I have a mid 2011, 27" iMac with 3.4Ghz i7, 16Gb of Ram and 1TB hard drive. I routinely get the spinning beach ball. I have checked Activity Monitor and of course the Ram isn't all used when this happens. This happens for routine stuff like working in Excel, Word, Safari, etc. It also happens with Aperture, but I think that is just Aperture. I don't like this, but part of my problem is I also have an early 201, 15" Macbook pro with a 2Ghz i7 processor and 16Gb of Ram...with a SSD in it. I guess the SSD highlighted the spinning beach ball in the iMac, but should I get it with the applications I use? I have called Apple (I have Applecare) a few times and took it in once. I am taking it in again on Saturday.