I've read at least 500 threads on this forum and thank you all for your hard work. I'd like to ask another question, if I may.
I'm setting up a motherboard RAID 0 - my first time setting up RAID. I'd like to avoid a calamity. I've built about 20 computers in my time, so I know the general layout. I've read up on Harm's disk drive threads. I think I have usable hardware, even though the WD 640 GB Caviar Black drives I plan to use as the RAID drives might run afoul of the WDTLER problem in time. I can live with the risk.
1. I have seen, from time to time, mention that a RAID must be set up before installing the OS. This is one question I should resolve before I go any further. My motherboard is an ECS A885GM-A2. You can see I am not a high-end user. Most of my material is 5 minutes or shorter clips of my math students solving problems at a SmartBoard. Nothing too stressful. Also, I plan to transcode my Canon T2i AVCHD clips to Cineform Neoscene intermediate to take some of the burden off the AMD Phenom II 955 BE CPU. Yes, yes - I should be on Intel, but that horse already left the barn.
2. My motherboard has only 5 SATA 6 ports. This means I'll use them all:
a. Samsung Spinpoint F3 for OS
b. (2) WD Caviar Black 640 GB for the RAID 0 pair
c. Older 7200 RPM Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 750 GB for everything else PPro-wise
d. the last SATA port for the DVD drive
***** BUT ****** I have a Crucial M4 64 GB SSD in box with no real purpose. Should I substitute it for the 3 year old Hitachi drive as the combo page file/scratch disk? I can't simply add it in - I'm out of SATA ports. Seems like a waste for an SSD, though.
3. What stripe size should I set? It looks like I have a choice of 64KB or 128KB.
4. Any other really important concerns when setting up a motherboard RAID 0?
I'm trying to avoid spending 5 hours setting up Windows, CS5, etc. to find out I goofed from the get-go.
Thanks to all for your assistance.
Regarding WD TLER, don't worry about that at all for your situation; it applies to hardware parity RAID controllers (not RAID 0) only.
Regarding 1) RAID 0 can most certainly be set up after the OS has been loaded. Setting up a RAID 0 pair after the OS has already been loaded on a single drive does go smoothest if the original boot drive is set up as ACHI as opposed to IDE. If this is not done, Intel's utilities can make the conversion afterwards as well.
Regarding 2) The Crucial probably would have been a good choice for your boot drive, the older Hitachi is better suited to your mix than the SSD. The only possibility I can think of where adding the SSD would be useful would be to move the DVD drive to a 5.25" USB 2.0 enclosure (freeing up a SATA port), adding the Crucial and reloading Adobe and possibly some other programs onto the SSD where "load speed" would benefit your system
Regarding 3) 64KB
Regarding 4) No; possibly you are getting confused by discussions regarding a RAID 0 boot/OS/programs configuration, as adding a RAID 0 "set" to an existing setup is really pretty standard, pretty low-risk stuff
Finally, if you don't have a large USB drive or other methold to backup your OS image and your data files then that should be high on your "next purchase" list. And if that is not in the budget, sell the SSD to help fund that!