I am in the process of my first build and I think(hope)that I have most of it ready to go. I went with the ASrock 870 extreme for my motherboard. It supports SATA 6Gb/s, but there are not many choices for hard drives at that speed in my price range. The one I was looking at is the Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive.Will this hard drive be compatible with my motherboard and is it the best choice?
The latest SATA connections allow data transfer at rates up to 6Gbit/sec. But in fact there are no hard drives that can actually transfer data anywhere near that fast. The fastest hard drives can only transfer at around 1.5Gbit/sec (150MByte/sec) or so.
So for a hard drive it really doesn't matter whether you buy one with a 6Gbit/sec connection or a 3Gbit/sec one. It's only a few very fast solid state drives that can actually get bottlenecked by a 3Gbit/sec connection.
It's like USB - keyboards use a USB 2.0 connection even though they can never get anywhere near the theoretical 60MByte/sec capacity. They do it because the standard USB support chipsets all use that standard. The same applies to SATA - the chipset industry is moving to the SATA 6Gbit/sec standard and so all the newer drives are starting to use it whether they need it or not.
To answer your original question, any SATA drive should work with any SATA port, regardless of the speed. The SATA protocol is designed to auto-negotiate to the highest common speed supported by both ends of the connection.
Thanks a lot sminlal. I am very new to all this and really appreciate your clear answer. That really opens up my options for hard drives. I guess then that I can order pretty much any hard drive and be good to go,right? Is it best to get multiple hard drives or just one with a large capacity?
The ONLY boost that the WD SATA 6 drive gets from connecting to SATA 6 vs Sata 3 is Burst speed. NO notable improvement in day-to-day operation. I have the SATA 6 WD 1 Tb drive connected to SATA 6 Controller, extra cost could have been better spent an a couple of 6-packs.
If you have the "bucks" get a small SSD (80->100 Gig) for operating system and programs and a SATA 3 HDD for your data/files. Note: SSD provides CONSIDERABLE performance boost in loading operating system and programs, but not much gain in most game programs other than initial load.
I personally have always used a relatively smaller drive for the OS and a larger drive for data. My current system has an SSD for the OS and a relatively slow but very large "Green" drive to hold my data. As RetiredChief says, the SSD makes a huge difference.
Sofar only if you buy the C300. Othe Sata 6 SSDs should start appearing. Might want to wait on the SSD untill the Holiday sales along with the New crop of SATA6 SSds. Just partition your New HDD, allowing say 100 Gigs for the Operating system and programs.
If you play the cards right you might be able to just Clone the Operating system/programs to the HDD.
You would need to
(1) Use the Latest Intel RST driver. Use the F6 to load AHCI driver during Install.
(2) Would need to set the alignment (Need to google this if you have questions.
(Would have to edit registry to enable trim, and manually disable disk defrag for the SSD
That said, I normally just do a re-install to ensure.