Despite its popularity as a checkbox feature, RAID has remained a tricky proposition for those with only two drives. A two-drive RAID 0 array may offer better performance, but that comes at the cost of reliability. A two-drive RAID 1 array gives the peace of mind of a mirrored backup drive, but its performance benefits aren't quite as compelling as RAID 0's. RAID levels 10 and 0+1 combine the best of both worlds, but require at least four drives. If only there were a way to balance the benefits of RAID 0 and RAID 1 with only two.
Intel's Matrix RAID technology allows users to combine RAID 0 and 1 arrays with only two drives, promising mirrored redundancy for important data and striped performance for speedy access. That sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it? Our friends at Tech Report take a close look to Matrix RAID to see if it really delivers the best of both worlds.