I'm suddenly interested in buying a Mac Pro. My current machine is the late 2009 27" iMac with the 2.8GHz i7 processor and 8GB RAM. I don't run anything that is too "professional" level. The only thing that really pushes me toward a higher-end Mac is the use of VMware Fusion. I like to have at least one Windows VM in use and want it to run as fast and as seamlessly as possible. My business is supporting small business and residential computer users. This week I've got a Mac Pro in the shop because one of the drives in the RAID 1 was failing. As I work with the machine I'm in love with the ease of changing out the drives and all the flexibility that provides. I'd potentially have an SSD as the boot drive, a larger drive for storage, a drive dedicated to Windows and the fourth drive possibly a Time Machine backup. It will be helpful to have lots of boot choices too with the upcoming release of Lion. I've wanted to upgrade my machine to SSD, but any such change is a huge ordeal compared to changing a drive in a Mac Pro. The flexibility of having four easily interchangeable drives is really appealing. So, I'm thinking about buying a refurb Mac Pro - most likely the most recent base model that retails at $2,499 (currently $2,199) http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC560LL/A?mco=MTkyMTM1OTY Originally released August 2010 One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor 3GB (3 x 1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory 1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm 18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory Questions: 1) Will I be stepping back in performance coming from the i7 to this processor? 2) What monitor should I pair with this - the 27" Apple display 3) Anything else I should consider?