Are there any advantages going with a smaller set of HD's for a RAID 0 main drive? The price is of 2 80gb's is the same as 250's and 2 500's isn't far off. RAID 0 is bad to store files and 100gb is more than enough to store every game I own. Storage will be on another drive set. The 500gb-1TB drives seem to have a higher fail rate with more platters. Many of the higher capacity drives have higher caches though. Is there a sweet spot for Raid-0?
I don't think there's really a speed difference you would see between 2 80's and 2 250's. I would get the 250's just for the extra storage. I think you'll fill up the smaller drives faster than you think. Just my C:\Windows folder is taking up 17.5gb.
There is generally no real world(vs. synthetic transfer rate benchmarks) performance advantage to raid of any kind.
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There are some specific applications that will benefit, but
gaming is not one of them. Even if you have an application which reads one input file sequentially, and writes
it out, you will perform about as well by putting the input on one drive, and the output on the other.
If you can't get a ssd or velociraptor, then I would suggest "short stroking" with a 640gb or larger drive. That is deliberately using only 10% of the large drive's capacity. That puts all your data on the outer 10% of the drive where transfer rates are higher. Seek time is also less because the access arm needs to only traverse a small part of the drive. Short stroking is why you see such impressive boot times in reviews of terabyte sized drives.