Kaelan002 wrote:By that argument, buy a proper SSD and set that as cache. No point replacing a perfectly good HDD to gain a meager 8GB of flash.
Hmm, so you have a cached SSD acting as cache to a HDD without any software algorithms to make sure it all works efficiently. That would certainly be a sight to see.
Clearly you are mistaking the principles behind the SSHD memory and cache memory, which all drives have including SSD and SSHD.
The existing drive is a bit of a puzzler as although no test reveals it as faulty I always felt it's performance was never quite what it should be for a relatively high spec. traditional HDD.
I have seen HDD's suffer in this way on a MS based system. Removing the drive, reformat and put on a different system, the HDD performs as expected. I have had drives that appear to be slow when loaded with the O.S. but when swapped out, perform far better, despite the drive being exactly the same as the one with the now transferred O.S. Mind you, a friend did a study at one time on cache sizes for the company he worked for, to determine the optimum size. What he found was ever increasing sizes of cache memory made the drive less efficient, because of the cache access times, and that the optimum (and borderline usefulness) was 64 MB. Even at this size access times would vary quite a lot, depending on types of data indexing stored in the cache. The disc O.S. plays are large part in this, because of the way it stores data, large files may or may not be contiguous. Cached memory addresses to many different places on a fragmented drive also slows down what could be a decent spec drive. The analogy could be the difference between a 1 page index in a book and a ten page index, where the same topic is not all in one chapter. The actual access time to read the index becomes long and this is before the drive is actually accessed.
All drives suffer in this way no matter what the technology, and SSD has added timing problems by way of the fact that data has to be stored in a different way to a normal HDD, so access times can vary quite a bit depending on the type of operation being performed.
Whenever I look at making up a new system I try to prioritise on parts, and what gives the most benefit for the lowest cost. HDD's are never high on my list, given that those can be purchased at any time as an add in, unlike main system components, like the Mobo and CPU. I go for SSHDD as these give the highest benefits for the least cost, however when choosing components for a new system, I can make do with any one of the multitude of drives I currently have, as I really don't consider the drive as being high priority compared to other components.
I think you are brave going for a new system, at this time of year, however you can always ask for components as Christmas presents.