I just built a new system.....my 2nd one, so I have a lot to learn. I have a 30 gig OCZ Vertex I'm going to use as a boot drive. I have 2 150 gig velociraptors that I'm going to use in raid0 for everything else. Can I load windows 7 (64 bit) on the ssd and then download my raid drivers and set up my raid or does that have to be done before the os is installed?
I recommend connecting ONLY the SSD to install Windows. If you have any other drives connected then Windows will try to create a "recovery" partition on one of the other drives - that will be the actual boot partition. Most people want the boot partition to be on the same drive as the OS, hence the recommendation to leave the other drives disconnected.
The most important thing to do is to make sure the BIOS is set to AHCI mode (and not "legacy" or "IDE Emulation" mode) before you install. If you do that then you should be able to add the other drives and load the RAID drivers once you've got Windows 7 up and running.
Caveat emptor: I haven't actually set up RAID this way, but I believe it should work. However if someone with real experience has another recommendation then you're probably better off following their advice.
Are you setting up a software raid or a hardware raid? The hardware raid will be better being it doesn't use any CPU time for it. You also don't "need" to install any raid drivers then. Windows will just see it as one big drive.
don't bother with motherboard raid, they are garbage. it also ties your raid group to that motherboad, you cannot move it to another machine without much pain. the only way to get real performance benefits is to use a real raid controller with battery backed write back. the writes get cached in volatile ram and then get commited to your disk.
Well if you don't plan on moving your raid to another machine then they are excellent. This is not a server raid setup that he is doing this is a normal user setup. Raid controllers are not that cheap either for decent ones.
I planned on using the motherboard raid. I don't plan on moving it to another machine. I'm already way over what I planed on spending. It took me 6 months to get the pieces together. It's sitting here ready to go.....all I have to do is load the OS, tweak the ssd and set up the raid.