Let me start with, what I'm going to be using this beast for in the first place. I'm a graduate student working on my Masters in Architecture. I basically live in MAYA, Photoshop, and until a stable version of Rhino comes out for the Mac, I use Fusion to run XP to run Rhino. I have files ranging from Kbs to GBs. So I need rendering power, a ton of RAM, and serious storage. I have lost data before and I have no intention of that happening again so data redundancy / reliability is important to me. And the Mac Pro offers 4 bays of storage space. So this beast is ideal, but I'm also a college student and its not cheep. I'm planning on a 3.0Ghz 8-core. I have been doing tech support on macs for years so installing 3rd party RAM and Drives, is not a problem towards cutting costs. Initially I was thinking 2- 750Gb Raid0 and 2-1.5TB Raid1 Which would give me a 1.5TB OS partition and the other would be a mirrored Time machine. But my concern is if i rely on the OS built in software Raid I will take a big hit in performance. So I have been considering a Raid card and going Raid5 across all 4. I have no problems with installing / wiring a raid card, its really the $800.00 figure from apple that is holding me back. I am having trouble finding a 3rd party Raid card that guarantees Mac Pro compatibility. So any advice on that would be nice and or any thought on performance of using the OS software raid. I know the machine can support a ton of Ram but how many GBs of Memory does one really need. I am assuming 6 or 8 GB for what I am doing, any thoughts on this would also be appreciated.