Why not RAID XL?! How many hard drives do you plan on hooking up to this array? Here is a link to a 5-port NetCell SR5103
for $250. You can hook up to 5 disks and is 32-bit 66MHz (which may default to 33MHz depending on your mobo). If you want to know what RAID XL is, it is a revised version of RAID 3
. The nice thing about RAID XL is that in the event of a HD failure, your throughput is completely unaffected; you run at full speed. Plus, with this type of RAID (as well as RAID 5) only the size of 1 disk is sacfriced for parity as apposed to 50% by RAID 0+1. The controller costs as much as 1 HD, but it should follow you around for future upgrades.
I don't know if you have the hard drives yet, but I just did searches today on newegg for hard drives
and found the best bang for the buck to settle around 160GB Hard drives (WD1600JB). If you got 5 drives, the total would be $465 shipped with a capacity of 640GB ($.73 per GB usable). If that was too much, you could go with only 3 drives for $279 with 320GB as the capacity ($.87 per GB usable). If you wanted to go with 5 drive (similar to RAID 0 x 4 speeds) but not the 640GB capacity and price tag, you could go with 5x80GB drives for a total of $280 shipped and 320GB ($.88 per GB usable). I hope that helps you out a bit... I went with the 5 port RAID XL card and 5x160 GB solution. 640GB should be enough... I hope...