OK been running XP Pro SP3 for ages, motherboard failure and loss of original OS disc sparked me to purchase new mobo and ram and win 7 home pro edition and have a go at raid while I'm at it. I have always built my own PC's but this would be my 1st attempt at building a raid setup.
I'm gonna go for the 64 bit version install of win 7, will prob be adding another 4 gig ram upping to 8 later on, I have purchased 3 identical 500gb 7200 sata drives (might add another upping to 4 depending on answers I get here on which raid setup to go for), have filled out all my system specs on my profile if you need them.
I've tried to do as much research as possible (should have done a little more before buying only 3 drives).
I Use my rig mostly for gaming
and video and photo editing sometimes large files and a bit of amateur web design meaning loads of apps going at once and i do need the data backup that raid mirroring provides and the gaming speed gain from striping so I thought initially a 3 disc hardware raid 5 setup would be the way to go....
Q1/ I know how to set up the raid 5 array itself and stupidly thought I could set it up and run my OS on it too before I researched and found that if the OS crashed it would trash my raid 5 array. So I realise I'm looking at possibly doing a temp install of win 7 on a spare eide drive and using disc manager to create seperate partitions for my OS and data, what im not sure of is what is the best way to go about seperating the OS from the raid 5 with 3 drives? is it worth me buying 4 drives and doing a raid 1+0 for the OS and raid 5 for data?
Q2/ I primarily use this as a gaming rig, so with the 3 drives I have (I'm prepared to goto 4 if i really must) I want the speed gain from running a striped raid array, how exactly does that work (not the raid striping i understand that bit) I mean do you install the game application itself to the striped array or in the same partition as the OS to get the gain?
Q3/ I also want the data backup option offered by mirroring discs as i often forget to backup so suggesting i stripe the 1st two discs and install the OS and data on the 3rd wouldn't give me the redundancy i required on the unraided/unmirrored 3rd disc, this is why i thought raid 5 was ideal but now I have discovered installing your OS on raid 5 is bad.....
So basically im asking for the best (cheapest) option to install my OS, have redundancy for my data and the performance boost of striping for my gaming needs, would i need 3 or 4 discs? is raid 5 the option?
thanks for any help and sorry for so many questions