Ok I know you can look up on google and read about it but since I cant comprehend for my life or spell (I bet) I would like to know in simplist terms, what does raid do and what modes does it have and what is it compatible with?
Basically its a way of putting a bunch of harddrives together and making them work together for you.
RAID = Redudant Array of Inexpensive Disks
There are LOTS of modes of RAID, but the most common ones used are RAID 0, 1 and 5.
RAID 0, Data stripping - Data is split and stripped among the two harddrives effectively doubling the speed that data is accessed. Good for gamers, bad for important information, because if one of the harddrives crash/break/burn then the other one can't function. They rely on eachother. Thats why its popular among gamers, not popular among server people or security.
RAID 1, data mirroring - Two harddrives, they have exactly the same data on each one. The whole idea is, if we make a copy of it, theres a 50% less chance we're gonna lose our data. Basically if one of the harddrives crash/burns the other one can take over because it has all the same data on it, you can also use it to rebuild a new harddrive if you want.
RAID5, block stripping with data parity - this is a bit more complicated, and requires more hard disks. Basically it kinda works like both raid 0 and 1, where it strips the data into blocks, but also adds parity bits, which are useful incase one of the harddrives break, the rest of hte harddrives can rebuild it, but still function on their own. Popular because it allows speedier operation with parity bits, incase of failure. This is very simplified, alot more happens in raid 5.
Raid stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. The hopes being to provide the user with a dual sized virtual HDD in which data can be written freely across both drives. RAID 0 is one of the biggest ones you'll hear about here on the high performance forum. Raid 0 takes 2+ drives and treats them as one dual speed drive with the full 2x diskspace. This is obviously cheaper than buying say one 500GB harddrive when you can simply buy 2 250s for $80 each. Raid 0 gets a bad rap though because there's more on the line: If one drive fails, the entire array across both drives is lost. So basically the risk is greater....but the chance of crashing is not. You're not more likey to crash if you have TNT in your car...but if you DO happen to crash...the consequence will be larger.
There a bunch of types of raids though. Some mirror another disk for safety back-up (hence Redundant...) The fact is though..you need multiple identical hdds.