Okay, here's my story, I'll try to keep it short and (relatively) painless. I'm currently computing on my 3 year old PowerBook G4, the first rev. Aluminum 15". It's been a great machine for me, but let's face it, it's getting long in the tooth. I used to have a PC tower for gaming, but since I moved to California a month ago, I've been without it, and there's a lot of great titles coming out in the next few months I'm interested in. I also do a fair amount of video work on my own time, and more power there would be ideal. Long story short, I want a mac pro, both for power for PC gaming and as a much needed upgrade from my aging PowerBook. Here are my questions. First, technical: Will I notice a huge difference between quad 2.0's and the standard quad 2.66's? I guess four cores at +666MHz would make a bit of difference in the number crunching department, wouldn't it? Any benchmarks out there to compare these two options? Since I want to game on this piece in Windows (and OS X), I'm getting the X1900XT. I hear good things from most people. I guess that's not a question. 2GB of RAM right off the bat: necessary, or could I wait a bit? With all those goodies + AppleCare, it comes out pretty pricey. Bit of initial sticker shock, that's all. Next, financial: I have a steady paying job, and I keep my personal costs pretty low, but I haven't been working long enough yet to amass a huge chunk of savings to buy the Mac Pro all at once. I also only JUST got my first credit card, which has a spending limit of $1,000 since I haven't used it at all yet. Basically, the only way for me to purchase this right now (or in the near future) is trying to apply for an Apple Credit account. Has anyone here done this? Do you think it's a good option? Can I pay more than the monthly maximum if I'm able to pay it off more quickly without penalty? If I want an iPod and a couple accessories right off the bat, is it better to add them to the credit account? Would I even be likely to be accepted at a decent rate? I also need a display, and I'd like the Dell 2407. I've seen one in person, it supports HDCP if I get a PS3 or other HDCP-required device in the future, and it's cheaper than Apple's 23" with Dell's frequent coupon deals by a lot. Of course, that'd have to be a separate, stand-alone purchase. Costs... adding up... Other issue: I'm currently living in L.A. with no motorized transportation, just a bike. It hasn't been too much of an issue so far, all the things I need to get to are pretty close by (two grocery stores literally next door, one across the corner, mall down the street, work is 3.5 miles away) and it's been good exercise. But, I'm thinking of getting a Vespa at some point in the future, and student loan payments + Mac payments + car loan payments... it all adds up. I guess I should probably try to run some detailed numbers, eh? Basically all my PRESSING questions are about the finances, I guess. I really know what I want in terms of the machine itself, I'm just nervous about the issues involved with paying for it. Any advice the older and wiser members of MR could give would be greatly appreciated.