well some investigation and testing last night.
booted mint3 CD.
installed dmraid via synaptic.
used fdisk and parted to create partitions and make file systems. (gparted has no idea about raid still)
started mint installer.
manual partition selected.
this is the crazy part as it finds lots of raid partitions and disk partitions (about 16 are listed for 3 primary and 1 logical). you have to blank all the mount points, set only the raid mount points you need (/, swap, /home) and set them to format.
for grub use advanced and set to /dev/mapper/ipw_hfciifae<raid name>
it all goes good till the end where grub is installed to mbr, it fails because it does not know about dmraid and what to do with raid.
My next step is to do a small install of Fedora since it has dmraid incorperated. then install mint and use fedoras grub to boot it.