Hello All, I’m about to pull the trigger on a BTO 8 core Mac Pro, that I’ve been waiting on for quite some time now. I’m starting a business shortly with some friends in Los Angeles. I’ll be heading up the post-side of things. I specialize in Compositing and Visual Effects (Nuke, After Effects) and editing using FCP or Avid in my spare time. I’m also playing with Maya these days. I’ll also be setting up bootcamp to install / run windows 7 on the same machine. Btw, I’m fairly tech savvy, and confident with computers. For the most part, customization is not too much of a daunting task for me. Processor replacement gets me a little anxious though (more on that in a bit). I’m aware there are similar posts of this nature, however I do have a few specific notes and questions that I'd appreciate ANY help with. Thank you in advance. Here’s my basic configuration: Two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 8GB (4x2GB) 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB One 18x SuperDrive Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi Card with 802.11n Country Kit Cart subtotal $6,418.00 Free Shipping Shipping $0.00 Estimated tax $625.76 Order total $7,043.76 – FROM APPLE’s Site w/No Discounts applied. I’ve found the exact same config. for $6290.10 I'm using the money saved on components from OWC, I’ll be buying this (or something similar based on your advice / reccs). 1x 2.0TB Hitachi 7K2000 7200RPM SATA I/II HD with 32MB Cache, 3yr Warranty – $279.99 1x 1.0TB Hitachi E7K1000 "Saturn" Enterprise-Class 7200RPM SATA I/II HD, 32MB Cache, 5yr Warrantry – $137.99 1x VIDIA GeForce GTX 285 High Performance PCI-Express Video Card for the Mac Pro – $459.00 1x 8.0GB Mac Pro Early 2009 Memory Matched Set (2GB x 4) PC-8500 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM Modules – $209.99 Grand Total: $1095.92 Onto the fun questions. 1) If I’m considering RAID’ing the internal drives, do each of the physical drives need to be the same size? I was originally planning on 4x 1 TB Hitachi drives. However, the 2 TB version has just been released. Has anyone used these yet? If I were to raid the internal drives, and leave the OS’s on the SSD (see below) would I be able to read / write to the RAID from Mac AND Windows? Finally, what type of raid is recommended? Bearing in mind that I’ll be running Time Machine back-ups, externally, so redundancy is not all that important to me. 2) I’ll be adding on a blu ray burner to this system, as I’ve got plenty of old projects that need to be archived. I’ve found the following two shops to purchase from, both have 8x write speeds and seem otherwise fairly similar. Can anyone please shed some light as to which one might be better? http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/...XMPE2009&Category_Code=STORBD&Product_Count=1 http://store.fastmac.com/product_info.php?cPath=10_2_52&products_id=426 3) I watched an amazing 24 drive RAID SSD video recently, and was floored by the performance. I think that swayed me into purchasing an SSD for Snow Leopard as well as Windows 7. What’s the difference b/w MLC and SLC? Also, I’ve done some research that leads me to believe that the new Intel SSD’s are the way to go. I’m looking for at least 160GB, however the prices I’m seeing $600+ are a little hard to stomach. 4) I’ve been dead set on the GTX285 for a while now, will this be good for high end compositing on the Mac side AS WELL AS gaming on the Windows side? 4b) I’ve seen recent posts about getting the ATI4890 to work with the Mac Pro. Should I be considering this route? How does this card stack up against the GTX285? 5) Finally, I’ve read that a few users have actually managed to install Intel’s latest chips, 3.2 Ghz into their systems. Obviously, this isn’t for the faint-hearted. How much work would be involved? I imagine the cost of the new processors alone would be prohibitive.