Okay, as the title suggest I'm a gamer and have 5 empty hard drive bays I'd like to fill with a raid array of some kind - I'd like to fill all the slots with 2.5" drives to keep air moving across the array and through the case (I basically have a push pull config around the drive bay move air throughout the system) I'd like some kind of redunt raid array, not raid 0, a suggested (not to expensive) raid controller (is hardware or software raid better? either way I don't want the array running off the motherboard controller) and some kind of suggested external back up.
to be totally honest there is no reason for the array, it holds a steam libraray, some music and movies - nothing important. I just want to do it for the experience!
the motherbd usually has a 'good enough' raid controller onboard but software raid tends to be better than these cheap implementations. A true hardware raid controller is a few hundred bucks typically with better ones costing more.
For what youo want to do I would use whats onboard - See how many drives yours supports and which raid modes and go from their.