Going to make a raid setup. What should I go for?

I'm currently running out of space on my drives and I need more space obviously (running off a 500GB drive right now). I want to either run two 3TB drives in raid 1 (allowing 3TB storage, 1 parity) or three 2TB drives in raid 5 (allowing 4TB storage, parity).

I don't need speed all too much as my OS and programs will not be on them, but they will house lots of RAW pictures files for photography and a few games.

My platform is off of the gigabyte 990FX-ud3 if anyone needs to know.

What would you go for here? I want your input.

i would go for the most space.

I mean, I wouldnt do either. I recommend setting up a dedicated NAS, Ive seen toooooooo manyyyyyy "WHOOPSIESSS" in "main rigs" that have resulted in data loss. I would grab 3x2TB WD Red's and throw it into an old computer and spin up FreeNAS or Nas4free

just a thought... the problem i have with raid is that if a drive goes down, then i have to get another drive to get at my data, because i have to rebuild the array. not sure if one drive in a mirror will work with one out of the array, maybe, maybe not. but i just run two drives in my server/workstation and schedule a copy or rsync. also i keep a third on a shelf.

that way if i lose a drive i can power down my system, remove the failed drive and insert the shelved drive, do a simple sync and i am back in business. it would take me 20 minutes max. i can then get another drive when i am able. i would however run a raid, if i had plenty of access to hardware ran proper backups had ECC ram, yada yada. as is, it's hard for me to get hardware in a timely manner.

[edit] i know this doesn't answer your question right out.. sorry about that... also yes there are solutions to running with a failure, but having 4 and 5 drives for my needs is over kill, your mileage is probably different, but if not this method has worked for me for almost 2 decades. [/edit]

I'm with Nick. I just ordered all my parts for my NAS this week. I got a HP Micro server and 2x2Tb Barracudas. In a few months I'll buy a 3rd.

This way is a little spendy compared to using an old pc, but I'm getting a super small form factor and a good warranty. Plus convenience. So I can just set it up and toss it in my closet. Got a flashdrive as well to load FreeNAS onto and run crashplan so my family and friends can back up to it. 

I've also read that 3TB drives are far less reliable than 2TB. Just something to keep in mind.

unfortuently I'm not willing to throw the money/time towards a dedicated network drive.

if your bent on RAID, 3x2TB is better option. reliability above 2TB starts getting finnicky.

if you do anything other than raid 1, pick up an LSI controller with battery backup unit off of ebay and let the h/w controller handle the raid 5/whatever. 

Unless you put the raid in another box and use zfs (raid z1 or raidz2). The LSI controller is an absolute must.

An older Areca card would also do in a pinch, but the battery backup unit is a must in order to have reliable write-back caching.


p.s. of the 11 4tb seagate drives we've ordered the last 6 months, 8 of them have been RMAd. 4 different systems with different work loads, mostly test rigs. 

We've moved on to hitachi. Knock-on-wood.. they're pretty nify.