I am seeking a bit of advice from some heavy aperture users on a computer upgrade. My current situation is that I have a boring well paid day job and photography is a weekend job. I mainly do events but a bit of portraiture as well. I always shoot raw on a D3 so sometimes for events I need to get quite a few pictures through aperture at a decent rate. My current computer setup is a battered macbook pro (late 2006 C2D model) which is my main machine for my day job and my photography, I have an old MDD 1.25DP that holds my RAW library in a mirror raid. I used to have the mirror raid attached to the MBP on a dual SATA card (with drives in two enclosures) but the chances of one not starting up meant I was always rebuilding and the offsite backup is easier with a static machine. The MDD also works as a 24hr server and provides me with a way to deliver files to clients using webdav and acts as a VPN server and caldav server. At work I have an old donated G4 mini that gives me logmein access to the work network and runs chronosync to do a scheduled, weekly offsite backup of my photo library (so uploads around 3GB+ weekly). I have a few issues with my current setup. 1.- Now that snow leopard is intel only I have lost all my test rigs! I will not upgrade my MBP until 10.6.2 probably unless I have a machine to test it out on before hand. 2- The MBP really does struggle a bit with the raw files and I could really use a machine with a bit more grunt. 3- The MDD as a server could be more power efficient and quieter, ability to run snow leopard server for carddav would be nice (thinking mac mini) 4- I love the design of the MDD and am loath to replace it! The MBP was always fine with D200 files but the D3 ones seem to stretch it too much. I have considered a hackintosh and the efi-x sounded like it could be ideal as the initial promise seemed to be that it would deal with software updates fine but this does not seem to be the case. I would really like an MDD replacement i.e. something in-between the Mac Pro and the imac but this looks to never appear. The Mac pro could be a good workhorse but will not make a 247 server due to power consumption so would need to be mated with a mini of some sort or the MDD. The MBP is getting a bit long in the tooth now but could keep going a while, especially if the hard lifting load was taken off it. I think the data churn causes issues with its hard drive fragmenting which slows down over time. I am thinking of going for a Mac Pro and keeping the MDD as my server for now. I am a bit tied between the 4 and 8core though. On processor alone the quad seems the best buy but only 8GB ram seems limiting compared to 32GB on the 8-core. Anyone got any advice? Whatever I do looks expensive!