I've ordered a mac pro (Standard config + Nvidia 8800 GT), and while I wait for it to ship, I've been planning how I'll eventually equip it with peripherals and the like. Which leads me to a few questions. First, I was thinking of getting that eSATA extender cable, to have access to eSATA ports, but then I realized I might want to reserve those SATA ports for optical drives - so my first question is, I'd get better performance on a standard high speed DVD burner using SATA than PATA, right (even if the boost is minimal)? And I'll eventually want to put a Blu-Ray burner in there, so the SATA extender cable is out; I'll probably buy one of those eSATA/FW800 combo PCIe cards. So my second question is related to eSATA - I know that speeds vary among external HDDs; even if they use the same bus, cheaper ones tend to have worse speeds. What real performance gains would be had by using eSATA over FW800? I've seen Macworld benchmarks, but they tested a limited sampling of drives (obviously), so I don't know how helpful their data was (which indicated, by the way, that FW 400 comes the closest of all the buses to actually hitting its theoretical capability, FW 800's gains were a bit modest, and eSATA's speed gain over FW800 was even more modest). Thirdly: I've heard that Firewire is actually capable of doing better than it does, and that Apple's implementation of it is not the best and it could be improved. Being how they're the leading Firewire vendor for computers (motherboards, anyway), is it possible that I'd get better FW transfer speeds from a PCIe card? I don't know how valid that claim was, so this is kind of a shot in the dark. And as a final question, I do photography and video editing (HD and SD), and I've been wondering about the best solution for a monitor. Price is an issue, but I'm looking at the NEC 2490WUXi and the ACD 23", in addition to HP, Dell, and Samsung 30" offerings. (Also thinking about an Eizo, but they don't seem to be using IPS panels, and more expensive to boot). Also thinking about getting a Matrox MXO eventually to go with a second monitor for really accurate video monitoring, if I decide that a wide gamut monitor isn't flexible enough to suit my needs. Any opinions about the monitors?