Hi Folks, I'm toying with the idea of moving to a new system, from a 2009 8GB 2.54ghz core2duo mini, and my options are a bit all over the place, so would appreciate any advice people would care to offer. My primary heavy lifting apps are Aperture, Photoshop/InDesign CS5, ArtRage, Autopano Giga & SketchUP. The first two are effectively dead platforms, so they don't really tie me to a mac, and the last 3 have Linux versions. I'd prefer to stay on a mac, but you know, cost is cost. Requirement - the new system has to drive 3 displays in hardware. So here's my options on the mac as I see them: Mac Pro 4,1 8x2.26, with a flashed ATI r9 280x to drive the screens, 16gb of ram (2x8gb) & a 240gb SSD - ~AU$2100 AU$<1500 for the stock8gb (8x1?) 650gb GT120oMPs REALLY hold their value here - that price is more typical for a quad core, and apple never offers refurbs of desktop systems Entry level 27" iMac - AU$2439 15" Macbook Pro with DGPU - AU$2999 Entry level nMP AU$3999 I don't NEED a laptop, and were I to get one, I think an ultralight MBa would be a better option as a field machine than buying a MBP and constantly running it closed in my studio - the particular task I'm looking at right now is stitching panoramas from 142x36mp RAW files (I can potentially do 21'x10'6" 300dpi panoramas) - so a computer that can just keep going without overheating & throttling down sounds like a good idea. (a bit of gaming wouldn't hurt) Artrage and Autopano Giga are multicore happy, SketchUP only uses 1 core, but is primarily GPU bound, and from what I read in a previous thread, Aperture 3 likes lots of CPU, rather than the original version being highly GPU dependent. I know the 4,1 can be flashed to a 5,1 - can you run the 5,1 1300mhz ram in a machine that's got the 1066mhz firmware / processors in anticipation of a future CPU upgrade? I'm also curious as to how long people think the 4,1 / 5,1 will remain hot-roddable / OS Supported? So yeah, thoughts anyone? I guess something else I'm weighing against is whether a Mac Mini / eGPU option will be a viable turnkey thing in the near future. thanks.