For the TL;DR folks... please skip ahead down to the line of smileys divider: Alright, here's the whole story so you can fully understand the context. I work as a full-time graphic and web designer and then I work part-time as a freelance graphic and web designer for my own small business. I also do a TON of sound design for theatre, I write plays to be published, I create music with Garageband and Audition. I host two bi-weekly podcasts. There. That's what I do professionally. Recreational, I have libraries upon libraries of movies, 10 years worth of photos, songs, only one computer game (yes only one....). So, my early-2009 27" iMac is crapping out on me. It gets incredibly hot even when I just use the Mail program and Firefox. When it reaches 67ºC the display shuts up. Sometimes it even happens when the temp reaches 55ºC. I'm no longer looking for an answer as to why this is. I have had the RAM, Hard Drive, graphics card and fans replaced by a certified Mac specialist. I can't keep dumping money into a machine that simply has seen the end of it's days. I instead, need to purchase a new machine that will help me earn that lost money back quickly. (courtesy for the TL;DR folks, whom I have the utmost respect for) SO... I know exactly how i wanted it configured except when it comes to hard drive space and how that is affected by Time Machine. I currently have a 27" iMac with an internet 4TB hard drive, which I have used 2.5TB of—along with a DropBox pro account that has 500GB used so far. For Time Machine, I have a 4TB Western Digital MyBook dedicated to backing up those files (we'll get to that in a minute) I love SSD drives and ever since I was a little boy I have dreamt of owning a machine with an SSD in it. The thing that really annoyed me about my previous computer was the moving parts in the hard drive. The downside to this is that Apple will only sell you 1TB. One. Terabyte. Seriously?! I want to buy directly from Apple. I don't want to have to buy it and then install one myself or pay more money to have a service tech install one. I just want it configured the best way possible and be done with it so I can get back to my business. If I were to purchase a large external hard drive storage (say 8GB) and use that as the Time Machine backup for both my iMAC 1TB SSD and the 4GB external hard drive (formerly, my Would Time Machine be able to back up the iMac 1TB AND the 4GB onto the 8GB "master backup"? Easily? Moderately inconvenient? Impossible? Would it be worth looking into an external hard drive solution that has multiple bays for archival reasons? My business is expanding and I like to think ahead to the future. Thank ou all for reading and for your input!