If RAID's speed and redundancy aren't enough to pique your interest, maybe its price will. Serial ATA RAID support is included in most of today's core logic chipsets, so it's essentially free. Chipset RAID has been around for a while, of course, but only the most recent core-logic chipsets from Intel and NVIDIA support arrays of up to four drives and the highly coveted RAID 5.
We've spent a couple of months running Intel's ICH7R and NVIDIA's nForce4 Serial ATA RAID controllers through our exhaustive suite of storage tests, and the results are something to behold. We started with a single drive and worked our way up through RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 0+1, and 5 with two, three, and even four hard drives. Read on to see which RAID controller reigns supreme and how the different RAID levels compare in performance.