The purpose of this thread is to provide insight to the "consumers" out there who are contemplating buying a Mac (or any computer for that matter). People these days are impressed by numbers. Heck, even people today ask me how a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo can be faster than a Pentium 4 at 3.2 GHz. It's all about efficiency, and not numbers. "But isn't a 3.6 GHz Pentium 4 faster than a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo?" - you may ask - but the answer is no. Higher numbers are not always "better". This is called the Megahertz Myth (*thanks, richthomas!) Also, be warned that if you're like "most" people and are buying a computer to check your e-mail, listen to music via iTunes, browse the web, etc., whether you have a 2.0, 2.4, or even a 2.8 GHz processor (Core 2 Duo) you will probably not notice the difference. Example: I own a 24" White iMac with a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo chip, but at home we also have a 24" Aluminum iMac with a 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor and a 24" Alu iMac with a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo (Penryn) processor. And guess what - for my MS Office, Safari, iTunes, MSN, etc., I can't tell a difference between the 3 machines as hard as I try. They all have 2 GB ram. Of course if you are into higher end things like video editing, gaming, etc., processing speed may be important, but these days any of the Core 2 Duo CPUs are more than adequate for most users. That being said, I urge you to think twice about paying extra $ (as much as a few hundred) for a processor "upgrade" when customizing your new Mac. Chances are, you won't even notice the difference (depending on usage). Also, in a few years, whatever you have will be outdated anyways and way slower compared to what's out there, so you won't even care if you have the "upgraded" CPU you passed up on at the time of purchase. And another thing - when buying a computer - don't go for one model over another just because the spec sheet has more bulleted features - this is called "feature creep" - something manufacturers try to do to pad their spec sheets. Look at most laptops and you'll find that they all have more features than most Macs on paper. More USB ports, larger hard drivers, more media buttons, more slots, ports, jacks, etc. Ask yourself if you really need 6 USB ports on your desktop or if 3 will suffice. You'll notice that Apple's philosophy is definitely "less is more" and not "more is better". It's about the integration of these features. Go into Best Buy and you'll find that every single laptop has a webcam, yet when you try and use the webcam, you won't know how. Having worked at a Big Box store, most customers will ask "how do you turn on the webcam?". The software is poorly integrated. Moreover, manufactures will jam pack their machines with "free software" but truthfully most of these are trials and aren't very useful. Why does a laptop need to come with 3 different programs to burn CDs? Again, another example of "feature creep". I've seen so many customers go for one model over another because it had a 250 GB hard drive over a 160 GB hard drive yet all they wanted out of their computer was to be able to check their e-mail and browse the web. After selling computers at a Big Box store, something I've come to realize is that customers are attracted to higher numbers and long feature lists, whether they are necessary or not. Thank you for reading and good luck with your purchase!