Will a Seagate SATA III SSHD drive work with a SATA II motherboard?

I am looking for a SSHD drive for my Intel D946GZIS motherboard. My board is only SATA II compatible or 3Gb/s.I am looking at a Seagate Desktop 2 TB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6 GB with NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5 Inch (ST2000DX001). Now I am not sure if this drive will work with my motherboard. Can anybody help me, thanks.
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  1. SATA was designed to be backwards compatible. What this means in your case is that you can certainly use a SATA III drive with that motherboard but you'll only get SATA II performance from it, as dictated by the motherboard specs.
  2. Best answer
    Phillip is correct. But the news is better than that. Mechanical (rotating disks) HDD's cannot come close to SATA II (more properly, SATA 3.0 Gb/s) speeds - they perform more like older SATA I, in fact. That includes the actual mechanical drive portion of the hybrid unit you are buying. However, SSD's (and the SSD portion of your hybrid unit) do reach the SATA 3.0 Gb/s data rate, and sometimes exceed that by a bit. They do NOT get close to the SATA 6.0 Gb/s rate, though. So, you WILL see substantial improvement in HDD performance by using the hybrid unit. And yes, it will work on your machine, as Phillip said.
  3. paperdoc,
    is installation easy? Do you have to change anything in your BI)S in order for the hybrid drive to work?
  4. I've just upgraded a 2008 PC with a SATA II mobo with a SATA III SSD. It plugs in just like any other SATA hard drive (although I needed a special mounting bracket to make it fit a 3.5" drive bay - most SSDs are 2.5") and then you clone your boot drive over to it using whatever clone software you like.

    You're supposed to enable AHCI in the BIOS to get full performance out of an SSD, and you may need to enable it in your OS as well. I tried enabling AHCI in the BIOS, and for some reason that hammered the data rate so much it was slower than the old mechanical drive, so I set it back to IDE.
  5. A hybrid SSHD unit is installed exactly as a pain mechanical HDD - no special changes to anything.

    AVR2, there's one "trick" to changing to using AHCI without getting complicated. You need to set the SATA Port Mode to AHCI BEFORE installing the new drive (on your case, the SSD) and Partitioning and Formatting it. Doing the initial setup and installing Windows first sets it up like an IDE Emulation-type unit, and changing that later can get complicated. I am not sure, but I suspect that if you simply CLONE an older HDD that was used in IDE Emulation Mode, the settings thus copied to the new unit also make it at least somewhat like a non-AHCI unit. Maybe that's why it performs poorly when you change the SSD's port's mode to AHCI. It probably runs into errors and has to re-try many operations.

    I have not delved deeply into these details. I have a new SSD I'm about to install. But I'm also upgrading from an old Windows to 10, so I will do a complete new Install. I will back up both my old SATA units (used in IDE Emulation Mode), then wipe each completely clean, set their ports to AHCI mode, and restore all the old data from the backups. So I won't be cloning any old Windows configuration files.
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