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How useful will USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s in the near future?

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December 10, 2009 10:36:33 AM

I'm looking at 1156 motherboards, and some of the Gigabyte boards come with USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s. To use these features, I'd have to give up SLI/Crossfire and settle with one PCIe 2.0 8x slot. This sounds like a good deal for me, because I don't game that much. I just wanted to know how soon the new versions of USB and SATA will be of any use. Will SSD cross the 300Mb/s threshold soon? And will USB 3.0 devices come out in abundant amounts within the next year, as some predict?

Here's a link that shows only a 1-2% loss in performance from PCIe 2.0 8x vs 16x, but this thread is mainly about the two new features listed above. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Expr...

More about : usb sata 6gb future

a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 12:24:12 PM

How much is near?, Seems pretty clear it's not going to be of use immediately theres are review here on home page. The limitation on the Pciexpress bus need to be overcome beyond experimentation. Currently the loss on Video lines available is the main issue as a server it seems implementable.
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December 10, 2009 2:19:14 PM

From what I've been reading, it sounds like USB 3.0 is likely to replace eSATA. But it seems that it will take a while to enter the mainstream market and that it should be available in fairly inexpensive add-in cards. I've seen a card for about $60 online already.

SATA 6Gb/s sounds much less certain. Although, Seagate has already developed a SATA 6Gb/s drive, it is not currently necessary for any hard drives. It is easily predictable that SSD drives will overcome 300MB/s in the next year, the companies seem to be focusing more on capacity right now. And the prices of SSD drives are still not too reasonable for the mainstream market.

I'd like to get some people's thoughts regarding how necessary these two technologies will be in two or three years. Also, how difficult/expensive will it be to add these to a computer later.
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December 10, 2009 9:39:01 PM

I really would appreciate any input about these two new technologies.
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December 10, 2009 10:59:27 PM

honestly i think usb 3.0 is goign to be huge. just look at the difference over 2.0 in the benchmarks even on an average drive. benchmarks say it all.
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a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 11:14:06 PM

I think USB 3.0 will be nice, as well as the new SATA specs, but be careful of the implementation - I've seen that on the Gigabyte board, I think, it borrows bandwidth from the PCIE - no good for graphics.
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December 11, 2009 12:43:06 AM

I'm not too concerned about the graphics since the above link shows that even a 5870 with only lose 1-2% by the impaired graphics. I won't be able to use Crossfire or SLI in any effective manner, though.

The benchmarks do look very impressive for USB 3.0, but with the availability of cheap add-on cards coming I don't know how imperative that I get it now. Will having it integrated into the motherboard offer benenfits over the potential add-on cards?
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December 12, 2009 3:24:15 AM

Having it integrated will probably be more beneficial. But wait for later versions of P55/X58 boards, no point wasting money on today's board that offer USB 3.0 I i don't think intel even officially support them yet) since there aren't any products that fully support them yet.
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December 12, 2009 6:22:41 AM

Well, all of Gigabyte's P55A boards have these features built in. I just ordered the P55A-UD3 today for $135.
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 12:06:23 PM

They don't all have them built in, do they - I thought just the A models like you listed.
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 1:18:18 PM

Dougx1317 said:
I really would appreciate any input about these two new technologies.

USB 3.0 will be a huge deal. Since the absolute maximum tranfer rate of the current USB 2.0 is 480Mbits per second which is usually never acheived, it can only make about a 60Mbyte transfer rate which is a huge bottleneck for external USB devices such as hard drives...etc and even than, 60Mbytes is almost never acheived. Therefore lets if you get an external fast drive like a Samsung Spinpoint (decent) than it will be bottleneck to 50%+ of its full performance. If USB 3 can achieve a higher transfer rate, it would be a huge benefit in every capacity. Now, about SATA...SATA I is 1500Mbits so around 190Mbytes, SATA II is 375Mbytes. We can easily first conclude that just about no hard drive in singlular can come close to reaching SATA I. With SATA II, no hard drive or a decent MLC SSD can reach that. The only thing that can surpass 375Mbytes is a ridiculous HDD raid 0 array, a very high end and expensive SLC SSD, or a 2x decent SSD's in a Raid 0 array. SATA III is 6GB/s if i am not mistaken giving it a transfer rate of around 750Mbytes. Practically all SSD's currently available in the mid-to high end price range will not be able to surpass that either way and I believe that manufactures instead of changing interfaces to the new SATA will make thier SSD's in PCI slot cards which provide a much larger bandwidth than any SATA can so I see no point in SATA III when SSD's can be made for PCI slots and HDD's can't even surpass SATA I.
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 1:51:01 PM

SATA III and usb 3.0 will be huge. Right now ssd's are being bottle necked by sata II and usb 3.0 will make everything so much faster. Imagine all of the wireless internet adapters using usb 2.0 that will be bottlenecked in the near future. There are even a few motherboards that have a little of this new technology, like the ASUS P6X58D, so this isnt even that far into the future.
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 3:13:50 PM

^Uhm...name one SSD that is bottlenecked by SATA II.
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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 3:22:06 PM

Fine, normal ones aren't yet, but the ones that you put into pci slots are getting closer. In the near future, when ssd's are a bit more popular, SATA II would be overwhelmed so SATA III is definitely needed. Sorry about that tad bit of misinformation! :D 
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December 13, 2009 3:31:42 PM


Times are bad, manufactures needs every little bit of help to make more sales, so expect lots of USB3 and SATA-III products next year. I advise you to get a good mainboard with USB3 and SATA-III. USB 3 Pen drive would become so much faster, this is very useful for backup/moving data around.

Ares1214 makes good point about SATA-II limitations.
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 3:48:03 PM

also, i might be wrong about this but say you were filthy rich a had 3 or 4 pci ssd's going at 800 Mb/ sec going in RAID 0. I might be wrong, but then would that be getting close to 3Gb/sec. Besides, the technological world upgrades so fast that soon we will be getting ssd's at 6 Gb/ sec in serial boxes, so i think it's almost perfect timing with the rise of the ssd to release sata III.
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December 13, 2009 3:50:28 PM

Thanks for the input.

I've read other places that SSD's will be moving to PCI-e, but I thought that 1x slots were 250MB/s and 1x 2.0 slots were 500MB/s. Will SSD's need PCI-e 4x or some sort of 3.0 slot? Isn't there a good chance that they could stay on SATA connections, because they look more user friendly? Just like how eSATA never really took off despite being superior to USB 2.0.

I'm also concerned that SSD manufacturers will start concentrating more on capacity than speed. Will there even be SSD's faster than 375MB/s a non-insane prices in three years?

Would there be any advantage to running my non-6GB/s drive on SATA 3 or older flash drives on the new USB 3.0?
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a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 3:58:27 PM

to be honest, ssd's should be focusing more on capacity. they are so fast they bottleneck most systems, and so expensive that most people dont have them. SSD companies need to focus on catching up with hdd's in capacity and affordability. Also, no you would not see really any gain with sata 3, but usb 3 on the other hand could help out a lot. I doubt that ssd will be moving to pci that much because pci is normally taken up by other cards.
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