I will say that for video production, RAID 0 is excellent...as a scratch disk.
If you're running just two hard drives in your desktop, I actually suggest not using ANY form of RAID. When you render for video production, you want to be reading data off of one drive and then rendering the final video to a separate one. Hard drives are a major bottleneck in any system, so if you're sourcing and then rendering to the exact same RAID array, odds are you'll be throttled by that (which is a problem I ran into on my own build early on.)
Honestly, my suggestion would be to add one or two drives, do a RAID 0 for your scratch disk and either a single drive or a RAID 1 for your project and final render disk.
Agreed with this suggestion. If you get heavy duty enough multiple "spindles" (RAID array = 1 spindle) would be my suggestion as well. I have been advocating multiple spindles over RAID0 for years (if you can find those old posts). I almost always go with 2 drives, 1 for system+apps and another to put my pagefile, for starters. However, whether GG should pursue this may depend on a few things.
What makes this setup sketchy these days, however, is that pretty much all modern video cameras are tapeless. My HDR-FX1 shoots HDV on regular DV cassettes, so I can put all my video on a scratch RAID 0 and not worry about the RAID failing and losing all my stuff. The footage is already logged in the project file, worst thing that happens is I have to recapture my footage. Tapeless cameras don't give you that luxury, but at least you have a good backup plan already going.
Apart from HDD based camera where you are pretty much forced to vacate the drive to make room, newer cams that take SDHC/SDXC cards should be ok in this regard?
GG: A few things to check:
1. Make sure you have all the drivers on the reinstall. Dell should be pretty good in that you just enter the tag number and the list of drivers should be there.
2. What HDDs are they giving you? I have seen some Dells coming with last gen Seagate drives which by themselves may be a bit slow.
3. Check the availability of SATA power connectors and SATA ports.
4. Check to see if you need special brackets to mount extra drives. I suppose a Dell XPS should have slots for you to put the drives but if you need special brackets+screws that may be the gotcha.
Still not sure why you got Ultimate when Professional would have been sufficient (if you don't need to join a domain IMO even Home Premium is enough). Like the Dell I suppose I'll get the "we told you so" out of the way so we can move on.
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.
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