One automatically assumes that a Quad Core machine is better - but in a recent article I was reading they mentioned that many programs don't even use the extra cores. How do you tell which ones do and which don't? Another thing to add to confusion is "speed" - like for instance a 3.33GHz Core 2 Duo vs a much lower 2.66 Quad Core. I suppose one single process might run faster on 3.33, but multiples would do better on a 2.66 quad? The "benchmark" tests tend to compare running things I never use - and measure performance in 1/1,000,000,000ths of a second differences. It might be nice if they did normal things - like measure how long it takes to run some automated batch task on 1000 files that normally takes 10 minutes. Anyway, I'm starting to shop for an iMac = I am currently using a 2009 Mini 2.0GHz - and am looking for a big bump in speed, and not sure if a new Mini would do it or not. I'm no fan of shiny reflective glass for my work environment so that was the main factor in choosing Mini when I replaced my last iMac G5 20" matte screen. As a photographer, I use Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 a lot and sometimes the processing is too slow. For most other things it's just fine, although running a video conversion on a two hour movie in Handbrake, sometimes takes almost as long as the two hour movie itself! But that's not something I do every day - and once the project is done, Handbrake will get put away and only used off and on. Safari and NeoOffice - a dozen other small things are normal. So then - just go with the idea of - the more you pay the faster it will be? Pay less for a 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo vs a 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5? Or are the brand new iMac machines that much better/faster? Can a new Mini 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo improve much at all over my 2009 one? Or go with the cheapest 27" I can find and wait for the really fast machines to get replaced with the next generation USB 3.0 boxes? Thanks in advance for ideas!