Hi there, I've been trawling the site for the last few weeks researching various options but would like the benefit of user experience. I currently have a base model 2011 Thunderbolt iMac with 12GB RAM. My main uses are browsing, work projects (Pages/Keynote), Aperture for hobby photography, Corel Painter (hobby as well) and the occasional stop motion animation/iMovie. I use it for gaming but am not interested in playing the latest and greatest in Windows. The iMac is starting to feel sluggish and while I've contemplated installing an SSD/externals etc I don't like the idea of putting money into an all in one machine. Similarly, I don't like the idea of buying a new screen every time I want a new computer so another iMac wouldn't solve the problem. Enter used Mac Pro 2009... My main aim would be to get a tower that will ultimately be faster than the iMac and give me longevity through upgrading CPU, graphics cards, adding internal SSD/HDD etc. I've read through the various tutorials so I'm confident in doing the upgrade and I understand that the 2009 SP configuration is easier to upgrade vs DP config with its lidded design. I've also been looking through various CPU options and am familiar with which family fits each. Currently with prices on eBay I'd probably look at a w3580 (3.33GHZ quad) for the SP and maybe an X5570 (2.93GHZ 8 core) for the DP. The jump up to hexacore seems too much for my uses. Since my main aim is for it to be responsive for a few years, my main question revolves around which would be the best choice of Mac Pro to buy used. Given that I do no professional work, would I see greater longevity from a faster clocked quad 3.33GHZ over an Octo 2.93GHZ? Obviously geekbench would be higher on the Octo but that doesn't necessarily translate to real life. Secondly, what would people recommend with regard to buying secondhand? Most of the samples here in NZ are ex leased machines but there are some privately owned ones as well. My gut tells me that lease machines get more of a flogging but I'm not sure if that's translated to a higher rate of failure/problems. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. I'll also prob sell the iMac eventually to recoup some funds.