Re 970 vs 980, there is really not much difference in cost or overclocking potential; so, get whatever you feel is the best "deal" when you are making your actual purchase.
Regarding the Asus P6T6 WS Revolution, I would not get that board without assurance that someone has it with an Areca 1880 board; that board uses a NF200 chip to gain more PCIe slots and I've heard reports of the Areca cards not performing well when a NF200 is present (or at least is a problem with some motherboards).
You do not need dual LAN.
For backing up your Boot OS/programs drive, get a "drive imaging" program (ShadowProtect, Ghost, etc.) to make a restorable image of your drive onto another drive in your PC, on your LAN, or connected with a USB/firewire/eSata external port. Very useful!
Finally, with a 8-drive Areca, why not just build one big array and put everything on it. It may not be the absolutely fastest option, but it sure is convenient, reliable, and pretty darn fast.
why do you think you need such a big drive array?
is it for redundacy?
Thanks for the responses you guys.
Putting the drives on one array doesn't cause any push/pull conflicts does it? (ie. scratch disks, data, rendered files) I see where folks use four drives, 2 each in raid -0. I like the idea of that speed but the lack of redundancy scares me. Of course maybe there is a back up solution that I am just not clear on.
As far as the size of the array goes I guess it is merely a clear case of "raid envy". I am still in the DV world but just trying to be prepared incase HD is in my future. To your point though I guess I can always add drives at a later time. Save money. The wife will like that.
>confused about backing up my OS drive.
Many programs work... the one I use runs off of a bootable CD (created by the program) so it runs completely outside your usual boot software
a few comments.
1) rarely does it make financial sense to build out a system on the hope you may one day use all its potential. chances are by the time you get there its time for an upgrade anyway.
2) you can add a few drivers later for 2 sets raid 0 (more than good enough for most) and very affordable.
3) if and thats a big if you need a large raid array you can always add it later as well
4) just because you have a parity raid does not mean thats it, you still should back it up externally. all it takes is 2 drives to fail or hit by a power spike etc to take out your data.
i have an internal raid 6 (allows for 2 drives to fail) then its backed up to a NAS (network storage) which is raid 5. then when we remember its also backed up to a 2TB ext drive.
5) you can back up your data to an ext drive very easy
as far as your OS same thing there are numerous programs, we use Paragon, Acronis is another good one. both will allow you to do automated incremental back ups after you make your first image.