this is just a FYI. i went back to a RAID0 setup !
for me, it does have a speed advantage over single SataII 7200 drives. i absolutely agree with you about the potential to lose all due to RAID0 - but the speed advantage really does help. let me explain..........
i have 3 SataII 7200 160GB western digital hard drives.
i RAID0-ed them together.
next, i partitioned them into 4 parts - OS/Apps + swap page + downloads + rest of stuff.
the outermost section of the hard drive partition went to the OS and app installations. as you know, outermost part spins faster than innermost part, hence data can be read/written quicker. this is just a small 60GB partition.
next outermost section went to a dedicated swap file partition. not really sure if this is better than including the swap file in the OS/Apps partition. easy enough for me to change back if need be. 2GB for this.
next, the download partition. a place to initially dump the downloads, then tidy up. 100GB.
after tidying up, the download is moved to the remaining 300GB partition - temporarily. overnight i offload this stuff to my external hard drives. so basically i have nothing important on my 3xRAID0 setup bar the OS and the installed apps. and i have an image of the OS/Apps. plus the image can be reinstated to a RAID-ed or normal drive - ie dissimilar hardware. so in terms of data reliability - i'm 99.99% safe.
ok, what about the RAID0 speed? is it blazingly fast. well, yes & no. look at this graph
as you can see, the OS/Apps partition is averaging 160MB/s - which is definitely quicker than a single drive (for which i think i get about 60MB/s). plus, there is no falloff in performance - as would have happened if i had used the RAID0 setup completely - ie used the whole disc surface area incl the slower inner sections.
now see this - dvdshrink reading a 7GB dvd movie
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this is from the 3rd partition - the download dump area. 24000KB/s is definitely much higher than from a single drive. shrinking is also much quicker - around 15mins. when i unRar a 40GB bluray - it now takes around 12mins. this compares to 30mins when i had the 3 drives RAID0-ed - but using the whole disc area - ie unpartitioned.
so this shows that RAID0-ing & partitioning can help in some situations.
so, is everything blazingly fast? no.
windows still takes the same time to boot up as it did on a single drive. dvd lab seems to take just as long to create a dvd. when i deal with large photoshop images - there is a bit of a boost - but not lightningly fast.
so, on the whole, this setup works for me - though i'm being extra careful to have the image of the OS/Apps partition and to move things to my external drive. i have seen reports that other model drives RAID0-ed together can give between 200 and 300MB/s sustained transfer rates. i may upgrade my drives and test things out later on. the beauty of it is that i can simply throw my OS image onto the new setup and within 10 mins be up & running !
ok, to finish - SOME things have definitely speeded up for me. and yes, there is the potential for data loss - though i'm covering my back on that. but overall i'm more than satisfied. i'm not recommending this to anyone else.
system stability is probably more important for others than the bit of speed boost i'm getting.
ok, digest that and get back to me with your thoughts. cheers