Good C++ Compilers and Essential Software

I need a bit of advice:

I use the turbo C++ compiler as it is the one being used in my college.
I want to know if there are any better compilers out there that will help my programming in any way? Does the compiler affect your programming to any extent?

Any help would be appreciated.
dont use turbo c++. There is so much of discussion about compilers in this forum which you can read.

I would just say, getting VS express(windows) or mingw(windows) or gcc(for unix/linux).

yes, compilers do affect because there are many of the api's/headers you would use in turbo c++ which are not used anywhere else. There is more to it. i would recommend searching the forum.
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Yes the compiler can effect how well your code is optimized and also effect what error code you get and if they are readable or not. The best C++ compiler I have heard are Intel's compiler (Which isn't free I don't believe) and personally I like Visual Studios Compiler but that is just me.

If you are just doing homework programs and nothing that involves release code (Releasing to the general public) your compiler won't make that much of a difference as long as you are using a up to date one. The only thing it would change that can help you while you are still learning is the compiler error messages, because some compilers use error messages that are much easier to understand then others.
Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. :)
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