I was going to make a fancy flow chart. But here is a list with recommended configurations for the new 27" and 21" Retina iMacs 1. Video/graphics professional. 27" i7 4.0Ghz m395x with 4GB RAM 512 Flash storage. Trackpad 2. Audio Professional 27" i7 m395 with 2GB RAM 3TB Fusion Mouse or Trackpad 3. Graphic Designer/Gamer 27" i5 3.3 GHz m395x with 4GB RAM 512 Flash or 3TB Fusion Trackpad 4. Performance on a budget 27" i5 m395 with 2GB RAM 2TB or 3TB Fusion Mouse 5. Budget 21" 3.1 i5 2TB Fusion Mouse Upgrade to 16GB RAM from Apple (no do it yourself option) Notes: No one should get less than the 2GB fusion as the 1TB only comes with 24GB Flash, not 128. Upgrade the RAM yourself. If you can afford the 1TB Flash instead of 512GB, more power to you. The 512GB Flash seems like the best bang for buck and is fantastic performance. When Flash/SSD prices fall you can add an external one in thunderbolt. The i7 processor supports multi-threaded processing -- which is useful for video and audio professionals and not many others. The i5 turboboosts up to 3.9GHz for fantastic price/performance Money Saving Tips 1. Remember that many credit cards DOUBLE the standard 1 year warranty. So if two years warranty and no extended support is enough for you, then you don't need AppleCare. Cards also come with cash back and other reward incentives. 2. Most people, 95%, even power users, don't use beyond 16GB RAM. The sweet spot is to purchase an additional 16GB of RAM for around $90 and install it yourself for a total of 24GB RAM. Budget minded can simply get an addition 2X4GB Ram for a total of 16GB. 3. If you qualify, education discount is great. If you have a friend who works at an Apple Store, they can get you a friends/family discount.