I purchased a Dell Inspiron 8500 several years ago and chose a high end video card option. While the video is nice there are several issues you should be aware of (some of these were mentioned above): 1) It generates heat like you will not believe. In fact, so much heat at times it causes the computer to freeze. The integrated fans running on high are still not able to cool it sufficiently. That being said the system has a P4M chip which certainly contributes; 2) The video card that you purchase with your laptop will ONLY be made for that laptop. I had recently had a video card issue. In an effort to fix it, I flashed the video card BIOS according to directions POSTED on the Dell web site...it FRIED the card when the flash program failed. It turned out that I later found that this had happened to several people, yet Dell REFUSED to accept responsibility and REFUSED to replace the card. I was fortunate to find a replacement card on eBay. It cost me $120 and it was made for a 5/6 year old computer!!!! 3) When I searched for video card options I found two. One was the original card I purchased the system with, and the other was a card made specifically for the next generation system (one step forward from mine). When I read reviews about the second card, EVERYONE complained that the heat generation was WAY TOO much for the laptop to handle. So, while I am all for nice video on a portable system, do not plan on replacing or upgrading the video card in you laptop. You need to purchase it with the mind set that any feature that cannot be added by USB or Firewire is out of reach. All in all our Dell laptop still runs fine. It is slow and often has many Windows-related issues, but it still get the job done. As for me, I will not purchase another Windows laptop. My next purchase will be a MacBook Pro. The hardware and performance are outstanding and I know th quality to there as well. I will load Windows on the Mac using Bootleg so that I can get work-specific stuff done, but I will enjoy the quality, ease of use, stability, and longevity of the Mac.