I've checked the boards and the release notes but it's hard to tell for a newb what is different, especially when there is no comparison.
I know people have their preferance, but i'd really like to know the differences between each. (it would also be useful to know what some of the differences between specific, but equivalent, programs are, but i realize that's much more complex answer).
Also any idea if/when the nvidia driver issue will be solved? I looked on the troubleshooting page before lauching a LiveDVD test of KDE and didn't see my card (nVidia 6800 XT) listed, so i thought i was okay....i was wrong.
And when i went to boot in safe mode, hardware profile crashed every time i opened it so i couldn't even see if Mint detected some of my other items (like my mic, which didn't appear to be working).
Mostly what i'd like the system for is using stuff like encoding, photoshop/illustrator (and it has to be these programs), gaming (but not generally most of the commonly supported games...but most of them are generally only windows-based) from indy or smaller developers who don't have the resources to devote to non-standard platforms.
(though i have read some news on the standardization front with reguard to Project Portland). I doubt that will do much for gaming in the short or medium term, and even if it does, doesn't address legacy windows-based gaming issues.
i've looked at wine, but it has stability problems and can't even get basic windows applications loaded properly. Crossover isn't very gaming oriented and Cedega only really supports the most popular stuff (of which maybe a handful of my pc games are there).
I'd also for the long run do not want to duel-boot. It defeats the purpose of having a linux distro if to play my games in between writing a paper, re-encoding, or design some digital artwork i have to either reboot and have basically 2 versions of computable programs of almost everything or limit myself to either or.
But of all the distros i've tried, mint seems to have the best potential for what i'd like...it's just the gaming and some unusual codecs for anime i watch i'm worried about, and an application equivalent to ATLAS translations.