Fact is, we all have a budget. For me, I'm looking to add a desktop to my powerbook. I currently run a 1.67 with 1.5 gb ram. I'm probably adding another .5 mb to that as I installed the free 30 day trial for aperture and found it to be a bit slow for my liking (but still usable). My needs are simple in my opinion. Excluding the standard web, office, itunes, I have a lot of photos. I need something that really streamlines my raw work flow and aperture may be it. Regardless, I'd like to import 100-200 shots into aperture and not have to walk away and get a cup of tea. I need performance and speed obviously. I also paint in photoshop and my file sizes get to be around 200 mb. All computers that I have owned have managed to handle these files. Saving the files takes about 10 seconds max on the slowest machine I've used. On my current powerbook it's about 20 seconds to save a 180 mb file in photoshop cs. There are on average 20-30 layers per file. Other applications I am using are illustrator and indesign. I also record tracks via my guitar to garage band. Lastly I'll take photos and import them into imovie, make a movie and burn to dvd. The import and then move to dvd and burn takes hours. I'd like to cut that down. I rip my dvds onto my computer and encode in handbrake. Another multiple hour job. I'd like that to be less painful. I am looking at a 24" iMac and a mac pro of course. I'm not too sure if the imac will give me what I need. I'm not going to skimp on graphics cards because when I have a painting I need my workspace to render faster as I move around my canvas. I zoom to about 600 % and find myself waiting a few seconds at the least to get certain things to move around. I need this not to be the case going forward. Specs of the imac (btw I asked apple live online help, they asked me what I needed and I told them. 30 minutes later after no answer I gave up and came here). 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB (normally I'd add my ram but I don't want to waste space with 512 mb sticks) 250GB Serial ATA Drive (I think I can upgrade this or use my externals) NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB SDRAM Configured: $2549.00 Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon 1GB (2 x 512MB) (while I don't want to mess with the space on this one either, the jump from 1gb to 2 gb is crazy high and I'm not sure it's worth it) For $225 I can get 2gb Corsair @ new egg. 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 3 x NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB [Add $299] (the question I asked apple that was not answered was the difference between the 3x and 4x of the geforce 7300. I simply can't afford a $1600 graphics card (nvidia) Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme Configured: $2578.00 I don't need a display per se. But I need performance and if I land the 24" and it performs wonderfully then great. Also, do you think Apple would let me go to their store and import say 400 raw photos into aperture on their standard mac and then mac pro and test it out with things I do in my life, not things they want me to do? Of course I'm sure they won't let me rip a dvd there!