This is my first build and would love some clarification on speed and storage configurations.
I use my computer exclusively for adobe apps, mostly premiere (DV and HDV) and photoshop, with some ae in there to ice the cake.
I have obsessively read everything recent on raids and storage configurations and am more confused than when I first started with the idea that a simple 2 disk raid 0 for storage and scratch would give me the performance boost I was looking for.
Here are some answers to your questions for you to consider:
1. Adobe recommends separate disks for each element of the project - what will be best served by a raid0 - scratch or storage? I'm not so concerned with redundancy.
You should consider scrapping Raid 0 because it is not that much faster, and doubles the probability of disk failure with loss of data. Just get some fast hard drives like the Samsung F3 HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The WD Caviar Blacks are OK, but not quite as fast.
2. Will the motherboard raid (intel and jmicron) be useful or do I need a hardware controller?
If you are going to use normal hard drives for Raid, you might as well use the motherboard controller. If you want a robust Raid system, then consider a separate controller with Enterprise class drives (drives made specifically for Raid). But as I said above, I would recommend that you drop Raid completely, and just use fast HDD.
3. Should the OS/app disk be a priority (16mb vs 32mb cache)?
Thanks for the tip on the hard drives, I will consider getting some if I can track some down here in canada.
I guess the cache size on the drive isn't the only factor affecting performance.
I've read here on Tom's that better memory might not make such a big difference in applications like the Premiere. should I be opting for lower timings like 7-7-7-20? Will it make a difference if I've crammed the sockets?