Hello, Longtime lurker (really great forum here by the way), and about to make the jump into a Mac for the first time and could really use some general advice before I pull the trigger here on my purchases. Sorry in advance for the long post. I will be in front of this computer 12+ hours a day for work, and really thought that the i7 mini was a no brainer since I am a fairly heavy user. But the more I monitor what I am doing throughout the day, my main usage is internet for about 97% of my time (Small online sales website), the other 3% is organizing photos/music and the occasional MKV conversion or photo edit. I currently have a core 2 duo windows laptop, top of the line from 4-5 or so years ago and it hits its cpu limit multiple times throughout the day, even powers off from overheating a few times a week, and is constantly hitting 100% cpu capacity on a little widget I use. My real question and concern I guess is that if I do go with the dual core i5 over the quad, am I going to be taxing the system as I am now. Constantly waiting for my cpu to catch up. That 5-10 minutes a day really adds up. I don't mind a few seconds here or there, but not hours a month. I can't get it out of my head that both my old system and new mini would be both dual core. Or am I comparing apples to oranges here (almost literally I guess). I can certainly swing the i7, and either way I will upgrade the Ram and likely pop in a ssd at some point. My rational is, either get the i7, it would no doubt last me 3 years, so certainly get the Applecare to make sure I am covered if any problems arise. Or get the i5 with no Applecare and just upgrade every year. I believe the math works better going the i5 route. The base models also typically hold their value a bit better. The best deal for the i5 is usually B&H at $565 with Parallels (easy sell at $40 and change), however the i7 is probably better bought on the refurb store at apple over B&H. Quick math says the i5 route saves a couple hundred bucks over the three years, BUT you get a brand new model every spring with any upgraded features that may have been added, a fresh install since its a new machine (which I like to do annually anyway). In exchange you may be sacrificing some cpu that first year of every rotation, and a slightly smaller hard drive. Probably putting too much thought into this, and if I was a power user that often uses very cpu intensive programs it would be a no brainer, I just don't. Just curious if anyone has any input on the matter, and specifically am I going to run into the brick walls I have been with my current Core 2 Duo if I go the i5 route. I am just not sure I would see any benefit from the quad core. But on the other hand, 4-5 minutes every day of beach balls really adds up if the cpu is being taxed. A few other random thoughts. Plan is to get the new Apple Monitor when it is finally released, and will use that for years to come with as many versions of the mini until it is obsolete. One of the main reasons for going with the Mini over the iMac I guess. So in the interim just want to pick up a 23-27" 1080 monitor to get me by, and use it as a second monitor when the new Apple displays are finally released. Probably playing movies or music in the back ground more then anything. Does not have to be fancy, but something that will look half way decent next to the Apple monitor which I think we all know will look very close to the current iMac. Three or so model lines fit that bill in my opinion. The New MX series from Asus, Xi series from HP or one of the AOC models. All have a somewhat or very close resemblance to the current iMac, and all in the $150-250 range. I was really leaning towards the Xi from HP, but after playing with them in the store, I cannot believe how cheap they feel, think dollar store toy type cheap. Anyone have any preference over the AOC or Asus models? I know the resolution is not state of the art, and of course would probably be wiser going with a higher resolution Korean off brand, Monoprice, or Dell. But I would rather not look at the word "Dell" every day, and really just don't want to deal with any off brand quality issues. Plus I save a few bucks, and it will just be retired to a glorified TV monitor sooner rather then later. Also on speakers. Believe me, I have my reservations about Bose. Never been a fan. But the Companion 20's sound pretty good, look great, and that little pod they include is maybe the most useful feature to me, even over absolute sound quality. The ability just to turn a quick dial to adjust volume, and give it a quick touch for mute, is probably more user friendly to me then having to reach around a speaker or adjust on the screen. And they hold their value nearly as well as Apple Products. Anyone have any experience with these? Thanks again folks, any input really is appreciated.