I may be wrong, but you can not use 2000 or XP software RAID on the boot drive.
Originally posted by Telek
it's funny, a few weeks ago I had the same idea but didn't post about it.
Oh FYI if you use windows 2000/XP you can just use software raid, no need for the controller :).
However you won't get 4x the speed because IDE busses are on a master/slave relationship. Both drives cannot be transferring data at the same time on the bus, so you'll only get 2x the speed (at least this is about what I have found in practice). I once set up a 4x40GB raid array with the highpoint mobo controller and was really dissapointed in the speed, it was not much faster than my 2x raid array that I had before it. Then one of the drives died so I had to get it replaced and didn't bother putting the raid back together. You will see a bit higher than 2x with 4 hard drives because the slaves can transfer data while the drives are seeking to the next location, but I doubt that you'll get > 2x the speed with a 4xCF array due to the 0 seek time unless you have 4 seperate IDE busses and put all 4 CF cards as masters.
I'm not concerned about the limited number of write cycles because these drives are not really to be used for much writing at all. I was thinking of a setup with 2x256MB CF raid which you can use to host the OS and applications, and then have 2 laptop hard drives in a raid for all of the things that get modified frequently. Then you get best of both worlds. And besides, you get somewhere around 50,000 write cycles. "50,000 write cycles should be enough for everybody".
Additionally you almost certainly are going to have a hard drive alongside the CF card (where you gonna put all that music?) so anything that needs to be modified frequently can stick in there.