A while back, I performed some extensive hard drive testing on one of my MacBook Pro laptops and noticed that some performance issues with Virtual Machines are due to hard drive performance. A few weeks ago, I found the 500 GB 7200 RPM Momentus XT Hybrid Laptop Drive that uses 4GB of SLC NAND Solid State Memory. Seagate calls this technique "adaptive memory" and states that the controller decides which particularly frequently requested data should be stored in the quick-acting flash memory.
I ordered it off of Newegg for $119.99 with a coupon and free ground shipping.
Conclusion: I have listed the 5400, 7200 and 7200 Hybrid overview data (From Testing A Few Weekends Ago) below along with detailed performance reports (PDFs Attached). I performed this testing on a MacBook Pro with 4 Cores and 8 GB of RAM. My testing found a dramatic performance gain in Sequential Reads with the 7200 Hybrid drives.
5400 RPM Drive Test Results - Select to View PDF
7200 RPM Drive Test Results - Select to View PDF
7200 RPM Hybrid Drive Test Results - Select to View PDF
Momentus XT Hybrid Laptop Drive Main Information - http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/laptops/laptop-hdd/
Momentus XT Hybrid Laptop Drive Purchase Information - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148591
• 500GB, 320GB and 250GB hard drive capacity options
• 4GB SLC NAND solid state memory
• 7200-RPM spindle speed
• 32MB of drive-level cache
• SATA 3Gb/s with Native Command Queuing
∑ Solid state hybrid drive delivers SSD-like performance with hard drive capacity options.
∑ Adaptive Memory technology customizes performance by aligning to user needs for overall improved system response.
∑ 80 percent faster performance than traditional 7200-RPM drives in PCMark Vantage benchmark scores