Before anyone can answer your questions you have to provide information as to why you want to have a RAID array in the first place. What is your goal? It might be a good idea for you to read about RAID configurations as chances are greater than not you don't need a RAID setup.
RAID 0 - striping: is taking the data across all the disks, you get the storage space of the sum of both disks (both disks should be the same size) and they will appear to you as one huge disk. BUT that means that if one of the drive fails you lose EVERYTHING on ALL the drives that participated in the RAID. If your OS was on that RAID it means that you cannot use your computer until you buy a new drive and rebuild the whole PC from scratch. It will give you slightly faster write times (or is it read times) but that is mostly only noticeable for database applications.
RAID 1 - Mirroring: It takes one disks and continnually copies data to the other disk(it is actually a little more complicated than this but you get the point). You get the space of only ONE of the two disks, the other disk you will never "see", until you have a failure that is. If you lose ONE disk the other kicks in and you continue working happily. You will get a nasty message telling you that you need to replace a drive but you lose no data.
I agree with Ozy666 if you dont have a reason to want RAID dont use it. You always have the option of just connecting the drive to your PC and having it as a second drive for data, with NO RAID at all. You would have a C: and a D: drive (though the letters can change). You can put data on the D and your OS and apps on the C (this is the most common solution).
raid 0 is overrated w/ home setups...the speed gain is VERY small, please look up raid before you decide to run a raid setup. As posted above, just having a 2 hdd setup would be the best solution, put your OS/Apps/Games on one HDD and your Data/Pictures/Music/Movies etc on another. Also, put your paging file on a seperate HDD than what your OS is installed.
raid 1 is only needed if you have sensitive data that needs to be mirrored/backed up incase of primary hard drive failure, in which case you can turn to your mirrored drive.
Raid 1 really doesn't make ANY sense for home use. Keyword, home use. You're wasting hard drive space. If failure was such a big concern, buy a 100 pack of 4.7G DVDs for $15 or so (gives you almost 500 Gigs) , and make a backup of all your data, throw it in the closet and then happily use Raid 0 or no raid.
However, whether to use RAID 0 or no raid is a more pertinent question. You could certainly use the 2 disks as:
- 2 independent disks
- JBOD - It'll make the drives appear as a single drive to your OS, and the data is not striped or anything. When one of the HDDs gets filled up, the system starts writing on the other one. Performance is no better or worse than a single hard drive.
- RAID 0 - Data gets striped to the drives. That's for BOTH reads and writes. WHile the Write performance is slightly higher for RAID 0 vs a single drive, it's the read performance that's more of interest. Take a look at this.
This is an example of a benchmark test for RAID 0 vs a single hard drive. I'd say, if performance is not a factor, don't bother with RAID, and if it is, RAID 0 may not be a bad idea for HOME use combined with DVD backups, which are dirt cheap.
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