You raise several issues that are worth having a look at.
Currently there is still a very attractive offer from Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an attractive price, valid till January 31-st. If you consider using that offer, then there is no sense in moving the pagefile, since Win8 will make a pagefile on C: if there is ever a system failure, even though you have defined a static pagefile on another drive, so while your idea of relocating the pagefile to another drive is a sound idea with Win7, it no longer holds for Win8.
Using an SSD as a boot device makes a lot of sense, since it significantly reduces boot time and program loading, if you opt for a good non-Sandforce based SSD, like the Corsair Neutron GTX, Kingston HyperX, Plextor M5 Pro or Samsung 840 Pro.
You don't mention whether the slots for disk drives are 3.5" or 5.25" slots. You only mention having space for 6 drives internally. If these slots are 5.25"slots, then you can easily increase the number of drive bays by using 5-in-3 or 3-in-2 drive cages and avoid the cost of external storage and PSU.
The WD (Caviar Black?) disks are only suitable for striped or mirrored raid arrays, not for parity raids. Only (WD RE4) Enterprise disks are suitable for parity raids. You also realize that Velociraptors run pretty hot and are not faster than for instance the Seagate 7200.14 series, with lower $/GB. Heat can become a problem when your case gets fully populated and using hot Velociraptors. An external raid5 solution only makes sense if you can use a SFF-8088 cable, but that requires a dedicated raid controller. Using eSATA, Gb ethernet or USB3 is just too slow for an external solution.
You forgot to mention what other components you have, what CPU, how much memory, what video card, which mobo. That may impact suggestions for your situation.
Tnx for the quick and extensive reply. I'll try answering to the best of my abilities:
- I'll look into upgrading to Win8, seems fair price though i'm not sure what my gain would be other than pagefile difference.
- There's 6 3,5" slots and 1 3,5" external slot on top of the pc-case. I also have 1 5,25" bay available that's not used by bluray/dvd writers.
- hdd's are actually 4 times Samsung Spinpoint F3. Remembered this one wrong as I usually buy WD drives.
Other hardware is right now:
i7 920 (used to be OC'd to 3,6ghz)
X58a-UD3R motherboard -- potentially broken, getting many bsod's (memory management and system service exception) on cold boot even @ stock settings. Doing memtest now to determine if ram is the problem or not.
If motherboard is indeed faulty (been reading up on x58a-ud3r having cold boot issues) then I'll likely go for 3770K and MSI Z77A-GD80 with 32gb of ram (4x8)
So are you saying I should do my drives:
disk 1 - Corsair Neutron GTX 256GB - OS and system programs and pagefile
disk 2 - Velociraptor - Media Cache
disk 3 to 6 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 in raid ??
Downpoint of that would be that I still wouldn't gain any extra harddisk space. Though maybe I should just upgrade all of the Samsung hdd's for bigger and better models and put all 4 spinpoints in external enclosures as backup storage.