Help deciding how to run my hard drives

I have decided on getting this hard drive:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $69.99

I have 3 options I'm going between:
1) Buy 2 of them and run them in RAID 0 - around $140
2) Buy 3 of them and run 2 in RAID 0 and 1 as a backup - around $210
3) Buy 1 of them and then buy a WD Raptor 74GB 10000RPM and put OS/Games on that HDD and data on the 500GB drive - around $180

Which would you choose? (I'll already be running at least 4GB of RAM)
4 answers Last reply
More about help deciding hard drives
  1. The first thing I would do it switch that from a WD 500 to a WD 640. It's a $5 upgrade and you'll benefit in 2 ways. Obviously the additional space, but the 640's are also faster.

    This wasn't one of your options, but it's what I plan to do. I have 1 640 as a backup drive. I thought about getting another and doing a raid 0, but I have a 150 gig raptor drive as my os/boot drive.

    SSD's are going to be the best option in a few months. I'm waiting until I can get 2 64GB SSD's for $300, which will be around may - june from the look of things. This will get me 4-5 times the read times of my current Raptor drive, as well as tripling my write speeds.

    If you don't want to wait that long, I'd probably go with option #2. I'd recommned getting 3 drives and doing a raid 5, but I've seen benchmarks where performance was significantly hindered with Raid 5 arrays. So the Raid 0 with an additional for backup sounds better.
  2. Get the Raptor and install your OS onto a 20-30GB partition;
    allocate the remainder to a data partition e.g. for archiving
    drive image files of the OS partition.

    Then, get 2 x WD 500GB RE3 HDDs and configure them
    as RAID 0 -- for speed:

    $70/3 year warranty = $23.33 per warranty-year

    $90/5 year warranty = $18.00 per warranty-year

    When you create drive image backups of your OS partition,
    write the output files to the RAID 0, then copy them back
    to the data partition on the OS drive -- for redundancy.

    If you write drive image files to the data partition
    on the OS drive, the read/write armature will thrash
    back and forth -- which will increase the wear on that
    servo mechanism.

    If you can afford it, the WD 150GB VelociRaptor is far superior
    to prior versions of the Raptor e.g.:

  3. Even though that's only a $5 upgrade and easily do-able I just don't have the need for that space. I'm currently running on a 160GB hard drive and only have 80gb used. Is it still worth upgrading to the 640?

    I don't want to wait too long and don't know much about the SSD drives. Even though you use a raptor as a OS/boot drive you recommend getting the WD 500gb in RAID 0, why is that?
  4. Any other opinions? Keep budget in mind.
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