I know the response to this might be "uh..overkill?" but i'm looking into possibly upgrading my home PC storage "situation" in the near future and have been trying to figure out how i want to do it. Right now i've been basically cobbling harddrives onto my chassis every time i needed new space (and as time went on, these drives doubled in size so some drives are twice as big as others) and i've ended up with basically 7 harddrives and a DVDR in my chassis (it's a big extended case so it fits everything though cooling is problematic at times) with just shy of a terrabyte of disk space (and about half a terrabyte of it used disk space). The disks arn't optimized and arn't in any sort of RAID format and some of them are old enough to have me worried about replacing them so i've been thinking about swapping out the disks with a new storage setup, this time with RAID and some focus on disk speed put into the intial setup.
I know disk subsystems are basically the biggest "lag element" in a system (from bootup to loading anything into RAM) and i know that most disk optimizations wont affect game latency much (since once it's in RAM in a fast GPU, it shouldn't need the disk too often), but i'd like to see if i can minimize of the effect of disk latency from my PC for the next few years (i'm committed to upgrading my GPU every year or two, but not my storage subsystem). So i've been looking at setting up a RAID0 or 5 or even 10 setup in terms of the best speed and it seems like RAID 10 seems to be the best of all worlds (ignoring the hardware cost) but from what i've read on this site and others, the RAID 10 in most systems with 4+ disks doesn't really see much benefit since the PCI card it's all running off of is limited by the 3GB SATAII specs.
I know this means i've gotta be looking at a higher end card so what are everyone's thoughts on the HighPoint RocketRAID 3520? I'm basically looking for a setup that will support 4 disks in RAID 10 (probably 500 gb SATA2 Disks) that will eventually move up to 8 disks total later on in it's existance (when those same disks are dirt cheap and i need more storage space) with as much future-proofing as possible. I want to be able to take this card to the next system i build later on and still have it be viable. I also want it to be able to get as much performance as possible out of an 8 disk RAID10 (probably 2TB logical) disk subsystem. Would this be a good deal or am i throwing down the 400-500 bucks on a controller that wont be worth it? The price is less of an issue (i'll pay half a grand for a great controller provided it really is worth that much) but i cant find alot of reviews on this so i'm just wondering if anyone has experiance with it or with similiar models?
Im not going to tell you that its overkill because i did much the same thing.
I built a dedicated machine as a file server that now sports an Adaptec 3805 with an array ot 5x500gb disk in RAID5 ~2tb loved it ever since i bought it.
That controller you have picked looks good although i would put my trust in Adaptec, Promise, 3Ware or Areca first. I think RAID5 is probably a better option it doesnt loose to much in the way of performance and you wont have as much hard disk space tied up with redundancy (RAID10 4x500gb will be ~1tb whereas RAID5 would be ~1.5tb) I would suggest against using this to install the OS on as it turns into a mess if you ever have to reinstall windows.