Need help on upgrading system, got $600 to spend


Aug 1, 2008
Hi. I currently have:
CPU: Q6600 oc @ 3.0ghz (stock cpu cooler)
MOBO: EVGA 650i ultra
RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 ddr2800 mhz oc @ 886 mhz
PSU: Corsair tx650w
Case: Ultra E-torque
HDD: 160gb
GPU: EVGA gtx260 core 216

I'm thinking of upgrading my motherboard to a have more sata ports because currently, i only have 2, the other 2 was blocked my video card. The 2 ports are now occupied by my hdd and blu ray rom. I want to go with a raid configuration but i am new to it and want to try it. I think only the nvidia chipsets have the built in controller which is the NVIDIA mediasheild. Are there any mobos that have a built in raid controller? What good upgrades can I spend on? Thanks!
Well, a better motherboard and a better cooler should help you overclock your CPU a little more. You may wanna take a look at this board which has 6 SATA ports and even one external SATA port

ASUS P5N-T Deluxe

As for the a RAID configuration it just depends on your needs. RAID 0 is fast since it distributes your information over your hard drives, but it's reliability is bad because if one drive goes so does all your information. It's best to go three or more hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration as one drive is used for parity bits (redundancy) and the information is spread out over the other drives so if one drive goes down the parity drive will let the array know what data was expected, or if the parity drive goes no biggy because it was just parity bits ^_^. Basically RAID 5 safeguards your info if one drive fails, so long as you replace it before another one goes too.

Lets say you get 4 1TB WD Cavalier Black drives and run them in RAID 5. 3TB will be usable and the last 1TB will be for parity. Well you probably don't need that much space so you may want to get 4 of the 640GB cavalier blacks

for $80 each and that will give you almost 2TB (about 1.9 TB) of usable hard drive space in a fast reliable Raid 5 config. That'll run you around $500 so you can get a good aftermarket cooler. Save another few hundred bucks to buy a couple of extra 260s latter on and you'll have one powerful rig ^_^