In fact the SATA standard body has explicitly forbidden the use of the term SATA 2 to describe SATA products.
People mistakenly call drives that support 1.5 Gbps transfer rates .SATA 1 and those that support 3.0 Gbps transfer rates SATA 2.
The assumption being that there are are two generations of hard drives that comply to different standards and support different feature sets.
That assumption is false. All SATA drives are of the same generation and implement the same features according to the same standard.
Some feature like 3.0 & 6.0 Gbps transfer rates and NCQ are optional. Manufactures are free to implement optional features as they see fit.
So you have 1.5 Gbps drives with NCQ and 3.0 Gbps drives without it.
The SATA transfer rate chosen has no effect on hard drive performance, because hard drives are too slow to exceed SATA 1.5 Gbps speeds.
So as far as hard drive are concerned 1.5 Gbps vs 3.0 Gpbs tells has no meaning at all.
The transfer rate of a SATA controller is only important because there are devices that allow multiple hard drives to be connected to a single SATA port, which could push the combined transfer rate over 150 MBps.
PS Yes I know there is a SATA 1 standard and a SATA 2 standard, but they never actually sold any devices that implemented only the first standard.
So really you could argue that all drives are SATA 2 and its SATA 1 that doesn't exist.
Expect that would a) be rather silly, and b) be against the wishes SATA IO board which has the final say on such matters.
There is a point to having a HDD with a 3Gb/s (375MB/s) transfer rate, just not in 32 bit windows xp. The problem is windows xp isn't designed to take advantage of the advanced features of SATA drives because they didn't exist 4 years ago. In vista and xp x64 edition, it is possible to enable the performance enhancing features and achieve upwards of 50% higher transfer rates on drives with NCQ.
But this still only puts you at about 90-110MB/s transfer rates. The rest is for burst speed. Most drives are capable of cranking out burst speeds of arround 150MB/s or better. This is where you start to push the limits of the 1.5Gb/s (187.5MB/s) transfer rate. Like all busses in a computer, you don't want to come close to maxing out your available bandwidth because crosstalk will kill your performance and increase the risk of corrupted data. So, doubling the bandwidth eliminates the potential problems caused by high burst speeds on modern 8-16MB cache HDD's.
The difference in performance for the average user is very minimal. But, given the cost of drives that posess the full SATAII spec, I don't see any reason to buy anything less than a HDD with NCQ and the 3.0Gb/s transfer rate.
For the most part SATA 1.5 Gb/s and SATA 3.0Gb/s don't differ much in performance. However, there are small performance enhancements with SATA 3.0Gb/s vs. SATA 1.5Gb/s. As mentioned before, hard drives usually cannot come close to consuming that much bandwidth but RAM easily can. Since all hard drives have a small amount of memory built in for cache, there are some small improvements due to the extra bandwidth. Coming up within the next few months devices like the solid state hard drive and the hybrid hard drive will be able to fully utilize the bandwidth of SATA 1.5Gb/s and SATA 3.0 Gb/s. While traditional hard drives can't fully benefit from the bandwidth, that will soon change with these new drives. As of matter of fact the SATA 6.0 Gb/s standard is being planned.
Coming up within the next few months devices like the solid state hard drive and the hybrid hard drive will be able to fully utilize the bandwidth of SATA 1.5Gb/s and SATA 3.0 Gb/s. While traditional hard drives can't fully benefit from the bandwidth, that will soon change with these new drives. As of matter of fact the SATA 6.0 Gb/s standard is being planned.
I had forgotten to write about the solid state drives (somwhere around the third time I had typed "waiting...") yeah those WILL offer a jump in performance; we can finally be excited about hard drives again! Remember when having a 20 MB hardrive was the ultimate in speed and unused space? then we could run double space (was that the program?) and get ~120 MB! First release, for those wondering, was VERY buggy, if I am remembering correctly.
I have just never liked the SATA drives, and have refused to buy one as the real world performace increase just couldn't justify it to me. but I guess if no one bought them, then the companies would have a harder time bringing out the next generation solid state SATAs at, hopefully, decent prices.
I like the fact that SATA drives don't need master/slave channels (the epitome of laziness) hehe. That and they're not as much of a pain to configure. But that could just me... my PATA drive took a while because I didn't have it as the master on the cable... and with my SATA drive I just plugged it in.
I am hyped about getting a hybrid HDD for both my desktop and my laptop (and yes, this is the first time I've been excited about getting a new hard drive for some time). From what I've read they will be released for laptops in 1Q 2007, then followed by the desktop drives later in the year. Have any hardware sites tested these drives yet? I'm anxious to see some benches.
Is that a rhetorical question? Becuase if it isn't the answer is simple: SATA (for all intensive purposes I'll just refer to it as SATA150) just has more than enough bandwidth for the HDD. SATA300 would be overkill for that drive.
Gee... That was, if memory serves, first issued by MS in DOS 6.0, circa '93... And it would maybe yield an 80% compression, making your 20MB drive ~ 36MB. Trust it? Nope. (My 20 MB drive was, incidentally, long gone, replaced by an 80 MB... All I could afford at the time)
But it caused a whale of a courtcase... Anyone remember if MS actually bought out Stac?
When they started adding features to all of this BS. The SATA spec committee needs to pull the giant telephone poll out of their ass and fix this crap. When I see a standard I want to immediately know what the hard drive has. I may be unreasonable, but hell, I don't care lol. There are certain things that should be standardized, hard drives is one of them. Honestly, I really just hate having to investigate a hard drive for its features... I mean wtf is that about? I would rather spend my time investigating DX10, C2Q, not whether or not my hard drive has NCQ....