I've just about persuaded myself that the mac pro (with student discount) is perhaps justifiable over a Dell (which costs about the same and has more expansion slots for both RAM and cards but is a bit on the ugly side) and the DIY option (which, even with buying the best of everything comes to £500 less but I argue to myself that Applecare, OS-X iLife probably are worth a few £100) BUT I really want 24GB ram to run multiple programs at once in batch mode (it would only be 1.5GB per thread). And this is where frustration sets in. With the DIY option and 12 ram slots I can buy 24GB of unbuffered EEC ram (12x2GB) for about £400 from Crucial. I could do this with the Dell as well. I can buy 24GB of Registered ram that would fit in 6 slots (6x4) for £800 to £900 (depending on the speed) But Apple only approve unbuffered ram. Apple approved ram would cost £2200 for 24GB from Crucial and even from OWC it is around £1000 by the time I've imported it and paid the VAT etc. (From Apple it would be even more ie approx £2400 with student discount!) I know prices will come down, but why tie money up in the computer now which I can't fully use? And Why does Apple not allow registered ram in the same way as Dell and Supermicro and Intel and everyone else? (And why didn't they fit 6 ram slots per processor?) End of rant - sorry everyone!