Combining two (slightly) different drive models for RAID 5

Hi, I am building a new computer, and I am looking for a HD solution that is cost-effective, reliable, and high-capacity. From my research, RAID 5 is a pretty good compromise. I've considered 10k RPM Raptor drives, but they are considerably more expensive and, as far as I know, are not failsafe. I've also considered RAID 0, but this is probably too risky for my primary drive. So, my plan is to go RAID 5 with three fairly low-cost 250GB drives, for a total 500GB capacity. Do you believe this is a good choice?

If so, here's my main question. I already have one drive, a 250GB Western Digital (WD2500KS). I would assume that, ideally, RAID setups should use the same 3 drives. However, searching for this drive on Newegg, I could only find the WD2500AAKS. This is also a 250GB WD drive that seems very similar, and to be honest, I don't know exactly what is different, but I do know that they are not exactly the same. Does this matter? Can I get two of these drives and save myself the cost of the third, or would I be safer simply purchasing three of these? If I can reuse my existing drive, should I set it as the parity drive (if I can even choose this), or would it really not make a difference at all?

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  1. Why not just do RAID 1 (mirror) and get two 500s ( which are $2 more each than the 250s you found and keep the current 250 as extra space?
  2. Good point. I originally thought RAID 5 had the speed advantages of RAID 0 with extra failsafe measures, but it looks like it's actually slower with write speed than RAID 1, making it much less attractive. Since speed is actually a higher priority for me than failure prevention, I may actually just go with RAID 0, using my USB HD to backup frequently. This would also be the cheapest since, ideally, I'll only have to purchase a single 250GB HD. Do you think that using a WD2500KS and WD2500AAKS together for RAID 0 will work well?
  3. Best answer
    It should work fine; make sure you have a good RAID card and/or soft RAID on your mobo.
  4. Best answer selected by theBNich.
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