Hi All, Disclosure: I'm a long-time PC user and have never owned a Mac... indeed until recently, I used to disparage them , but working in a UNIX environment + lots of online reading has made me see the light. All this to say that my questions come from a near total Mac newbie. I'm a recent hire at a big university and have been given a very generous start-up package (translation: money isn't much of an issue, although I'd prefer spending $10K to $50K). Come ~ August or Sept, I'll need to buy a desktop and laptop plus perhaps (I'm less sure abt this one) some servers. A lot of my work involves running the R statistical program. To be productive, I need to run several scripts simultaneously - say 5 or 10. These scripts use a ton of CPU (like near 100%) and can run for hours if not days (or weeks!). I have considered buying some servers and installing UNIX on them, but then I had the thought that perhaps a single MacPro might be what I'm looking for. Questions: 1) I've read several threads & links to online mags that are saying the 8-core is overkill, and that it doesn't improve performance. But is it the case that the biggest advantage of the 8-core processors is that you can run 8 different processes at full speed? I.e., could I be running 7 R-scripts and be doing normal computer activities (typing away in MS Word/surfing/etc.. ) on top of those with no noticeable slow-down? 2) Given my needs (a computer that could basically be used as if it were a server, such that it runs lots of different processes simultaneously), am I a poster-child for needing a Mac Pro, or is there something subtle (or not so) that I'm missing? 3) Would it be tough to call my MacPro with my laptop over the internet (when I'm working at home, at conferences, etc) so that I can control my computer from afar? I assume, given mac's unix core, this would be simple. 4) Finally, if anyone wanted to give me specs of their dream machine(s), I'd be all ears. I'm kind of thinking of a suped up Mac Pro (e.g., like 8 GB RAM, 750GB HD, 3Ghz), a 30" screen, and a smallish Mac Book to go along. Thanks in advance!!!