a build-to-order would probably be a good idea ... the sum of the parts mean more than the name on the cover.
I would also agree that a desktop is much better for gaming, but you might need a laptop, and 4000 gets you a nice one.
PLEASE read all of the following before you write it off ...
Have you considered Apple? I know, you are going to say, there are not many games for Apple, right? Wrong ... the new Apple OS allows you to buy
Vista (or XP) and run it NATIVELY on the Mac, as well as Linux, in 32 or 64 bit.
So ... for 4,000 you can get a MacBook Pro with 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (4-cores) 4 MB shared L2 cache, 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM, 200 GB SATA HD @
7200 RPMS, 17 HD screen (1920x1200), NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256 MB GDDR3 RAM video card, and pick up a copy of Vista or XP ... and have the
best of both worlds. XP is cheap, and I found a 'black edition' that claimed to be free. The Mac automatically installs the drivers for the
hardware for windows to operate properly.
You could also get better hardware if you go for desktop (iMac, MacPro-(if you have a good monitor)).
If you are hardcore PC lover ... play around with the build-to-order stuff at computer sites like TigerDirect.com or better places.
I say do lots of research until you feel very secure within yourself that you will be satisfied with you purchase ... $4000 is a decent amount of
I personally would want a AMD dual quad-core with a couple ATi crossfire PCI x16 graphics cards if I was going to build a nice PC ... and the MacPro
can be built quite crazily to those with money to burn (up to 4 graphics cards, 16 GB RAM, 3 TB HD, 2-quad-core pentium xeons).
Best of luck, hope you find just what you are looking for.