Most RAID guides I find seem to be dated back to 2005 or so and speak of Floppy disks for RAID drivers. Will a new motherboard like the Asus Crosshair IV Extreme really need that? Hasn't the procedure been simplified since then? In short - will I need a dedicated PCI RAID controller to set up a RAID 0 array (and install separate drivers while installing the OS)? Or will I be able to just plug two SATA drives in the above mentioned mobo, set the some BIOS option to merge them and enjoy the speed boost the easy way? Thank you in advance!
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Just a head up its against the forum rules to bump your own post.
To answer your question it depends on the operating system you are installing. Windows 7 and Windows Vista come with alot of RAID drivers, and if you want to load your own drivers you can do that off of USB. Windows XP doesnt include RAID drivers and you will need to put them on a floppy and press F6 during the Windows startup installer to load your own RAID drivers.
You can use your onboard RAID but a dedicated card will give you more performance. Raid 0 wont improve access times but will improve streaming reads and writes.
If you use your onboard RAID, or any RAID for that matter you will have to launch the RAID config utility (Control-I for Intel RAID) and make it a RAID 0 array before installing windows, and you may need to change the BIOS settings for the hard drives from AHCI or IDE to RAID.