The PC cost $2000, the Mac cost $4500 My 2 employee photography business generates a few gigs of data per week that needs to be easily and quickly accessible from 2-3 workstations. We're up to 300 gigs, and it's worth 3 full-time years of scanning and digital compositing work if it was lost. We've struggled to stay ahead of storage technology, and we were always distributing data over the network, and upgrading hard drives just to make room. We decided we needed to "build into the future" so that we don't have to waste time upgrading so often, and also simplify things by having all data centralized on a dedicated server. After much research we decided the best option was to make a homebuilt PC based server. I've built many PC's for friends and a couple for myself, so I am familiar and proficient. The reason we went PC is it seems we would have paid for a lot of technology we didn't need with Xserve, like redundant power supplies, hot swap drives, and we would have had to pay a lot extra for features we needed, like the ability to do offsite backups every couple weeks. The end result was our "teraserver" with 4 250GB hard drives in a RAID 5 array, giving us 750 Gigs available space, compared to the regular Xserve with only 540 Gigs maxxed out (one drive for parity in a RAID 5 array). The moderately small tower case has room for 6+ hard drives, so we could add two more for 1.25 terabytes in the future. We also have two removable hard drive bays, where we insert our offsite backup hard drives of 250 gigs each. When those become too small, something bigger will be available, and the 250 giggers can plug directly into the RAID5 since they are identical drives. The hard drives are regular, off-the-shelf, 7200 rpm, cheap, ATA drives. If any one fails, no data is lost. If the office burns down, the offsite backup is no more than 2 weeks old. This of course has built in gigabit Ethernet, half a gig of ram, and a 2.4GHz P4 with hyper threading (plenty overkill). Together with a gigabit hub and a gigabit card for one of our workstations, this all came to about $2000, compared to $4500 for an Xserve with less storage. I used top notch everything from the power supply to the ram to the motherboard to the case just to assure reliability. I wouldnt dare save $200 and risk it with cheapo components like most PCs use. The inside is even tidy considering all the ribbon cables and drives. And its actually very quiet. The comparison is not fair if you consider features, but my point is more that Apple does not have enough economical options for people who dont need all that xserve provides. Of course we looked at Dell network attached storage and other options so there was nothing really on the PC side either for so cheap, but saving $2500 was definitely worth the few hours to build the thing myself and install an OS. It's been 100% reliable with a running uptime of over a month now, and we can open files over the network as fast as we used to from a local drive. About 2-3 seconds for a normal 55MB image. This project was a complete success, in my opinion, and I would recommend that other Apple-based businesses consider that you dont need an Apple product for everything you do.