The IEEE adapters are firewire connections for devices like a camcorder'
Core 2 Duo is currently being recognized as the best processor on the market, but wait another month and that could change.
If you are buying a new computer one of the things you need to consider is what operating system are you going to use. XP is still available and will run well on 512MB of RAM, but if you are going to purchase a computer with Vista or are going to update to Vista in the future you will need a minimum of 1GB of RAM.
I'm not sure what you are referring to as photo processing, but if you are doing any editing you will need more RAM than the recommended amount, 1GB for XP and 2GB for Vista. This holds true for modern games, if your grandchild is going to be playing serious games then you will also want to look for a computer with a graphics card that will be able to keep up with them or a computer that will allow you to upgrade the graphics card.
Another issue with computers used for games is the power supply, if you purchase a computer and decide to change the graphics card later you may find that the power supply will be inadequate. Some manufacturers supply their own power supplies that are not the industry ATX form factor, this means that you can't purchase a off the shelf unit to replace it if you want to upgrade. So ask the sales person if the power supply (PSU) is not only ATX in size but that the connector pin out is also ATX, if the sales person can't help you...get someone else to help you.
As far as who is building the better machine, hopefully else here will make a suggestion. I build my own and don't keep up with who is building the better mouse trap.
When you find a computer that you are interested in post it here and let the members critique it. And do not be afraid to ask more questions...as the saying goes, the only bad question is the one that isn't asked.
btw, welcome to BC Sal.
Edited by dc3, 13 April 2007 - 12:44 AM.