I got bored posting negative comments about the lack of Mac Pro updates and on a little bit of a whim just picked up a refurb 8-core 2.66 (standard spec) from the Apple web-store. Hopefully it should arrive in the next couple of days so I'm starting to plan how I am going to set it up the internal storage and what I might be able to do in terms of upgrade a little down the line. I decided not to go for the hardware raid card from the outset - keeping that off the spec sheet allowed me to jump up from the 4 core to the 8 core so I figure in the long term I'll have a better system as I can always add a bit more memory or a raid card later on if I feel the system lacking in any area. Likewise upgrade the GPU - but I'm sure that even the current stock version will be an improvement of the the performance from my 128GB ATI card my old G5! My day to day usage will be around the following apps in order of priority and level of usage. Aperture (and some light Photomatix/Photoshop) Autocad (via Windows XP Parallels) & Google Sketchup/IDX Renditioner iMovie - To be upgraded to FCP when SL optimised version is released. Logic Studio - hobby use only. Handbrake - main reason I wanted 8 cores I'm hoping to avoid using BootCamp and just run everything Windows wise off a Virtual machine. I know it won't be the fastest, but it is usable just about on my MPB so I figure it should be markedly quicker on the MP. I don't bother with games so don't much need the raw GPU performance of native Windows. Anyhow, here is my plan: Storage:I intend to bin the 640Gb drive that comes with it and install 4 * 1.5Tb drives. I have 4 * 1.5 Tb Seagate HDs waiting to be installed. These are the same ones that had all the issues when they came out and required a firmware to fix. They have been sitting in a spare Drobo waiting to have the firmware flashed - but as I had no SATA PC or Intel Mac Pro could not do it until now!...(How do they perform after the firmware update are the stable once updated?) Will software raid 10 be "enough" or is is there a way to mix and match the Raid sets e.g. Raid 10 for OS/Apps partition and Raid 0 for data? I'm thinking Raid 10 which should give me about 2.7TB usable or Raid 0 which would be a bit faster and give me almost twice the capacity. I already have a Lacie 4Big 6TB and 3 Drobo Bays (6Tb, 4Tb and 2Tb) that I can also use for Backup - I backup to 2 CronoSync + Time Machine as it is so unless drive failures were a regular occurrence I could probably get away with the Raid 0 model if they could be mixed. I'm not a big fan of having multiple partitions as I hate a cluttered desktop ....... strange reason I know, but there you go. So I need to decide how to RAID/Partition the drives for best usability/performance. GPU Upgrade: GTX 285 or ATI 4870 - Which is best for the apps below? Either more stable than the other? Memory: I'll have 6*1GB stock. My plan was to upgrade this with 2*2Gb in the short term to give me 10GB. Then when funds allow replace the 1Gb modules with additional 4*4Gb modules to take it up to 20GB so as to keep the triple channel. Taking the marginal memory hit of dual channel performance seems to make more sense in the short term rather than go 6*2 as a stepping stone memory upgrade path. Anyway, after all that rambling, any advice on raid/partitions and possible tweaks/upgrades welcome. Cheers!