I'm looking to pick up a nice gaming laptop (probably an Alienware m9750).
I want a hard drive that will offer the best performance when it comes to loading during games. Solid state drives are too expensive.
Right now I'm looking at:
-160GB Serial ATA 1.5 Gb/s 5,400 RPM Hybrid Hard Drive w/ 256MB flash memory
-200GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 16MB Cache
-160GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ 8MB Cache
-250GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 5,400 RPM w/ 8MB Cache
I can't find anything that really speaks to the load times of larger files with the hybrids. Does anyone have any experience with them? Will the slower RPM negate any benefit of the hybrid?
Will I see a noticeable performance difference with the 8MB vs the NCQ/16MB cache, or the 5400 RPM vs the 7200?
What about the NCQ with an 8MB cache?
Rather, are the higher end drives worth the extra $200?
I can't answer all of your questions but I do know that there isn't an appreciable difference between 8MB and 16. But a 7200 rpm drive absolutely kills anything at 5400 I've ever owned. I put a 60 gig Hitachi in a 2000 model Dell lappie w/a Pentium 3 and it actually became fairly usable again.