To RAID or Not to RAID?
Personal RAID storage is a hot topic—even somewhat controversial. Theoretically RAID 0 offers better performance, but at the cost of increased risk: If one of the two drives fails, you lose your data. RAID 1 offers redundancy and protection, but you only get half the capacity of the two combined drives.
What if you could do both, with just a single pair of drives? As it turns out, you can, if your motherboard is based on Intel’s 900 series chipset. The RAID-enabled version of Intel’s latest I/O controller hub, ICH6R, lets you use two drives to set up both a RAID 0 array and a RAID 1 array.
This makes a lot of sense. Serial ATA drive capacities are at 300GB and more. Unless you’re editing massive video files, a 600GB RAID 0 array makes little sense. And tying up two 300GB drives to get a sin-gle, 300GB RAID 1 array may be overkill for most users. On the other hand, many users are editing digital photographs and creating DVDs from DV camcorder content, which makes RAID 0 useful, but they can also appreciate the security of RAID 1’s redundancy.
We’ll show you how to create a mixed RAID array setup from two drives. We’ll also suggest strategies for boot drives and sizing the array. But first, let’s move on to the nuts and bolts of setup.