?'s about 250GB drives and 8506-8

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I posted in the article comments for the 250GB drive roundup, but perhaps this is a better place to ask for advice...

I'm interested in buying a few 250GB drives to go with a 3ware 8506-8 RAID card. I read this review in hopes of figuring out which drive would be the best choice for a RAID set, but I'm more confused than ever.

Should I just buy the cheapest drives?

Does NCQ matter when working with a hardware RAID controller? I would suspect that the card trumps NCQ.

Does the drive's read cache matter much for hardware RAID? The card has write cache only, correct?

My initial impression is that the Maxtor DiamondMax 10 is the best choice because of the high performance during multiple concurrent accesses to the drive, more like a fileserver environment. But truth be told, this is going to be a very low-demand fileserver for use at home and just a couple users, and probably not at the same time.

Would I would be better off to get the Samsung's as newegg.com is running a free shipping promo?

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What RAID configuration do you plan to use. The 3ware Escalade 8506-8 is dead slow in RAID 5. It also doesn't have much added value for a hardware RAID adapter because it lacks cache memory and other features.

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Uhhhhhhhh, RAID 5. But then, I don't need it to be fast, just big and redundant. I'm building it to store my lossless audio collection, home movies, photos, etc. so I don't have to rebuild everything if a drive fails.

Another plus for me was the ability to expand the RAID later if I want.

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