...for small values of "proficient". Although I do a lot of different things with a computer these days, my primary use case is editing large photographic images in quantity. And while I don't need the working machine to have a large amount of long-term storage (it lives elsewhere most of the time), RAM, processing speed (both CPU and CGU) and display size (and depth) matter to me in ways that they absolutely do not to a typical Instagram lunch-picture-poster. Let's not mistake programming or text document creation for "proficiency" or for a "normative" professional use case. There are a lot of people out there dealing with media creation, and processing power (along with software that can efficiently use that power) makes a huge difference in productivity. If I can knock two minutes off of the processing time for each "keeper" image shot at a wedding, that's a full working day saved. And compared to the video guys, I have it easy.