Well, with a little bit of helpful advice from Feld0, I finally convinced myself to go out and buy a new laptop.
It was discontinued before I could buy one, but I managed to find the last one on the web (to my knowledge) - a refurbished one on Ebay. (I saved $200 that way!)
This is my current one:
Granted, the new one doesn't have the insane 18.4 inch screen that my current one does, but 17.3 inches should be close enough. I feel a bit weird buying one while my current one still *works*, but there won't be a deal like the one I got for a long, long time. I'll use my current one as my work/college homework computer in order to avoid the nice one from being stolen, and I'll use the other one as my desktop replacement for music rendering, video editing, gaming, etc. until the old one finally dies.
After all of my orders come in, the new computer will have:
- A 3rd gen Intel i7 processor [2.3GHz by default, 3.3GHz in Turbo mode]
- 16GB of DDR3 RAM (2x 8GB sticks, with another 2 open slots. The motherboard can only support a total of 16GB of RAM, so the other two will be unused.)
- A dedicated 2 GB DDR3 graphics card (sadly I couldn't find a GDDR5 version).
- Dual hard drive bays, one empty, and one with the default 750GB HDD (5400 RPM).
When I can afford it, I'm going to drop in a 128 or 256GB SSD + a 1.5TB (7200 RPM) HDD.
SSD's (Solid State Drives) are good at accessing lots of small files quickly, which makes an operating system's boot time much faster. The 1.5TB, 7200 RPM hard drive in the other bay will provide the mass storage capacity, as the differences between a large file's save times on an SSD and HDD are negligible.
Today is a good day. An expensive day, but a good day.