I am also looking at systems right now. I am working mostly with Vision DAW, a hugely reputable company for making top notch professional DAW systems. I have only worked with RAID arrays in non-music situations so I don't have direct experience. However, for what my opinions might be worth, I think that a DAW that can only accept two drives is extremely limited. No room for growth and your sample space will grow in leaps and bounds. RAID arrays can definitely help performace. However, there are some considerations. If you go with RAID 0 (striping) where two or more drives are seen by the system as one, you get an improvement in performance but if one drive goes out, the whole array is dead. If you go with RAID 1 (mirroring), you have great reliability because everything done to one drive is mirrored on the other, but one drive is just being used for reliability, not for performance. My personal opinion is that I would rather have access to more multiple drives because then I get to say where each thing goes and if I lose a drive, the others are all ok. Vision DAW systems allow for up to 4 drives. I don't know what the Sweetwater systems go for but you don't want to have to do this twice by making the wrong decision. That's not to say that getting Sweetwater's system is wrong, just that you need to think about every aspect before you plunk down the money. I have been investigating mine for over a month. Make sure you know what kind of video and audio interfaces you need and things like that. For instance, I will be using mine for live gigging so I need analog interfaces so I can run the outputs to my mixer. I want digital interfaces too for when I'm in the studio but many people who want to use these systems for live playing sometimes forget that they may need analog and digital to get the job done. That's just one example that almost bit me. Hope any of this helps a little.
For what's it's worth ......... Rob (aka Mixednuts)
Yeah, I talked to a very nice guy at Vision the other day too. I was almost ready to make an order. I asked how soon he could get one to me, and he seemed very hesitant, talked about being quite busy, and said 7-10 days to build it plus 5 days shipping.
Was hoping to have something sooner than that, and from the way he was talking it seemed like it might even be longer.
I already own Platinum, and can't get my hand on Kontakt2 because NI's server is down (I want to get the GPO upgrade) so I might see if they can speed up the process if they don't have to install and test my software.
Going back and forth on either the RME 9632 or 9652. Not sure which would be best for me right now and in the future.