Originally posted by hymie
whoa, sorry i missed your brilliance before. if the flash memory is significantly slower than the hard disk in every possible situation, then why is intel marketing this new chip on the motherboard as useful for storing info during deep sleep as opposed to writing everything to the hard disk and then cutting power?
I believe it has something to do with spin up/spin down. Hard disks take longer to get going than flash (a couple of secs), during which time they are slower. It is also advantageous to avoid spinning up the hard disk more often than necessary to preserve its lifespan, and it is probably desirable when putting a computer into sleep mode if its hard drive doesn't continue to whirr for several minutes as you manhandle it into your rucksack, risking damage to the drive, and potentially upsetting airport baggage inspectors, who generally don't like it if bags make funny noises.
Power consumption may also be a factor - if you've put your machine to sleep it may be because the battery is nearly flat, in which case it would be preferable if the process of spinning up the hard disk to preserve its memory to permanent storage did not cause the battery to run out before it finishes backing up.
I'm pretty sure it is not
because flash is faster than a hard disk.
I suppose however, although I am no engineer, that there might be merit to your scheme if the flash cache (hey, that rhymes) allowed the hard drive to remain asleep for longer while the machine is awake, thereby preserving its lifespan, and your battery life, and keeping your computer quieter.
I can already see several possible flaws though. If it is as significant as has been claimed, then the speed differential probably makes the issue moot (you certainly don't want your virtual memory to be any slower than necessary). I have also heard it suggested on these forums that the lifespan of flash under heavy read/write usage is not favorable compared to hard disks, in which case it would be foolish to sacrifice the lifespan of a fairly expensive flash chip to save a comparatively cheap hard drive.
But then on the third hand, your hard disk has all your important stuff on it, and I'd rather pay to replace a dead flash chip than to have my vital documents recovered bit-by-bit from a dead hard drive.