I currently have an old 2003 G5 Dual 2.0 with 1 TB + 500gb internal storage. 3TB external (USB 3.0-only 2.0 on macs), a couple of SATA 500gb drives not using, 2 500gb portable usb's for wifes Macbook Pro. I'm a long time Apple userwent from a 7100 PowerPC in the 90's to a G4 silver to my current G5. I also have a working Apple IIe with 2 floppy drives, monitor and tape driveso Macs are what I use. I am a working art director and have a side design business. I have a small budget of $2,500 and looking to get the most for my $$. I found these macs at good pricing to fit my budget. I found a Refurb Mac Pro 8 Core 2.26GHz Harpertown/Nehalem(2x Quad-cores), Geekbench: 11648/12651 6GB RAM, 640GB HD, SuperDrive OS X 10.7 with a 30" Apple Cinema Display! for $2,450 and was also considering a Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 (Sandy bridge) Geekbench: 11864/13363 4GB memory 1TB hard drive 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB memory Built-in FaceTime HD camera for $1,869 My question: which would be a better (now and long-term) computer, since I don't plan on buying again for another 5-7 years. I work in Adobe CS5/CS6 suites, Final Cut Pro and After Effects. I have demanding deadlines at times and would like to work simultaneous in all apps, plus use iTunes for music, Skype/facetime with clients. Priorities are speed/performance, multiple apps running, storage of 4 tb or more. Relaiblity My concerns on the 2009 Mac Pro: Just on par with performance with iMac i7 (through beatfeat and geek bench marks) for now. Does it still perform on par with Lion and Mountain Lion installed? Will future OSX releases be available for the 2009 after 10.7? If so, would the slow down the Nehalem processor in favor the the new Sandy bridge? Little more upfront cost compared to the iMac as I would need to upgrade the ram and video card immediatelyadditional $350. Int HD Interface: Serial ATA (3 Gb/s). iMac is has faster Serial ATA (6 Gb/s) This is more of a factor if I choose a SSD in the future. no built-in camera.mic The pros for 2009: System Bus Speed 6.4 GT/s over iMac 3.4 System Bus Speed 5 GT/s multi-thread performance internal expanded drives to 8 TB. Cheaper/faster eSata option then external expanded ram to 32mb/64mb (per everymac.com) 4 FW 800 ports Can install current SATA 1 TB and 500gb from G5 Can run internal Raid 30" Apple display and 8:5 format Adding USB 3.0 possible (mixed results) My Concerns on iMac 3.7 27": Limited storage space 1-2TB internal 27" Glossy Screen 16:9 format compared to the 30". Might have performance problem running multiple pro apps at once. Limited ram to 16mb, however everymac.com claims 32mb Heat of CPU, internal larger drive, Monitor. Failure rate of early 2009-2010 iMacs due to heat/fan issues Thunderbolt very expensive at the moment for more space 1 FW 800 Only external raid options with Thunderbolt, very expensive No USB 3.0 Pros for iMac: Cheaper then 2009 man pro set up Newer technology Future OSX updates four Sandy Bridge and above Faster overall then 2009 Mac pro day-to-day activities Much better graphics card included over 2009 mac pro Internal HD interface Serial ATA (6 Gb/s). Much faster the 2009 mac pro Can install SSD (future) at 6gb speed. Built-in camera/mic So any help in advising my decision as I would of course, like the newer technology at a cheaper price, knowing future OSX updates will be achievable. However, I do know that the mac pro has more expandability. Can be on pair with performance with some upgrade (costs) compared with the iMac 3.4 i7, but worry about the next system release bricking the 2009. Advise please! Thanks.