If the only difference between 2 drives under a modern Windows operating system is an 8 MB versus a 16MB cache, you won't notice much difference. A benchmark will only show minor throughput differences. This was tested recently by this site.
between the 8mb and 16mb raptors, and yours in particular. theyve doubled the platter sizes for all 3 current raptors (from 36gb to 74gb), resulting in the same increased data transfer performance between them, had a multitude of firmware revisions resulting in more optimized user performance, removed the pata to sata interface bridge, and included ncq support as a result, which replaces tcq that your 74gb offered, included tler and raff for when in use in raid and vibration prone configurations, there are other changes too im sure, but those stick out most to me.
going from the oldest 74gb to the newest, you should see overall performance improve, its more difficult to quantify in a benchmark with just numbers (as with any hardware, because concrete numbers dont always do justice to actual performance, but theyre there nonetheless), the thg interactive hdd charts should give you an idea of the difference between them, for access times, and read/write performance (which are the most relevant single user benchmarks)
for raid, thats really up to you, if you feel your specific uses would see the needed improvement. in my experience, ive seen virtually no improvement in a few of the strongly desired situations, gaming for instance (gaming was one main reason for purchasing multiple raptors initially too, 4 36gb gd raptors in raid 0 to be exact). now i just have a single 74gb adfd, and dont look back to even 'downgrading' to raid 0 again (additional heat, noise (from the addition hdds and fans), power consumption, chance of data loss/corruption or array corruption due to overclocking which ive experienced with another configuration, and complete data loss due to individual hdds failing). beyond any of that though, many users still prefer to use raid for performance reasons, for gaming no less, and not for redundancy as it should be. but again, only your particular uses can decide if its really worth it.
all in all though, the performance difference between raptors is worth the upgrade, imo
edit: didnt realize you were intending to use your current raptor and the newer one in raid 0. for raid 0 performance to be optimal, both hdds should have equivalent specs. the only things that are really the same between them, are their rpms, and total capicity.
nope. If you have a 36gig raptor like me, then it might be worth it to jump up to a 150 raptor. But going from a 74 to ... another 74 will get you nothing noticable. Neither microsoft nor the chipset makers really know what to do with a 16MB buffer. I mean, it's rediculous. When I listen to an mp3 on my pc, I can hear it access the hard drive every 8 seconds. That means the software only retreives data in 128KB chunks. I'm like "OMFG! Kill Bill! WHY CANT YOU USE MY 16 MB BUFFER?" (My mp3's are on a 320gig drive with a 16MB buffer.) With videos it's just as bad. HD access every 5 seconds. 400kbps * 5 / 8 = 256KB!!! OMFG and this is the year 2007!! My frackkin cell phone has more than 256K!! Hell my friends daughter's talking baby doll prolly has more than 256K...
I don't know how things work on Vista, but how much you wanna bet that any ol media player on Vista will still be plucking away at your hard drive every 5-10 seconds just to play an mp3?
Sorry but this kind of stuff really pisses me off. I guess it's a 9/11 thing. You know, like how stupid can we be to not make use of buffer space so as to save on hard drive life? How stupid can we be to have cockpit doors that dont seal to keep hijackers out? It's like we should make this a day to let out a collective sigh for our own pure stupidity.
that was one made specifically for dell, so im not sure if youre able to purchase it seperately, though you might be. i believe it has 2 slightly larger platters than the other newer raptors, an extra ~3GB per platter it looks like, giving it slightly higher transfer rates over the other 3 current raptors (the 36gb, 74gb, and 150gb adfd). the performance difference between sata150 and sata300 is moot for current hdds... though when hdds get fast enough, theyll be able to take advantage of the extra bandwidth that sata300 offers (theyll need in excess of 150MB/s sustained/sequential transfer rate for that to happen, current sata hdds are still below 100MB/s, so even the much older pata100 would still be more than enough for a single current hdd, if it was compatible with current hdds anyhow). it was just included as a way of futureproofing sata controllers for when faster hdds eventually did come out, and more of a marketing tactic for hdds up until that point.