I know that there are lots of threads on related subjects but none of them seemed exactly right, so please forgive my starting a new thread. I'm a computer scientist and currently use a Mac Pro (purchased Jan 2011) and a Dell T5500 workstation but I don't really do video (except for a little using Sony Vegas on the Dell). My daughter is studying film and needs to do some fairly basic video editing now but will in future want to do more advanced stuff at university and beyond. She needs to replace her aged macbook. She wants to get an iMac but looking at future growth, in order to be able to expand RAM you need to get the 27inch model and in order to get an i7 processor (which I understand FCP can take advantage of) you need to get the top iMac model. This means the iMac seems to, even with HE prices, come to £2,100+ (256GB ssd). The nMP base model (HE prices) is £2,098 though she'd need a monitor but this needn't be 27 inch to start with so I was thinking of something like the Eizo Foris 2333 which is around £274 (it is IPS plus has lots of other inputs which is good for students - I have one I like it). Alternatively, something like a Dell T3610 precision workstation with a K2000 card is only about £1250. (She'd much prefer to go with Apple though.) So my questions are: i.) with iMac is a cheaper model viable or would it just need to be replaced in a year or two with a more powerful model? ii.) at the moment she uses iMovie but obviously would need to move on to either FCP or Premier - is FCPX used much by professionals or is learning to use Premier a more sensible option? iii.) Ignoring the fact that the Dell is noisier and uglier (and people on these forums presumably are slightly biased in favour of Apple) the Dell is much cheaper at a base level and can then be more easily expanded as time goes on - in some ways this seems a more sensible approach rather than the Apple one of buying and replacing every couple of years? To summarise, as I see it the options are: i) Dell T3610 with Eizo approx £1600 ii) 27inch iMac approx £2,100 iii) Base nMP with Eizo approx £2,400 On the software side FCP is cheaper than Premier but the student prices for both are quite reasonable. Is there any way of getting a reasonable solution for a smaller budget (nearer £1000-£1500)?