Would appreciate any feedback you care to share on my multiple questions below. Background - I have a small consulting company with iMac's in the office, and finally converted to a new MacBook Pro a year ago for my travel laptop. All of these also have either VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop running WinXp VM's due to software needs not supported by Mac. I've been pondering a Server purchase for some time, and just want to stay Mac thought the server will predominantly be used to host VM's running Windows Server or Windows Xp. Have looked at the MacPro and Xserve, leaning towards the new MP. So in no particular order: 1) 8-core vs. 4-core? Was leaning on the 8-core route, but then read the recent MacWorld benchmarking article that said because most software can't utilize the benefit of 8-cores, the 4-core model performed better. So now I'm pondering saving the $800 and going with the 4-core, but upgrading to the 2.93 GHz processor. 2) RAM? I was planning on maxing out the ram, then saw a recent post to MacRumors that said that it has been unofficially determined the new MP 4-core can actually take 16Gb ram instead of Apples published 8Gb. So a) has anyone ever exceeded the ram specs and to what result and b) Apple ram is expensive, so I was looking at OWC and others to buy the ram upgrade, what is your experience with Non-OEM ram? 3) Mac-RAID or not? I will install 3 extra drives, and will probably have 2 in a Raid-1 Mirroring, and 2 as Striped Pair. I also have a slew of other Ethernet drives including a Raid-1 pair, a TimeCapsule, and several 1 Tb drives used for Offsite Backup. My approach to date has basically been a JBOD mess, but I am trying to get some method to a Data Redundancy and Off-site Backup strategy. So Would the Raid card be worth the extra $700? 4) Virtual Machines. I currently run VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop on various machines, but am pondering the Parallels Server version but hesitating on the $1000+ pricetag. I will primarily use the MP to run Windows Server based applications, and will need the Windows Server VM's to have between 1-3 VMs running at any given time. Can I get buy using Fusion or Parallels Desktop for Win Server apps, or should I pony up for the Server version of Parallels? Thanks for any thoughts you can share.