I’ve been doing some research lately on this. What I’ve
decided so far, is that I want hardware-based RAID 5. This places
a number of restrictions on everything else.
For the moment, the best motherboard seems to be the MB-P4SCT+ (which I’ve only found so far at http://www.cwsydney.com.au/).
This supports normal P4 chips, but has the added benefit of PCI-X – the
all important, limiting factor required by hardware based RAID 5.
The RAID controller card that I’d like to get is the ADAPTEC 2410SA
card, but it’s a little on the expensive side (at around $600 –

Actually, http://www.cworld.com.au sell it for $539). Together
with the motherboard (another $425) that adds up to a hefty one
dollars, without spending the requisite $900 on 4x250GB seagate SATA
drives, nor including the price of a 4 drive hot swappable bay – another $300, nor the 1GB of RAM i want, nor the power supply, case, cpu, cd drive etc etc etc.
All in all this adds up to around $3k for around 650GB of hdd, assuming
that RAID 5 reduces raw hdd space by 1/3. Of course, that means
that the cost per GB is only $4.62, which isn’t that much really,
considering its redundant storage.
Update: The
also seems to be a good buy, and its available at a shop I’m much more
comfortable buying from – cworld. Only problem is, it’s slightly
more expensive ($429 as opposed to $423) and it seems to have less
features – less PCI slots, different chipset, etc. Still, since
this is all a pipe dream, and I have no money to spend on it, it
doesn’t particularly matter.
Also, I’ve found the supermicro website – its http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/P4/?chp=E7221