I have a redonkulous amount of hard drives connected to this system. Fifteen to be exact, but who's counting?:) Yet the most important drives to me are the ones that make up my RAID array. If you are going to be doing any serious video work, especially HD or larger, you will want to setup and run a RAID as your primary video playback and capture drive.
I always go with Western Digital's Caviar Black hard drives when building my own systems. These 7200 RPM drives are absolute screamers and offer great performance and reliability at a decent price point.
For my current rig I decided to stripe together three 1TB Caviar Blacks. Since this is a budget build, I am going with a software RAID rather than a RAID card based solution. I have been very happy with the internal software RAID that OSX provides. Super simple to set up and works like a charm.
I decided to do some hard drive speed tests to see what kind of performance I can expect from these drives.
The first speed test was of a single Caviar Black. This one drive produced some very respectable numbers. It peaked out at about 105 MB/s for both disk read and write speeds.
The second speed test was of two Caviar Blacks stripped together in RAID O by using the disk utility. This 2 disk array maxed out at about 208 MB/s for both disk read and write speeds.
The third speed test was of three Caviar Blacks stripped together in RAID O by using the disk utility. This 3 disk array topped out at a smoking 312 MB/s for both disk read and write speeds.
I could have gone for a 4 disk array, but felt that 300MB/s was more than adequate for my current needs. Keep in mind, that these tests are best case scenario. In the the real world as the the drives fill up and start to fragment, performance will take a hit and these numbers will plummet. As long as I can maintain a sustained rate of over 200MB/s for the long term, I will be pretty happy.
So, if you are like Maverick and "feel the need for speed", you better get yourself a RAID.