I am building a computer now and I am in serious doubt about which hard drives to buy. I have decided to buy two 160Gb SATA hard drives. I will then arrange those drives in a RAID 0 array. The problem is that I don’t know which hard drives I should buy. I think the most reasonable option is to buy tow exactly equal hard drives (i.e. same brand). Is that rationale correct? Would you have another suggestion?
I have been checking hard drive prices and they are fairly similar, so that didn’t help me decide which brand I should buy. Below, I have a list of the hard drives I am considering (as mentioned before, I will buy two of these; initially of the same brand), what would you recommend me to buy? (Just as a note, those are all 160Gb, 7200RPM, SATA, 8Mb buffer)
Same manufacturer is not necessary, but I've been told by many people that cache size should be identical and you shouldn't mix drives that support different bus rates (ATA100 and ATA133 at once) on the same card, but that doesn't affect you since you're using SATA. The major difference other than cache size would be the physical positions of the connectors on the back, but only if you're using hard drive enclosures that attempt to plug the drive into a backplane directly and don't have a way of adjusting for connector positions. (I assume you're not since you have a small RAID setup, but nevertheless that is a concern when using non-scsi drives.)
Also, I don't think it will matter much which drives you get since a 2-drive RAID is fast enough to push the limits of the PCI bus if the performance scales to double like it theoretically should w/ a "perfectly designed" controller. (I suppose that's for sequential ops though, random reads/writes will still improve I think with many more drives even on 32-bit PCI.)