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RAID 3 is actually best for video.
However, you'll only really need a RAID if working with Uncompressed footage. Modern hard drives are more than adequate for current camera formats.
You might want to reconsider that (wikipedia):
i Raid 3
i Striped set with dedicated parity or bit interleaved parity or byte level parity. This mechanism provides an improved performance and fault tolerance similar to RAID 5, but with a dedicated parity disk rather than rotated parity stripes. The single parity disk is a bottle-neck for writing since every write requires updating the parity data. One minor benefit is the dedicated parity disk allows the parity drive to fail and operation will continue without parity or performance penalty.
That aside, which raid to use doesnt really address my question: does premiere largely do read or writes?
I would suppose it depends on which part of the process your on.
Obviously during capture, its going to be mostly all write. During
editing, it will need to read the file but writing is specific to points
in time, such as pre-rendering, or exporting. I imagine reads and writes
are happening in the project file to record markers for your editing
actions, but this is not a processor intensive flood of data by any means.
And, as already stated, unless your working in HD, the speed factor is
not really a concern.
>The single parity disk is a bottle-neck for writing since every write requires updating the parity data.
In a server environment, with hundreds if not thousands of transactions per second, that would be a factor. But with very large blocks of read/write data, RAID 3 is the way to go.
The answer to your question is that it won't matter much. Premiere does a lot of both, and both specs on modern drives far exceed the capabilities Premiere requires for most camera formats.
I work with multitrack audio more than video, and I remember when external HD's first came out we were all wondering if they'd be fast enough to handle 32 or more tracks of audio and whether or not USB or Firewire was the best way to go. At first Firewire was faster but USB soon caught up. As it turns out though, external/internal, firewire/USB--none of it really mattered. They all worked fine most of the time.
I would concern myself more the the amount of cashe there is on a HD than it's speed. Any drive with at least 8mb of cashe and at least 7200 RPMs will be fine. A lot of the newer SAT drives have a 16mb cashe and 10000 RPMs. I wouldn't even waste my time looking at the specs for the seek time and so forth with these new drives.