So, I just discovered that the RAID controller within my Dell Precision 470 is software based. I never recognized until now that Adaptec CERC stood for "Cost Effective Raid Controller"... amazing.
According to this lovely Dell datasheet, it appears that my controller is a "driver-based software raid", which consumes host CPU cycles to operate.
My question, are there advantages to utilizing this "driver-based software raid" over the OS raid available in Windows7/Server2008 for RAID 1 (or RAID 0)?
Under most circumstances, I prefer having RAID handled outside of the operating system. However, I've discovered on this machine how much of a pain that can become -- I cannot easily run tools such as disk check tools on each drive independently without first splitting the RAID (as the individual drives are hidden behind the RAID controller). That consumes my time (split RAID, verify which HD is dieing, rebuild RAID).