I am on the ropes debating between a 6 core or a 2.4 8 core machine that will replace a 17" laptop. I wil buy an ssd 240/256 GB and use it as a boot drive, buy a 2TB HDD 7200 and use it as my backup drive, while utilizing the 1TB HDD included with the machine as my scratch disk. I will not use RAID, as I still do not understand how it works. Bad plan? I am debating between 4 GB and 8 gb modules of ram. I prefer the latter and would like to buy two 8 GB sticks, but this may change depending upon which machine I buy. Furthermore, I plan to buy several progams that require a workstation or I think a workstation is required. I have adopted a new personal philosophy to learn how to use as much software as possible. A student discount for software does not hurt either. I will utilize the free 30 day trial as an option for my contemplated software list, but I am not worried about spending a few hundred bucks on a quality program. Here is a list of software I will buy: 1. Adobe Master Collection 2. Office Mac Academic 3. Final Draft 8 4. Final Cut Express or the Pro version (in addition to Premiere Pro?) 5. Autocad (Mac or Windows based?. I know certain programs are Windows only and I assume that using Bootcamp does not count?) The next list is software I am still contemplating: 1. Auto Desk Suite for Entertainment, which includes Maya and Mudbox for Mac, full suite for Windows. 2. Filemaker Pro 11 (still trying to figure out the use of this program) 3. End Note X4 4. Lightroom 3 or Aperture 3 (in addition to photoshop, bad idea?) I am new to most of the mentioned software programs, so bare with me here. I want to create/edit video, learn the craft of photography/editing, mess around with mechanical engineering, and possess a better understanding of how video games are created. I was lurking around this forum disguised as a guest for weeks. I have learned a lot about Apple, computers, video editing, photography, cpu, gpu, memory channels, SATA drives, SSDs, iPad, and the iPhone. Just do not ask me about any configuraiton of RAID! Now for some questions. Which machine is right for me? The trusty high clocking 6 core or the ram expandable yet low clocking 8 core? Have I overlooked something along the way, aside from a depleted bank account? With my best British accent: "My apologies chaps, as this bloody thread is lengthy!" I enjoy being around the international community and this forum is very diverse! MacRumors' members rule and Thanks in advance!