2 hard drives - Raid 0, 1, or OS drive and Application drive

I just received a new Dell XPS 8100 desktop. For $10 more it came loaded with two identical 750gb 7200 rpm hardrives. My system is going to be for a little bit of everything ie: webserfing, games, quicken, photo editing, etc. Space isn't really a concern since I didn't max my previous system that had a 160gb HD. I work with servers so I know the difference between between the raid types. What you guys recommend for a home system, raid 0, raid 1 or an OS drive and application drive?

PS. The controller card is some sort of built in Intel controller card that supports Intel Rapid Storage Configuration software.
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  1. Assuming that you backup your data regularly,

    RAID 0 will give you some additional performance, in theory. But no fault tolderance. Also requires a fresh install from what I have read.

    RAID 1 would give you hardware fault tolerance, which is less likely than software problems, which this wouldn't protect you from. Not sure if you would need to reinstall the OS. However you lose 750GB of usable space.

    Leave it as is... gives you two seperate drives, one for storage which you could use more effectively, like storing backups of your OS (Ghost, Acronis etc) which gives you redundancy and the same usable space as R0.

    I guess I would go with option 3. Use the second drive for non-critical storage and backups of the first drive.
  2. Thanks for reply. I've already broken the array and played around using raid 0 and 1. I'm trying to determine if the 'real world' performace gain by using raid 0 is worth the increase risk of HD failure. I'm not running any mission critical applications for my home. :) However if the performance gain is insignificant then there is no reason to take the increased risk.
  3. If you choose to benchmark the performace difference I would be very interested to see the results. Cheers.
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