For what you are doing raid really isn't going to help you that much. Raid is more useful for high end video and music editing. You will notice no increase in speed while using normal applications. I'll explain it to you anyway just so you know.
All the boards I have seen on the retail market have raid levels 0 and 1. Raid 0 is called disk striping. Your are required 2 have a least 2 hardrives in the array (an array is a set of drives used for raid). Instead of data being written continously to one disk, it is written ikn 64
k blocks to each disk in your array. For example if you have 2 hard drives the writing process will be 1,2,1,2,1,2 if you have 3 drives 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3......... you get the picture. Raid 0 gives a boost in speed to pc's that do alot of disk read/writes, like application servers and engineering pc's. Their is no redundancy so if one of the drives goes down your up the creek.
Raid 1 is called disk mirroring.duplexing depending on how you set it up. Disk mirroring requires to at least 2 hard drives with a same size partition on them (or just 2 drives with the same size). What is put on to one drive is automatically replicated to the second. This way if one of your drives goes down you still have all your data intact. Raid 1 takes a toll on your system performance, it's no wonder with all that replicating. Normally mirrored drives will be placed on the same IDE controller, duplexing is when you place 2 drives on 2 different ide controllers. Otherwise it's the same thing as mirroring. With duplexing you don't have to worry about an ide channel going down(doesn't happen often anyway). Hope this helps.
pc2700 costs about the same as pc2100 right now so it would be follish not to purchase it. The performance gain is noticeable.
Let me know if you have any ?'s
Sir Dallascisco, Hardware Extraordinaire and First Knight to the Linux Queen's Court