Thanks for your thoughts. I wasn't sure if anyone would reply considering how most people in my situation would just pick up a new netbook of some sort.
I've jumped the gun by buying 2 Transcend MLC SSD units off eBay. A 64GB and a 32GB version in IDE (PATA) 2.5" form. I purchased these about a month ago in fear that IDE SSD units will no longer be available in the future (looks like pata extinction by year end) You guys are right, I don't see any major online PC supplier that stocks PATA versions and if they do, the premium would much be like buying a high spec AGP card when a PCI-E of half the price would do more.
Cache alone cannot solve this problem, you need a specially designed controller
I suppose Intel's version of their MLC based SSD wouldn't help with their featured cache? However, I don't believe they use the same JMicron controller that many of the other brands do including the Transcend ones.
I'm currently overseas and it won't be able to tinker with the 2 SSD drives until a months time. Perhaps then, i'll need to post my results.
The Compaq laptop originally came with Windows 98. But for most of it's life, it's been running Win 2K pro. The 2nd laptop is an even older laptop Dell Latitude CP (PII-233Mhz, 3GB HD 2.5" IDE) that originally came with Win95 but for most of it's life, have been Win2k as the OS.
The particular work these laptops do has nothing to do with modern day gaming. The day to day road use of these laptops is based purely on MS Excel and the odd letter mail and some brief internet. Since both laptops are still on their original HD, a drive crash would be more fatal than anything else. So going to a solid state drive seemed like a good choice over the chance that a new HD or even the old hard drive could fail from a bad drop. BTW, i've also noticed that modern hard drives do not have the same reliability track record as once in the past say several years ago. Like cars, perhaps they don't make hard drives like they use to.
Have you guys heard of any stuttering issues with SLC based SSDs? I know all the modern tests show them ultra high speed like 100MB/s and up, but I suppose this is the case when going SATA.