Hello to all, I haven't posted in a while but I would need everyone's input as I really need to upgrade my work station to a more recent offering. My job is writing music, a lot of it and on a daily basis (Digital Performer 5 / Mach Five 2 / Sibelius 5 and some other apps / plug-ins). However, with the current state of the music industry, it's just very hard to get paid for almost anything (past performing live when I play keyboards for local acts) and my budget is extremely low at the moment. Anyway, my current setup: 2003 G4 MDD Dual 1.25Ghz (FW400) / Ram: 2 Go DDR SDRAM (maxed out) / Bus: 167Mhz 4 Internal Hard Drives -> 1) Western Digital 320 Gigs + 2) Western Digital 320 Gigs (both for samples) 3) Seagate 500 Gigs (to work on my music) 4) Seagate 500 Gigs (For system purpose -> OS9 + Tiger + Leopard) 1 External Hard Drive -> Lacie FW800 500 Gigs (to archive / call certain projects) AGP: ATI RADEON 9000 (OEM) plugged into two monitors (Dual Link DVI) PCI: Sonnet USB X4 PCI: Sonnet Firewire X4 PCI: OWC Firewire 800 Card In terms of the audio, I have a legacy MOTU 828Mk1 that has served me well for a long time but it's time for a change. In terms of MIDI, many boxes, Kbds... --------------------------------------------- So what ??? Since I've started using Mach Five 2 (MOTU) under Leopard, it takes a very long time to load certain samples and I'm limited by the maximum memory of the machine (2 Go) when it comes to running a certain number of sample synths or just samples. In other words, it's become harder and harder to deliver a decent quality product with my setup. :-( Seems I'm facing three choices right now: a) Realistic / Affordable choice -> I build myself a decent Hackintosh (not comparable in power to a Mac Pro but always more powerful than my G4) for around $1200-$1500 but with no real guarantee regarding music hardware compatibility. :-( b) Unrealistic choice -> a Mac Pro (even with the Education discount... you're looking at $4200 + taxes for the top of the line model + the extra RAM + SATA HDs, etc...) c) Unwilling Choice / "Been There, Done That" -> Plunge $600 into a Sonnet MDDX Upgrade (Dual 1.8 Ghz) @ OWC but this won't resolve the 2 Go Ram issue. However, this will probably resolve some other issues (been there, done that -> this G4 MDD is my third mac and they've been all maxed out via the Sonnet way... ahh I should own Sonnet shares !). (I also thought of getting a used Quad G5 / Power Mac on Ebay but, for the same price, a Hackintosh is not too far off). --------------------------------------------- Besides "what would you do if you were me ?", I'd appreciate if there's another artist / musician on those boards who built himself / herself a Hackintosh. Please share your experience when it comes to running external boxes like a MOTU828 or even a MOTU Timepiece Interface. Thank you for your input, Andrew.