So I've done a ton of research on different models and have already done budgeting on a 2010 refurb'ed 6-core system. Those systems are on the store for all of 20 minutes before they vanish, so I have a little while to make sure I understand everything and have made the best decisions. I would use my computer for some software development, photoshop/illustrator (getting back into that with a huge photo project) and 1080p video editing, often with a lot of high-CPU programs open at once (Xcode suite + CS5). I don't do much 3D work, but I do want my machine to have enough power to edit (and render!) video in Motion efficiently. It's possible parallels will run in the background sometimes (as much as I hate Windows). My needs increase seemingly exponentially every year, hence the 6-core machine. Q1: The six core would run all of that perfectly, correct? Would the CS and FCP suites take advantage of more cores, and even if they don't now, will they in the future? I don't really need the 12 core machine, but would it be worth going 8-core? Q2: I want future upgrade options, but I've heard different reports on the reliability of future CPU options, with maybe one upgrade possible before the sockets inevitably change, etc. Would it be worth the investment in a dual-CPU machine for that upgrade opportunity? (I know you can swap CPU trays, but it's a more expensive option, and I imagine isn't as reliable either.) Q3: 16GB of RAM is the max Apple officially supports on a single - CPU machine, but 8GB sticks run fine, correct? The unofficial maximum is 32GB, but does it run without any issues? Q4: At current prices, is buying a 120GB SSD to boot from, launch apps from and store current projects on worth it? Once all of this is answered I'll feel a bit more comfortable making the upgrade. I've read the other 6-core thread, but I figured I have specific questions and it would be better to start a new discussion rather than leech off another, haha.