I've been looking into making a fairly serious home studio for myself. I plan on upgrading my computer to the 3Ghz range, a Gig of ram, and need help with choosing a sound card. I would like to have the capability to record multiple tracks simultaneously at 24bit 96khz, specifically for recording drums/percussion. I narrowed the selection to the $600 range and found M-Audio D1010 and FireWire 18/14, Presonus's Fire Pod and Echo's Layla. 1. With a computer setup like that above, would the computer have trouble handling 5-6 tracks simultaneously at 24 bit and 96khz? 2. How does PCI compare with Firewire in handlying audio data? 3. I've only worked with direct input recording on guitars/keyboards, so what do I need to convert XLR cables to 1/4 in? Does a drum recording setup usually use pre-amps? 4. Any recommendations on specific brands for motherboards/ram/processor chips? 5. Would any of these sound cards have conflicts working with Cakewalk's Homstudio XL? 6. Any personal reviews here on the mentioned sound cards? sorry if any of the above are beating a dead horse again and, thanks in advanced for any help.