I currently own the mid 2011 base model (i5), and I've been wondering.. Should I buy the new iMac? How much better will it perform? And would it be the right move for me? I mainly use my current iMac for my work, Music Production & Sound Engineering. As you can imagine, for this line of work you need a pretty decent machine to run the necessary software, the CPU-draining sound manipulation effects and to handle the huge sample libraries, in real-time. However, I have found that over the past 6 months I have been happy with it's i5 performance and have hardly ever maxed the CPU load within my music production (DAW) software. In those rare and extreme few cases that I did, it was near the completion of my projects and I could quickly overcome the problem by freezing a couple of tracks. (For those that don't know, freezing - bouncing down the audio tracks along with any post effects, so they are no longer being processed in real-time) Also the fact that the SSD drive isn't a stock option, and is an additional option, turns me off. So if the CPU performance of the new iMac isn't THAT much better, I could boost the performance of my current model with a few cheaper upgrades. I'm thinking about purchasing an external thunderbolt SSD, maybe a LaCie, and using that as my boot drive. (or combine it with the internal and roll my own fusion drive). Secondly, I could further expand my 8GB ram to 16, or even 32, if that is possible on my current model. Thirdly, upgrade my external storage from my current WD MyBook Studio II 2TB Firewire, to something like a LaCie 2TB (or 4TB) Thunderbolt. This external storage would be used to store and run all my project files and huge sample libraries. Lastly, and something that is not really necessary, I could also purchase a Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock, which will add USB 3.0 ports. Would only consider it if it is reasonably priced. I think that these smaller upgrades would give me the boost in performance that I am after, and that a new base model iMac wouldn't make a big difference. What do you guys think?