Thanks gradinaruvasile so so much for such a lot of useful info. You did cover a lot of stuff I wouldn't have been aware of or known enough to check on first.
My old system was a AMD processor + ATI radeon graphics combo. I do want to give intel a try, but not if integrated graphics controller is a problem to work with.
More than the graphics, I don't want to end up with anti-linux network hardware like that of broadcom, suffered a lot of taunts from windows users (aka my folks) for not getting wifi working for years since i got the laptop.
No ndiswrapper wraparound please.
Thanks once again