Re: Users try to save Windows XP
Generally speaking, more powerful computers are going to run hotter than less powerful computers. The three components that generate the most heat are the CPU, the video card and the power supply. If your computer does not have a stand-alone video card it will run cooler. Of course computers without stand-alone video cards won't perform very well either.
When buying a computer the brand name is not very important. None of the top brand-name computer "manufacturers" actually manufacture anything. They just buy components from the actual manufacturers (like Western Digital, Intel, Gigabyte, Kingston, AMD etc) and plug them together in a case. Then they stick their own logo on the case. If you were to open up a Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, Apple, Compaq or whatever brand of computer you would see they are all the same inside. If you compare computers of different brands that have the same specifications for CPU speed, hard drive size, amount of memory etc. you will find the included components are identical in most cases.
The rest is just marketing. Some people are willing to pay extra for certain brands, but they aren't really getting anything better for their money.
If you have the time and desire you can buy those exact same parts and plug them together yourself -- and save several hundred dollars for your trouble. You would end up with the same computer as you would by buying a Dell, HP, Apple etc. In fact you can easily make a better computer and still save lots of money.
Go down to Best Buy and open the side panel of one of the computers. Write down all the parts inside. Then go to the parts section of the store and add up the prices of all the components. You will be amazed at how low the cost of the components will be. If you look up those prices on the Internet you can save even more money.
The only downside is you don't get any tech support should something malfunction down the road. But you shouldn't need any tech support because building your own computer will teach you all you need to know to fix it yourself.
You can't really build your own laptop/notebook computer however. Building a desktop is easy. Building a laptop is possible, but it is much harder to find the components and you won't really save any money.
Computer companies make more profit from the optional extended warranty and all the advertisements, trial software and other crap they install on your computer than they do from selling you the actual computer itself.
As far as XP versus Vista, my opinion is that most of the time it doesn't matter. XP is perfectly adequate 95% of the time. If you have a cutting edge computer with 64 bit quad-core processor and are running two SLI-based video cards you would have to use Vista. Vista is more secure and has more gadgets and bells & whistles, but you can download most of them as add-ons to XP if you want them.
I can't think of a single good reason to buy a Mac. They cost more money and are inferior computers compared to PCs with the same specs. They aren't upgradeable and they won't run 85% of the software on the market unless you pay $100+ extra for a copy of Windows. Apple products always cost more and underperform their leading competitors. Ipods aren't as good as MP3 players from Creative Labs and others. Iphones aren't as good as the latest Blackberries. Try them out head to head and I am sure you will agree. Apple is all about trendy marketing, sleek design and peer pressure.