I'm about to put together a system for professional photography and
video editing. (I'm considering a Dell XPS 720 with a Q6600 Quad-Core processor, 768MB Nvidea GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card, and a 24"
Ultrasharp Dell monitor.) I've read that 2 hard drives are always
recommended for NLE Video Production -- one for the OS, and the other
for the large video files. There's no question that I'll make my Boot Drive a 160GB 10,000 RPM Raptor!
Mike, I went for a Quad, with 2 raid0 7200rpm drive, an Xps, yeah. (xps 420)
Right, I am playing mp3, have an open windows virtual machine, a java ide etc.
Here's the output of my hdparm right now:
~$ sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sda
Timing cached reads: 7348 MB in 2.00 seconds = 3677.64 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 186 MB in 3.02 seconds = 61.65 MB/sec
Please note that Ubuntu won't install easily with Sata Raid, you'll have to follow some tutorial or opt for linux software raid (and erase your partitions).
Great machine by the way. (only unworking thing: hauppage win-tv tuner)