After doing a hefty amount of research, I'm fairly certain that I understand how RAID-5 works and what I need to get it working. I only have 2 more questions:
1) When a motherboard says that it supports RAID, does it mean that it has a hardware RAID controller on the motherboard? If so, how do I find out what the features and limitations are? Most motherboard tech specs don't go into detail as to what exactly the RAID capability consists of. If there are any motherboards anyone would like to recommend, please do so.
2) What determines how many disks I can connect? I don't want to use an external controller/housing so is it limited by the number of disks my motherboard can connect? If someone could explain exactly how the connecting works on a hardware level, I would appreciate it. What I mean is - how many disks can I connect and how do I go about doing so? Are there specific RAID connectors on the motherboard? Does each drive go into its own port? etc.