Hello guys and gals! I have a few questions, I didn't know whether to post in the MacPro area or here but since it is mostly about buying strategies I decided it'd be best to post here. First of all, my new boss just happened to have been an old friend and she is a HUGE mac lover and she is coming into our mostly PC only world here at work. She has decided to start a division of the company that was based specifically for the purpose of making our software Mac and Palm compatible. In the end after a week long discussion with the owners they decided to just start a similar company with the specific above goals listed. Now, this is where the question comes in. I will be moved from the first company to the new forming company to be an assistant to the new manager in the Mac friendly community and we will be purchasing several Macs but 1 is going to be a special purchase. She knows I like to play games when I am not working and knows I do side projects apart from work and games. The MacPro that will be ordered for me will actually be my personal property and not company property which is a favor they will do for me for taking the jump from a fast moving company to a new environment where there may be alot of learning to be had as well as a slower pace to start off with. They want me to learn all I can about the mac from all angles and be the person who was the windows convert so I can rant and rave about the cool new macs. It will be an 8 core 3.0Ghz mac pro. Question 1: Is it better to just get 1 gig of ram from the apple store and order an additional 4 or 8 from the crucial store or get it in the BTO option on the apple website. Question 2: Because it will be for side projects, games and work, I want 512 min for my video card memory. Is it best to get 4 individual 256 cards and will that even increase my computer game play and other projects/work or are those 4 cards just intended for multi monitor support. I want to make sure what I get will last many years because it is going to be my personal comp as well after 1yr with the new company. The second part of the same question is, if the 4 cards don't actually work together to give me 1 solid gig of video memorty is it best to just go with a 512 card over 4 256 cards or the possible 2 radeon 512 cards (I will be getting 1 monitor to start and a 2nd if the rumored new monitors come out) Question 3: Is it gonna be easier to go with a standard 250 gig HD and get a 2nd 500gig from frys or another store that has the same options/speed for a cheaper price? Question 4: Is it best to buy a Mac Cinema HD display or to go with a cheaper monitor from another vendor. - Reguardless of whether I get the Mac display or a 3rd party monitor, I will still be getting the rumored 24" new Mac display that I have been reading about here when the thing becomes available. Now that has all been said and done. Toss this into the mix of things. I am in school as well as working full time and a 2nd part time job among playing games. I do qualify for the education discount but don't know what % discount it gives or if there is a cap on the price of the discount. If I get a mac with all these options: Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 4GB (4 x 1GB) 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI) Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel) .Mac Applecare it comes out to $6,570.95 Or, Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 8GB (8 x 1GB) 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s 4 x NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel) .Mac Applecare $7,770.95 I do want 8 gig's but could settle for 4 and want 1gig of vid memorty but can do with 512 if that is the best option. (I'll be running a max of 2 monitors but want super performance both at work and in game) Anyway, education discount vs buying items cheaper from crucial or other companies, which option is best. Thank you for your time reading and the input you can give on this situation. As a final note, the reason I am trying to get the cheapest route is the company approved a $5,000 purchase but also has given me a $3,000 allowance on computer equipment/upgrades and I want to try to save some of that allowance for a mouse and some software.