I have a Pentium 4 XEON 2.0GHz system with 1.5G RAM that I acquired from a company that went out of business. It has an Adaptec 2200 RAID Controller with 32M of RAM and 5 Seagate 73G Cheetah 10K Drives. It also has dual channel Ultra160 SCSI on the Motherboard. I will use this system for my personal business using Office, AutoCAD, local databases and scanning & printing high quality photos. I will be reading files more often then writing to the disk. It also has a 128M DIMM for add to the RAID Card but it is not installed and a 20/40 DAT drive. My questions are:
1.) What will give me the best performance? A RAID-5 of all 5 drives or the O/S, swap, applications and data all on separate drives? The redundancy of the RAID would be nice, but I have a nice tape backup that I will be using anyway to backup my data regularly. Thus, performance and speed is my primary concern.
2.) Will the 128M RAM added to the RAID controller make a difference in performance that would change my decision?
3.) If I did have a RAID as 1 large drive, should I use it as one big partition or create various? (For example, a partition for Windows, Application, Data and Photos.)