I'm gonna be buying a 21-inch 2011 generation iMac. (I'm tired of waiting for Apple to update the line) I want to either get the 256GB SSD or the i7 processor (I don't have the funds to get both, sadly). I'm sure I'll have use out of the SSD but I dunno if the extra power from the i7 will actually come into play for me. Here's what I will use the thing for: -Writing apps in Xcode -Web design -Playing some games (mostly simple stuff) -Running Windows via Parallels or bootcamp -Word processing, email, and internet (a large number tabs are generally open at once) -Scanning papers -Music (often while doing all of the above) -Writing/recording music with Garageband -Editing simple movies with iMovie I know I don't really "need" either of the upgrades to satisfactorily accomplish any of these things, or even a number of these things at once, but I'd love for the computer to last a long time--and by that I mean both for the computer itself to last a long time (which will be helped by getting a SSD, since it presumably will take much longer to fail than an HDD) and for it to be able to smoothly run more resource-intensive apps or versions of apps that will probably be developed in the future. I can't imagine I would have use for 8 virtual cores, but...well it's $300 less than getting the SSD, so that's a factor too since I'm a soon-to-be law student. I wouldn't ever need more than 256GB, btw. I'm currently on an early 2008 MBP with a 200GB HDD, and after 4 years it's only about 60% full. Also- do you think SSDs will be coming down in price any time soon? If so I'd gladly wait until the summer and just get the SSD for cheaper.