thanks, jpfx. not read the article yet - saved it for later.
i hear what you are saying and it makes perfect sense. normally, i would just take the advice of better informed people - i have a subscription to a 'performance' pc magazine and they don't really recommend using raid 0, which surprised me as i thought they'd do anything for that extra bit of speed.
so, instead of taking my usual line of sticking to what is safe territory, with this new computer build i thought i would just try all these exotic things like raid and sata and dual core. as i've never seen such things in action in real life i decided i would just have to pay up and get them myself. my curiosity needed satisfying more than the health of my bank account.
i didn't even buy products that were considered value for money. paying the premium rate for all the hardware is something i can live with even though i don't expect to see a premium performance from the machine - again, my curiosity needed to be satisfied.
currently, the machine is just about finished. it's quieter than the one i'm using right now... but it's not silent. it's faster than the one i'm using right now (an athlon xp2200 with 1.5 gig ram)... but it's not stupendously faster.
admittedly, i've not really tried to push the new machine. it plays modern games really smoothly (F.E.A.R. crashed after about 15 minutes - oh joy) but i'm hoping to see really big improvements when i do things like video encoding and editing.
the raptor raid 0 appears quick to me but i wouldn't be surprised to find that a sata II drive all on it's own would be very similar - that's what i keep reading elsewhere anyway.
things i have noticed so far during the new machine's brief lifespan: windows installed within 15 minutes, service pack 2 took less than 5 minutes, boot up and shutdown are quicker than i've seen on anything else. it's early days yet so i'm sure things will grind to a halt as i install more and more programs.
i've yet to put the 'silent' cooling fan onto the graphics card and drill a few holes here and there, after that's done i'll post some photos and a bit of commentary.