Hey everyone, I recently sold my 2010 27" iMac as it was getting a bit long in the tooth for my purposes. Because of a student discount when I bought it, I actually got a really decent return on my investment, and along with some additional funds from financial aid, I've been saving up for a new machine (I also have a 2012 15" cMBP to use in the interim). I'm basically stuck deciding on 3 options. When I was selling it, my original intention was to build out a new machine and use OS X exclusively (a Hackintosh, if you will). I spent weeks reading about exactly what to do, what hardware to use, and the issues that are still out there. I came away very intimidated, as even though it's gotten a lot better over the last few years, there are still quirks and restrictions on hardware that I just simply don't want to put up with (the video card I want to use has issues, Thunderbolt support is lacking, the new Z97 boards aren't fully supported and won't be for awhile, etc.). It's still an option for me, but the more I read about it, the more I feel I simply won't have time to get it up and running how I need it to be. The TL;DR situation: I'm an audio engineering student, about to graduate at the end of September, and ready to go into the field. The most important thing in a new machine for me right now is for major audio engineering purposes (Pro Tools, VIs, lighting fast storage, multi-cores, and low-latency audio production). I'm starting to work with larger and larger sessions, so the machine needs to be able to handle it. I would also potentially like to do some gaming on the Windows side through bootcamp/dual-booting. I don't need insane gaming performance at 4K with dual or triple SLI cards or anything like that, but running games at 1440p at 60 fps would be nice. All of this gaming stuff isn't more important than the audio work, though. The machine would need to run relatively quiet and cool as well. So the three options I'm contemplating each have their downfalls, and I'm having a hard time committing to either one: 1. Just get another 27" iMac. The 2010 served me well for a time, but got incredibly bogged down as I started working with more professional sessions. I had to take the thing in three times (so glad I got AppleCare) for a hard drive replacement/recall, and two screen replacements due to the "LCD Contamination" issue (Apple put in another contaminated display the first time). I never liked the fact how closed down it was...had I been able to replace the stock drive with an SSD, I could have squeezed another year out of it (I know it was possible, but I didn't want to risk breaking things). The new iMacs are even more closed down, so when I priced one out to where I would be happy with it until it was time to retire it, it would run me $3400 with student discount. For that price, I'd rather just get the nMP. The mobile GPU thing kinda bothers me as well, plus there is no Thunderbolt 2 on the machines (which I want). 2. The nMP. Initially, I was turned off by the lack of internal expansion and the apparent inability to do any upgrades. But then I learned the CPU, PCIe SSD, and RAM are all replaceable, which makes things better for me. It's quiet, which is amazing for my audio work. For just a hundred or two more than a fully loaded iMac, I can get a 6-core Xenon, have faster storage, and Thunderbolt 2. I'd need a monitor, but I can use an older one I have laying around for now. The biggest issue I have is, how well will this thing game on the Windows side? If I can expect 60 fps at 1440p with either the D500 (or even better to save money, the D300), I'd be sold. I know workstation graphics don't do games well as they aren't optimized for them, but I'm trying to gauge if anyone here has any comments on the gaming performance under Windows, or OS X for that matter. This is the option I'm leaning towards now. 3. Hackintosh route. In terms of hardware flexibility and upgradability, it makes the most sense for me. I'd save a substantial amount of money building a machine around an unlocked Core i7 and high-end consumer gaming GPU. The issues as I stated above still remain, though: the 780TI (the card I had my eye on) doesn't run well under OS X. Thunderbolt support is dodgy at best and requires loading kexts, and often times it just doesn't work properly. And the machine I build would likely be noisy and run hot, not good for my home mixing studio, or when I need to do any tracking in the same room. My student discount for Apple products will end around the middle of September, so I'd need to buy any Apple product by the end of August to be safe. Plenty of time to think it over, but it would be great to have some other opinions on the matter. A fully decked out iMac is a very nice machine, and it might do gaming better with the consumer mobile GPU versus the FirePros, but a 6-core Xenon and ECC RAM would serve me better in the audio field for large, demanding sessions, plus you can't touch the machine once you get it, meaning I'd have to almost fully load it out when ordering. I'm leaning towards the nMP, but I have no idea what gaming performance is like (but again, willing to bend on that to have a better audio production machine). The Hackintosh route is great for expandability, but the time it would take me to figure everything out and get everything running properly is big, plus the solutions aren't perfect and the things I want aren't 100% fully supported. Sorry for the long-winded post, and thank you very much for reading and for any thoughts you may have. A specific thing that would really help me out are explanations as to the differences in gaming performance from the D300 vs D500 (not looking to move up to the D700). If I can get away with the D300, that might push me more towards the nMP. Thanks again!