I've run into trouble with my new SAMSUNG HD501LJ, 500GB, SATA-II disk.
First, when I bought it, I tried to connect to the regular SATA connector (not RAID), unfortunately it didn't seem to work.
Windows XP Professional couldn't create a filesystem. I booted in Linux and created an NTFS filesystem, then went back to Windows which recognized the filesystem without problems. Then I tried to copy some files to my new hard drive, but it couldn't operate faster than 2MB/s.
I was wondering why this was happening, then I remembered the installation instructions paper, which told me that if I want to use my disk with only SATA-I compatible hardware, I have to put my disk into SATA-I mode with a "software can be downloaded from our website".
I found HDUTIL3 on their website, made an utility floppy and started HDUTIL, but there were no such setting as SATA1/SATA2 mode at all. The drive was still operating at 2MB/s, under all operating systems.
Under Windows I tried to install Intel's chipset stuff (INF update) downloaded from asus.com, but it didn't solve the problem.
I gave it up, but tried to connect the disk not to the regular SATA, but the Promise RAID Controller, I set its operating mode from "RAID" to "IDE".
I booted the computer, and voila, Windows found a Promise Controller and installed my hard drive as a SCSI Disk. I've used this way since then.
Here comes the "second" trouble: even connected to the Promise Controller and has the UltraDMA7 setting, it won't operate faster than ~60MB/s which annoys me a little bit, because SATA-I is 1.5Gb/s which should be ~180MB/s, but at least above 100MB/s.
My HDTach results:
Burst speed: 85.9 MB/s
Random access: 14.1ms
CPU utilization: 8%
Average Read: 66.0 MB/s
Motherboard: ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe
Processor: Intel Pentium-4 2.00GHz (overclocked to 2.4GHz, no problem with stablity)
I'm using Windows XP Professional (updated recently, so it's up to date). I was wondering if the solution was to install Intel Application Accelerator, but Intel says if someone has a 82801EB chipset use the Windows native driver (http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/iaa/sb/cs-009292.htm).
not quite sure whats up with the 2MB/s transfer rate, didnt read too much into it... but the HDTACH test results are fairly normal for current 7200s, TBH.
the interface bandwidth wont impact the sustained transfer rates at all... as such, even if youre operating on only sata150 (150MB/s), youll still be limited by the actual hdd mechanics, rather than the interface being used... sata300 (300MB/s) is only there for futureproofing purposes, but no hdd is anywhere near being able to make use of it yet, since we have yet to even exceed sata150 (the very fastest 15k scsi hdd tops out at about 128MB/s)
First problem - never rely on Windows to get the job done. By default, with SP1 or SP2, large volume support (over 137g) is not "fully" supported. I ran into this identical problem.
I downloaded a utility from Western Digital (works with all drives), and after installing it on a fresh XP SP3 install fully updated, the first thing it told me was that the registry was missing 1 crucial entry. It made the change (watch it, it'll reboot your machine without warning), and after XP started again the drive was screaming fast.
FWIW, the whole P4P line of motherboards were sketchy. I have the 800 Deluxe and have been fairly lucky. Built a machine for my friend, exact same parts from the same store, nothing but problems. The -E are the worst.
The 60 to 66 MB/s average data transfer rate you get is perfectly normal for real-world performance of a SATA drive. And as you've found, original SATA and SATAII (3.0 Gb/s) are almost the same, because the drive cannot possibly keep up with the max capability of the interface. The fine print says the 1.5 or 3.0 Gb/s spec is the peak burst transfer rate, but they don't really spec the long-term average.
I don't think I've heard about that drive, actually but I looked at that Spinpoint F1 at Storagereview.com and saw that it was pretty fast. The black edition from Western Digital at 1GB was a bit faster when it came to maximum read performance.