So... got a new laptop. MSI... seems ok.
Got Dragon frame loaded no problem, shot a test series for some documentation... that went well.
Then it came time to install After Effects. What a headache. After installing it, the machine kept hanging. Did some research, got the Microsoft components updated, no luck. Uninstalled and reinstalled After Effects, the crashes were worse, with Blue Screen of Death errors referencing a kernal security check failure. After more research, went to update the Nvidia driver... had to download Java to use their site, but ended up STILL having to manually search for the right driver. After all that, After Effects seems to be happy now.