Advice on a new PC - on the cheap!
So my current 'gaming computer' is a four and a half year old laptop. In other words, it's pretty hopeless. I've been fine playing older games (WoW) for a while, but no more! I coped with missing HL2, I was grouchy about not being able to play Bioshock, but the lack of Spore has pushed me over the edge.
It doesn't help that my housemates have all been buying shiny toys recently, and I'm jealous. :-p
Anyways, I'm looking for a new desktop computer. The catch is that I'm a (moderately) poor grad student, so can't afford anything cutting edge. Since I'm hideously ignorant about technical stuff, I thought I'd seek out some goodjer wisdom. In particular, I'm wondering how much RAM I'd need, and what the deal is with Quad cores. My understanding is that a quad core wouldn't be that big an advantage for gaming yet, but that could change. I may be laughably wrong. I'm also not sure how the speeds stack up vs dual cores.
Unfortunately Newegg doesn't ship to Australia, but I've been pointed to a good discount site that some of my friends have used. I've found three promising looking options, each with pros and cons. RAM is cheap, so I think I'd probably chuck another 2 GB into whichever one of these I bought.
Option 1. Pros: Quad Core (is this much of a pro?). Cons: Would need a much better video card.
Option 2. Pros: Cheap. Cons: AMD processor (is this as much of a con as it used to be?).
Option 3. Pros: No obvious (to me) technical cons. Cons: A little more expensive.
Option 1 could be given the same video card as Option 3 for the same final price, so essentially the only difference would be Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz vs Intel Core 2 Duo 3.16 GHz. Any thoughts or suggestions?