hi all, not being an expert on computers, i need your excellent input please. i have searched & read the forums for almost a week now, and could still not find the final answers to my questions. i apologize in advance if i'm duplicating another thread here...your advice will be very much appreciated! goal: i want to have a fast&reliable setup for my photography work. my usage details: wedding & portrait photography, (i.e.processing 2,000+ images for a wdg) .mostly on lr3; i typically work on 20-30 images from that batch in ps cs4(have a bunch of 32-bit plugins that are not yet ready for cs5 yet, once they upgrade, i'll be on exclusively on cs5) and cs5. i don't do much video, and don't plan to. i have been on a fast mbp 17 for the past year, hitting it pretty hard. recently upgraded to a mac pro(my geek self is very happy about that, my wallet, not so much current hardware setup: mp nehalem quad-core 2.8ghz, 16g ram 4x 2tb hitachi 7k2000 hdd, 32mb cache, in bays 1-4 1x wd caviar black 1tb, 32mb cache, external enclosure via esata 2x newertech maxpower 6g esata controller i put this together based on diggloyyd's macperformanceguide recommendations. here's how that is: wd 1tb has a 150gig partition for system+apps, currently 70g of that is used. it also has a 200g scratch partition, and the rest is empty,spare space just in case(i aim to keep all disks less than 50% full for optimum speed). 2x 2tb disks dedicated for data, raid-0 (total of 4g) 2x 2tb disks for time machine, raid-1 mirror multiple clones on various ext hdd's for off-site backup, rotated. questions: 1. thinking of getting a 120g owc mercury extreme pro ssd, (i have read that they don't have a fragmentation issue as moct other ssd's, and the price is very attractive as well) to the empty optical drive, and put the system&apps there. that would leave me with ~40g of empty space for scratch/empty space for future expansion+performance. should i use that as scratch, or leave it alone? 2. should i replace the optical drive with another ssd for scratch space? if yes, how big an ssd? i mostly develop within lr, and use a max. of 10-15 layers in ps. a typical psd/tiff in my workflow is 50-80mb, with occasional larger file sizes of 300-400mb. is having the same partition/drive as scratch space for both lr & cs4+cs5 an issue? 3. from what i've read here so far, i'm thinking putting the optical drive in an external enclosure via usb 2.0 or fw should be fine? i do burn cd & dvd for clients on this machine, so i will use it, though certainly not on a daily basis, and speed is not crucial for that job. 4. what do you think of the raid-0 + raid-1 strategy for the internal drives? could they be configured in a better way for my purposes? 5. any other suggestions on the setup in general? as i said, i really don't have much knowledge on this, and have been learning this stuff very recently as i go thank you so much in for your replies and time!