Thanks for the input everyone.
That makes sense with the bandwidth. This dinasaur that i'm turning into a server only has a PCI slot available, so it sounds as if the bandwidth is going to be similar to the IDE slot. I was just asking in case I do end up running an OS off of it, wanted to make sure i wouldn't see a HUGE reduction in speed.
As for backing up, I realize it is not a substitute for backing up - I will still backup but my only backup solution right now are those DVD's, and it becomes a pain. I know RAID isn't backing up, but the purpose is data redundancy, something that my setup is lacking right now (aside for a backup every few weeks). I don't want to purchase separate drives for this purpose, because again without that redundancy I would still have to constantly backup which is what i'm trying to avoid. I could just upgrade my drive, but why not purchase two and a cheap controller for some data redundancy
There are decent controllers out there for cheap, i'm just saying that i've read that unless the controller has a processing unit that actually does the RAID for the system, then all that load is placed on the CPU (just like a software RAID). As for Linux, again this is already a server setup (server 2008) so i'm not wanting to move from that to Linux (i use ubuntu on another desktop) just for its software RAID. I would also consider a software RAID solution (since apparently the same load would be put on the CPU as a cheap controller) but my MB doesn't have any SATA ports. So i'm using the controller for RAID and the ability to use SATA drives.