OMG- people RAID O makes it less reliable over time. Let me give you an example, if the reliability failure of one hard drive over three years is 5%, then having two drives gives you approximately 10%. It's governed by the following equation for RAID 0
MTTF (mean time of failure for group apprx. 10%) = MTBF(mean time between failure of one disk)/(# 0f disks in drive array.). The previous answer needs to refer back to the difference between RAID 0 (Speed but not reliability) vs RAID 1 (Mirroring across two drives, not speedy).
Raptors have faster access times than other drives, but SSDs are about 50X faster yet again. RAID 0 doesn't really do anything to improve access times. For booting and starting applications (tasks where access times are important) going to an SSD would give you a significant improvement.
For tasks that are more dependent on transfer rates (example: reading and writing large files quickly as in editing video or large RAW files from digital cameras), RAID 0 can bring raptors close to the performance of an SSD, and you'd probably not notice that much difference.
I have run both configurations - Raptors in Raid 0 and X25 SSD's and the SSD on average beat the Raptors - handily. In some usages (isolated benchmarks) the Raid 0 Raptors get close to the SSD, but with the other uses the SSD pulls way out in front. Other than cost, I would recommend the SSD.
Yes I agree that RAID 0 puts you at higher risk for a failure (I have done numerous MTBF calcs on storage systems) - but drives are so reliable nowadays that I would not use that as a reason to avoid RAID 0. A single drive can fail and take your data with it too. I always tell everyone to backup stuff they cannot afford to lose and verify the data is good. Drives are the single biggest bottleneck a system has to deal with and anything you do to improve its performance will visibly show up.
That SSD has made such a big difference in my system those two Raptors are sitting on my shelf - probably put them in the kids computer....
Thank you for your input. I have owned the raptors for under two years and I will have seen some studies that show windows boots up twice as fast. However, I will wait until the price comes down to a $1 per GB to buy. Right now, we are at $3 to $5 a GB (Aprox). It will take a couple years but it will happen..