New laptop advice and HP laptop question
First post on the forums and I am looking for some help. I currently have an older HP zd8000 laptop, 17" screen, 1GB RAM, 256MB RAM ATI RADEON X600 video card which I am using for email, a little internet, bit of work at home and World of Warcrack when I get a chance. It has been a solid machine but now is getting a little flaky and I am noticing performance issues with Warcraft and a few error messages when shutting down etc.
Basically I want to replace it with something newer but I do want to keep it for a back up machine and maybe for one of my kids to use. So my first question is - if I was looking for a more current machine what sort of machine would be its replacement now? I need something that can handle 3D gaming but won't completely destroy my budget, also something a little more portable than the HP I have would be good, cause lugging this thing around is hard work. When I bought it initially it was more for a desktop replacement than to be mobile but now I can see that you can get reasonable performance from more mobile machines. I am not brand specific but the HP has done well over the last couple of years.
My second question is I was trying to update the video card drivers thinking that it might help with some of the performance issues I had noticed (at least with the games I am running) but I cannot seem to do it. I had tried the ATI site for the X600 drivers but after downloading and trying to install them I got an error message that the drivers were not compatible with the hardware, so my drivers are still in the unchanged 2005 version!! Any ideas what I might be doing wrong or where might be a better source of drivers?
I am a novice user when it comes to hardware so I am looking to educate myself a bit and get some better hardware.