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Current SATA II Saturation Rates

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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 3:56:03 AM

Hey all,

I'm curious as to if there is anyone out there who can enlighten me as to what the current saturation rates are for SATA II in regard to standard mechanical drives.

I'm aware of the fact that SSD's are close to or already have reached the full 3Gbit/s saturation rate that SATA II can offer, hence why SATA III is slowly making its way onto new MOBOs. Many articles state that mechanical drives will reach full saturation of SATA II in 2011, but one would figure that there are some mechanical drives out there that are really close or already have.

I'm not looking for an HDD, improved performance or anything, I'm just curious about where the current standard is with most HDDs out there today.

Thanks for the enlightenment in advance!

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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 4:14:46 AM

SSDs are pretty close - remember the difference between bits and bytes. A 3Gbps SATA connection can support a maximum throughput of 300 megabytes per second (8 bits of data + 2 bits of ECC for every byte transmitted, so 3Gbps=300MBps actual data rate). Some SSDs are fairly close, and the fastest consumer mechanical drives are at roughly half that.
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 4:38:26 AM

SATA 6Gb/s (please refrain from using non-existent SATA III/II) would offer better cache burst speed to current generation HDD, as some latest ones are now upto 64MB. That's just from a technical POV. In real world it would be utilised differently depending on the circumstance.

In current state of NAND density with most based on 2-bit per cell, it takes at least a 128GB SSD with 8 internal channels or more to saturate 300MB/s so for the upcoming generation of 4-bit/cell NANDs the arrival of SAS/SATA 6Gb/s is quite important. Nothing to worry about with what's available on market of course. But the time you need it it'll be another 1.5-2yrs down the road.
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 5:10:11 AM

4 bit per cell MLC? I'm somewhat skeptical of the reliability, but it would be great to help capacities.
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 6:24:30 AM

Interesting. So mechanical HDDs can only pump out 150mb/s- the fastest ones that is. With that said, it doesn't seem feasible to hit the full 300gb/s or near that by 2011 with a mechanical drive. It's like they are advancing as fast as say, CPU and GPU's. It looks like SSDs are indeed the wave of the future. Now it's a matter of the price going down.
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 8:29:38 AM

Well, there is a mechanical drive that can hit ~210MB/s. It's an enterprise 15000RPM model though. The fastest consumer drives are around 150MB/s peak.
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