RAID advice

Ok, I have read the rad FAQ sticky and it was very helpful, but I would like some advice as I am a noob who has never used RAID ---

I want to get four 300GB SATA HDDs and set them up to get increased speed as well as be able to have any drive fail without losing anything. Should I use RAID 5 or RAID 0+1 and what would be the cons of each.

Also, if I read the sticky correctly, when using either you will have a total usable capacity that is over half of the total physical capactiy. How can you have complete data protection if you don't have the same amount of backup space as file storage??

Please let me know if im not making any sense, again this is all new to me.
Any help much appreciated.
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More about raid advice
  1. Raid5 uses one drive for parity, well actually one drives capacity over all drives in the array, that way if one drive fails, parity info on all the others will allow the rebuild. Whenever you mirror you loose half the capacity so a Raid10 will have 600gig of the 1200 total whereas the raid5 will have 900 (approx).

    I have 4 320's in raid5 off a highpoint 2320 and it's almost as fast as reading compared to my 2 drive 250 raid0, write's are slower however and bursts are slower by a relatively large amount. Not terribly noticable unless you use synth benches though.

    I would go raid5 if you really want the capacity. If a few milliseconds of speed are more important go raid10. And don't do raid 5 with windows built in raid or cheap raid controllers, xor processors are very important for raid5 calculations and software will just slow it down a lot!
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