|My assumptions are if I reconfigure the laptop to use the mSATA slot with a 128Gb or 256Gb mSATA SSD as my boot drive then I can fill the two drive bays with large HDDs for storage.|
You're assuming the laptop recognizes the mSATA as a valid boot device. Best to confirm it does before you move forward with your plan.
If I'm not transferring large files then I would see no real benefits using SSDs for storage.
There are a few big benefits. First of all, accessing your data becomes quicker. You might not notice the difference if you sit down and watch a movie from start to finish, but you might notice it takes less time to seek to some arbitrary point. Second of all, solid state drives are not as vulnerable to bumps as much as traditional or hybrid drives are. If you've ever seen someone kill a laptop by jostling it or bumping it, then you've seen the HDD take a lethal hit. Finally, certain maintenance tasks like defragging become obsolete.
5400 rpm hybrid hard drives would be the better choice over standard 7200rpm HDDs because they'd perform better if/when I did transfer large files.
The 1TB hybrid drives I'm seeing have a 64MB cache. So, these hybrids will have better performance for the first 64MB. Then they'll slow down to roughly 75% of the speed of a 7200RPM. Please note that I'm assuming the cache management adds negligible overhead on the hybrids. Hybrids are great for certain applications, like the WIndows Page file, and whenever you have a small amount of data you need to access frequently. Given my usage, I tend to be happier with a faster traditional drive.
Two 1Tb hybrid hard drives would cost me around $240, the middle of the road price for just one 256Gb SSD.
I hate to get personal, but what are you doing that requires 2.25TB (technically 2.05TB) of storage? My main PC / DVR only has 2 TB, complete with Win 7, Win XP, a non-working copy of Vista, and a years worth of TV. I'm only at 60% capacity, and once I delete the shows I've recorded but will probably never actually watch, I'll be well under the 50% mark.
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