for starters, ive done my research to this point, including searching past forums topics and posts, reading reviews, and talking to as many people as possible. now to my situation. ive been recording for years and have gradually been upgrading hardware and software. to this point, its been pc for everything. its getting to the point where im in definite need of an upgrade, because my pc can't even handle basic tracking anymore. it wasnt originally built for audio processing, so i cant blame the thing, but its still annoying. and definitely time for an upgrade. i have considered switching over to mac since i run digidesign hardware and pro tools and from my research know that pro tools was designed and built for macs, and later converted to be used with pcs and windows os. id rather stick with a pc if capable of the same tasks, simply because its what im used to and familiar with, cheaper, and all my applications are formatted in windows format and i dont necessarily want to re-purcahse them for mac osx. but it could be arranged if it would be a lot better. this could easily turn into a mac vs pc debate, but thats not what i want. my main question is this: i dont necessarily want to build an AUDIO ONLY machine, id like it to be more flexible and versatile. i know this wont be best for daw performance, but it will work best for what i need the machine for. it will be mainly audio applications, with web browsing and a few other tasks that arent too demanding. i know that pcs are coming a long way and expanding quickly, and theyre more powerful and versatile than ever. what i like about the macs though, is their ability to do so many things at once. they can process audio on pro tools (lots of tracks AND plugs), as well as run other tasks in the background. is it possible to build a pc capable of these functions? with a potential pc, i wont necessarily be running tons of tracks all the time, but i do run quite a few processor intensive plugs, including waves, as well as lots of sampling and midi sequencing. ive read lots of reviews that say how many tracks and plugins are capable, but i dont know if those are realistic predictions, espeically since 1. im running pro tools, and 2. it wont be a COMPLETELY dedicated audio machine im asking for OPINIONS on what a nice pc could do with pro tools and background tasks, compared to a mac. im not deciding on any specific pc parts yet, just trying to get a general feel for what would be capable. also, a laptop would be quite convenient, but theyre not quite up to par with the latest technology with the desktops, as usual. what would be possible with both a notebook pc and macintosh (probably ibook pricing with some upgrades). i tried to keep it as clear and concise as possible, and i apologize for the length. any opinions are greatly appreciated. thank you so much.