I'm new to the forums. I'm trying to put together my first system since 3 years. A lot has changed since the last time I played with hardware. So please excuse my inexperience.
I'll mainly use the computer to develop websites, but I like trying many things like installing Linux distros and even some content creation. I don't mind gaming either, but anything I choose is better than what I currently have (60GB at 4200 RPM; yep, I'm playing games on a 3 year old notebook).
For storage, I've come up with two options. The first is to use a 150GB raptor for system and program files and a 400GB caviar to store my files. The two drives would be seperate (i.e.: no raid), just like the IDE days. ($510)
The other option is to go with two 400GB caviar drives in a raid 0 configuration. This option costs less and gives me more storage. ($420)
1. Which one would you recommend and why?
2. Is drive failure a real concern if I go with the second option (raid 0)?
I've never had a drive failure in my life!
3. Is on board raid good enough for the second option or do I need anything else?
The motherboard I chose is the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe. Here is what newegg has to say about its storage capabilities: P ATA: 2 x ATA100 up to 4 Devices SATA II: 6 S ATA RAID: NV RAID 0/1/0+1 JBOD Additional RAID Controller: Sil 3132
you have successfully encountered the dilemma that i'm sure just about everyone on here has gone through when building a new comp.
my suggestion- buy 3 HDs if your case will permit, and you can probably save money that way.
running everything from raid would give you excellent performance, no doubt, BUT in the event that the raid gets knocked out of array (due to user stupidity... i speak from personal experience) you lose a whole lot of stuff.
however, raptors are unhealthily expensive for the performance increase, and they have failure rates i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy (just look through reviews on newegg to see how many had to be rma'd). However not having anything in raid pretty much guarantees data integrity.
to make a long story short, raid 2 drives for optimal performance at a great price, then invest in a 3rd hard drive (internal or external) to store the most valued of your data...