. Has to be SATA
Country: U.S
Speakers: Not an issue, I already have a portable speaker.
Battery: If it could run word for 2 hours tat would be miraculous.

Additional: I would also be willing to upgrade ram and hdd.

Questions:
1. Should I get ddr3 memory? I have looked around and people have remarked how it might not be necessary unless it was for a top end gaming rig. The posts might have been old. ddr3 seems pretty competitive these days.
2. If I bought a mac and installed windows would it lockup/freeze/crash/stall less?
3. Anyone know of a durable laptop charger?
4. hp, dell, acer, asus, msi, sony, lenovo Rate these companies and others based on customer support, lifespan, stability?
5. How does downloading large, huge, big, TORRENT amounts of data affect lifespan, speed, stability etc?
6. Any websites where I can get great deals on laptops?


Any input is greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks =D
5 answers Last reply
More about buying laptop questions
  1. Quote:
    2. If I bought a mac and installed windows would it lockup/freeze/crash/stall less?


    Ive got windows 7 RC running in boot camp on a unibody macbook and also on a packard bell pc. Both have similar hardware and both perform similarly and are very reliable.

    Quote:
    1. Should I get ddr3 memory?


    i don't think its necessary, especially with the bigger latency and price tag of ddr3 over ddr2

    sorry i cant help with anything else
    raceway99
  2. 1. No, it's not necessary. The performance delta between DDR2 and DDR3 is insignificant.
    2. Sure you can. It should be pretty stable - but if you spend the money to buy a Mac and you don't use OSX, you're wasting a heck of a lot of cash.
    3. Notebook chargers are pretty durable. I'm not sure what you did to your Acers to make it die.
    4. "Vaio" is not a company, mind you, but here's my list:
    Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Dell, HP, Sony, Acer
    Note that this can vary greatly depending on model and usage.
    5. If you're smart about it, it doesn't. If you're an idiot and download malware, it can make your machine stop running.
    6. Newegg, xoticPC.

    Looking at your list of faults with your notebook, I cannot resist telling you that you really need to treat your computer better. More than half of those failures were inflicted upon the computer by you using it incorrectly. You shouldn't be blaming Acer for those problems.
    If you gun your car at every green light and try to stop it by slamming on the brakes at every red, disassemble and work on it incorrectly and do damage to it's components in the process, yeah, it's going to break. Treat it well and upkeep it properly, and it will run for a long, long time.
  3. frozenlead said:
    1. More than half of those failures were inflicted upon the computer by you using it incorrectly. You shouldn't be blaming Acer for those problems.
    If you gun your car at every green light and try to stop it by slamming on the brakes at every red, disassemble and work on it incorrectly and do damage to it's components in the process, yeah, it's going to break. Treat it well and upkeep it properly, and it will run for a long, long time.


    Yes, I recognize I put more than the normal amount of abuse on my comp :sol: ,but i'm not blaming Acer for my problems. Acer is in no way responsible for any of these damages. I don't see how i could use a comp "incorrectly." I think any normal person in this situation would realize that s/he did a bad job with upkeep; and if you're going to point that out without helping, then that is just childish.

    frozenlead said:
    4. "Vaio" is not a company, mind you


    Whoops, ill edit that out

    frozenlead said:
    4. "Vaio" is not a company, mind you, but here's my list:
    Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Dell, HP, Sony, Acer


    Thanks for the list. I always thought Lenovo would be at the top. I might try going with asus this time. I'm adding this one to the list -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220569
  4. I would classify punching your computer as incorrect use - and whatever you did to create a crater(?) in it.
    Without helping? I answered all of your questions, whereas no one else did. I don't think I deserved the childish comment (not that I'm acknowledging the true nature brought about by the word "deserved", but that's a different story) - unless, of course, I misunderstood you, as I did in writing the post altogether; you see, almost everyone with lists of problems similar to yours think that when their computers break, it's always the manufacturer's fault. I guess I'm too used to stressing the point that the former is incorrect.

    The Asus you have there is a good machine.

    Asus was recently rated as having the most reliable computers - that's the reason I put it over Lenovo. Though Lenovo's machines have gone down a bit from where they stood years ago, they're still some of the best built things on the market. The older ones are more like tanks than computers.
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