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whats the point of sata 2? drives are mechanically limited

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January 7, 2007 8:34:50 PM

Does the theoretical increase in speed from sata 1 to sata 2 really end up doing anything in real life since these hard drives are all limited by the mechanical nature of the drive? Since the hard drive manufacturer release the same drive on different interfaces I'd be interested seeing a comparison between pata, sata 1, and sata 2. Anybody know of any articles about this? Am I even right in my assumptions?
January 7, 2007 10:00:24 PM

oh man, and I've looked at those before, wow, now I feel stupid
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a b G Storage
January 8, 2007 12:19:44 AM

The interface itself makes no difference in single drive applications. The features of each drive are what determines performance differences. For example, Perpendicular recording. Because the magnetic charges are stored that much closer to each other on the drive platters, the heads can read and write data that much quicker because they don't have to travel as far. The only time the interface speed makes a difference is when you set up a RAID 0 array, or another RAID array which involves Striping at some point.
January 8, 2007 4:57:45 PM

Hard drive speed limits are 100% mechanical at the moment so SATA 1.5 vs 3.0 doesn't matter.

3.0 doesn't hurt either and doesn't cost extra so the newer drives tend to use it more often than not and the newer drives are usually faster, but not because of the interface change.

RAID isn't a factor as each drive connects to the controller on an unshared bus.

Having a 3.0 controller is sometimes a plus because there are SATA port multipliers which have multiple HD share a bus, and exotic storage devices either of which might lead to a connected storage device to exceed SATA 1.5 interface speeds.


But for hard drive itself SATA interface version is 100% not a factor.
January 8, 2007 5:30:08 PM

3Gbps SATA allows for:

Faster burst transfers to/from cache, all 8 or 16MiB of it.

Better performance from solid state RAMDISKs, although the only one I am currently aware of in consumer usage is Gigabyte's I-RAM which only supports 1.5Gbps anyway.

Better performance when used with port multipliers that allow connection of more than one drive to a port. Alot of external enclosures do this.

Thats it.
a b G Storage
January 8, 2007 6:52:51 PM

Nope, your right. There really isn't much of a difference between ATA100/133 and SATA(I). If your looking at identical model SATA/ATA drives, there shouldn't be much of a difference. There should be a very small one as the data at some point probably goes through a bridge chip. (like what you'd see when looking at PCIe/AGP cards.) The only thing you really get by moving up on the interface is more features.
a b G Storage
January 9, 2007 2:14:17 AM

Quote:
RAID isn't a factor as each drive connects to the controller on an unshared bus.


Hmmm.... I thought the SATA bus was shared between the ports.... although now that I think about it... that wouldn't make much sense on board with 6 or more SATA ports (case and point: the Abit AB9 Pro).
a b G Storage
January 9, 2007 4:51:20 AM

Nope, SATA is like PCIe. Unlike PCI which shares all the available bandwith with all the slots, PCIe and SATA are high speed point to point serial connections. Nothing is shared, its a direct connection between the SATA port and the SB.
January 10, 2007 8:17:23 AM

Quote:
Nope, your right. There really isn't much of a difference between ATA100/133 and SATA(I). If your looking at identical model SATA/ATA drives, there shouldn't be much of a difference. There should be a very small one as the data at some point probably goes through a bridge chip. (like what you'd see when looking at PCIe/AGP cards.) The only thing you really get by moving up on the interface is more features.


The bridge chip USED to be the case when SATA drives first came out but most of the new drives are natively sata now
a b G Storage
January 10, 2007 5:56:40 PM

Quote:
but most of the new drives are natively sata now


Uhhhmmmm, yeah, thanks for that tidbit....

Seeing as drives are now made to be SATAs, how do you think they make IDE/PATA drives? (hint, they use a bridge chip.)
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