To RAID or not to RAID?

Hi im purchasing and additional HD for my desktop.  This purchase will require the purchase of a IDE controller card.  The card supports RAID and the extra HD I was looking at is the exact same one as a HD I have in now.  However...I found a larger drive by the same manufacturer for a better value so im really leaning towards that one.  I am torn though because (from my knowledge) I can use RAID if I purchase that HD thats the same as one of my current ones, but if I get the better value HD i wont be able to utilize RAID because they arent the same.  I could be totally wrong about that...   Also which is a better choice?  If i am RAID with the better value HD or is RAID incredibly awesome and I must have it?  Thanks.

Controller Card...

Same HD as i have now...

Better value HD...
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

if you are aiming to have a fault tolerance in case one of your computer hard disks fail later on then I would suggest you configure your RAID.  Nevertheless, if you simply want to have more disk space then forget about RAID. The thing is, do some backups all the time.
you can create raid with drives of diff capacity and manufacturers.

but if you are getting a faster and bigger drive....go for it. a 120 GB looks worth it

controller card you are buying you can make raid out of the drives (80+80) and use remaining 40gb as no raid thing...

buy the bigger one...

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Whats the OS you are using or plan to use. It will also depend on your computer's primary use whether as server or desktop. For server raid is a must to avoid future problems. For desktops it does not matter. If you are into video editing then large hdd may help. I am not sure if desktop os support raid.
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

HsNiOxAuthor Commented:
**so you can make raid out of the drives (80+80) and use remaining 40gb as no raid thing...**

I didnt quite understand that.  You can use a 120 and an 80 with RAID?

**The thing is, do some backups all the time.**

Are you pretaining to a RAID utlized computer?

This is just a desktop computer, its running XP Pro.  It looks like I wont be using the RAID, but the card is still fine for just adding more disk space, correct?  

kiranghag, is correct. You can use diff cap drives for RAID. RAID 0 will stripe the drive; that is write the data across the 2 drives. RAID 1 "mirroring" the data from disk to disk. The info is written to EXACTLY the same place on each disk this is why same size, maker and speed are recommended. BUT If you partition 1 drive to the size of the smaller drive a larger drive will work. The remaining space will not be used by RAID. I would recommend the same speed and maybe even manufacturer though. You CAN purchase a RAID card in your local computer shop, my board came with onboard RAID so I don't know much about the add-on. I believe it is a pci card. So, desktops most definitely support RAID...
don't bother with the RAID option. If this is a desktop, and you started this because you need more HD space, then go with the orginal plan. You should have a backup system of some kind in place regardless if you are using RAID. So enjoy the new HD. Also, if you organize yourself a little (have your recovery/OS and program CD ready but stored in a save place) should you crash, you can be backup and running quickly. Remember, the RAID would also need to be fixed in the even of a problem! - If this is a corp. server the above does not apply!
Go with RAID 0 it is your best option. Your computer will be much faster and you will have a larger drive than the 1 big drive. I see no reason not to go with RAID. You can use 2 diffrent sized drives with RAID too so you can try that way also. You will really love the extra speed and size provided by RAID 0.
You probably don't need the backup that RAID 1 gives you. Just backup essential files to a CD or tape.
RAID 0 would be your way to a better life - GO FOR IT !
Normally if you have once installed a RAID system lets say with 80 GB harddisks. Then if you ever need to replace one of those harddisks in that system you will need to install a disk with the same disksize or larger. The part of the disk that is larger than on singel disk in your allready running system will go unused.

RAID configurations are more complex than single disk systems. When it comes to make backup of the data on those disks I have no experience or knowledge. But I would assume that more precaution and knowledge needs to be achieved before backing up a RAID system. Maybe the software specifically needs to support it and so on.

Best Regards

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Accept   kiranghag 's comment as answer
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
EE Cleanup Volunteer
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.