How much HD cache will help?
I recently had a HD meltdown. It was my secondary HD with just FSX and a couple other games on it, so not a serious catastrophe, but now I need a replacement. I'm not looking at SSDs right now, because here in Korea they are still through the roof expensive (maybe my next build). I'm probably going to go with a name brand 320GB HD because I don't really need too much extra space and that's a pretty good price point.
My real question is: given a basic SATA2 7200 rpm HD, how much will the cache make a difference? Basic drives are 8MB, but I can step up to a 16MB cache for about $4 more, so that's a no brainer. A 32MB won't exactly break the bank, but it's about 50% more. I'm willing to spend the money if it will really help performance. I don't want to kill the performance of my $2000 machine by skimping $50 on a HD. At the same time, I don't want to spend a lot of extra money if it's really not going to do anything for me.
I did sometimes get a bit of stuttering around airports. Not show stopping, but occasional drops into the single digit FPS. I wouldn't like to see that get worse.
BTW, quoting me Newegg products and prices won't help me. I live in Korea, and although I sometimes get stuff from Newegg and Tigerdirect, it's a serious pain to ship it over, so I'm not going to do that for a simple HD. I can get Seagate and WD drives over here, and Samsung drives are pretty decent too, so I'm not starved for choice anyway.
Core 2 Quad Q6600, 9800GTX+, 4GB, Win7 HP 64-bit, TH2GO, 8 GoFlight, CH [Eclipse Yoke, Throttle (Pro and Quad), Combat stick, Pro Pedals], Saitek [Yoke, pedals, X52], TrackIR 3