Guys, I need help to judge my strategy to go forward. After a year of conversion I operate 4 MPBs in my family plus one mac mini as HTmac. I need some more power for video editing, photo and PS work my wife does. Originally I thought I'd get 09 MP to hook up with our 30' Samsung but then I started reading and do some groundwork. I visited Apple store and played with 2.66 quad MP/3GB/120Nvidia hooked to 30' ACD. I brought in my own Aperture book project with 100pg of 430 images (18 years of life of my children for their Bday, ask me how long it takes to reduce 30,000 imgs to 3,000 (person identification) to 430 (album)..... I am doing this project on my late 08 MPB17 2.5GHz/4MB. I was expecting lightning fast operation given the hype MP has but - in short - MP didn't blow me off. Yes, I could move and resize imgs on screen little faster then when I had my MBP hooked to 30' at home but the response was far from being instant. I generated a book (print to JPEG) and altough it was nice to see 8 cores working in Activity Monitor the print time wasn't crucially different from what I got on MBP. (The printing process has two parts - Aperture generation, which utilizes all cores and is hyperthreaded, so I could see all 8 virtual cores running, occasionally on 85% but there is memory left and the second part is an automator which runs in 64bit but is rather memory demanding then procesor power. Automator literally sucks all available memory but utilizes only some processor and is not hyperthreaded.) In short MP's performance didn't blow me off (although Apple rep was insisting that MP at my home would run MUCH faster)). Plus there is this I7 iMac coming up. Plus I have some (awful) experience in HD editing on my Q6600 PC and FCE on my MBP (even more awful)... In short I am thinking let's get i7 imac now to see how 4 cores would perform and get this awesome screen as a bonus because I really don't see its performance dramatically different from MP which would come several hundred $ more and without the screen. Then if we'd still see a performance need let's get an older MP, say some 08 model and equip it with Matrox HD compressor card which should take care of encoding troubles. Or would be a better choice a basic 27' imac/8MB for PS and Aperture and focus on 2.93 quad MP for video? (Sure there are other variables - SSD, stripping - affecting the performance but let's say that these are gradual gains and not game changing?