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SATA Type and throughput?

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June 15, 2011 8:47:36 PM

I bought a sata cable recently from newegg because I needed a 6gbit/s (SATA III) cable for a new SSD I bought. After purchase I realized it looked exactly the same as the two Sata 3gbit/s cables that came with my motherboard. The two 6gbit/s are labeled as such, but the 3gbit/s have no labeling other than standard labeling on cable. I looked at newegg and the Sata type was "SATA II" but the description of the cable says it can handle 6gbps (as well as 3 and 1.5gbps). I thought SATA III meant 6gbit/s and SATA II meant 3gbit/s limit. How does a SATA II type cable able to have 6gbit/s limit/compatibility?

Edit: Little more information. My motherboard (P7P55D-E) Came with 2x Sata 6gbps and 2x Sata 3gbps (Says so in parts list of manual). The 6gbps are labeled as such, the 3gbps look like ordinary black sata cables. The new cable I bought that says it can handle 6gbps looks like the 3gbps ordinary cable i got with my motherboard and does not state 6gbps on the cable. It is type "Sata II" in newegg but states it can handle 6gbps. How does this make sense? I am confused.

More about : sata type throughput

a b V Motherboard
a c 316 G Storage
June 15, 2011 8:54:52 PM

The cables are compatible across SATA I / II / III. Not to worry.

All the SATA levels are compatible, too. If you connect an SATA III device to an SATA II controller, or vice-versa, you will just be limited to the slower speed. Right now, the only devices that can saturate SATA II are some SSDs.
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June 15, 2011 8:55:52 PM

Then why does my motherboard state I received 2x 3gbps and 2x 6gbps, the 6gbps being labeled as such. The 3gbps cables can support 6gbps?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 316 G Storage
June 15, 2011 8:59:47 PM

The cables are completely interchangeable. The specs have not changed.
As to what your motherboard states, I see three possibilities. One, they mean that you have four SATA ports, two SATA II and two SATA III. Two, I am wrong. Three, the silly person who wrote the manual didn't know that 3gbps SATA cables and 6 gbps SATA cables are built to the same specs.

Choice number two seems unlikely.
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June 15, 2011 9:03:33 PM

Okay. I believe you are correct. This labeling stuff is so confusing. Why even say the "Type" when selling the cables, doesn't make much sense, probably just another marketing crap scheme. My motherboard has two SATA III connections, hence the two cables like you stated and six SATA II. I just did tests on the non-"6gbit" labeled cable and it pushes past 300mb/s - So you are correct. Thanks.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 362 G Storage
June 15, 2011 9:40:03 PM

IMHO, some of this surely is just marketing hype. BUT some may be valid in this way. There have been several cases in the past (Ethernet cabling comes to mind) in which a new set of specs that provides better performance appears to require nothing more than the old equipment. But the truth is that some not-so-apparent features are now required that were not before. In older cables, SOME makers chose cheaper components that still allowed them to meet all the specs, and just barely ensured performance to that standard (e.g., the speed of data transmission). SOME of those cables may NOT meet the upgraded specs, but that's technically OK because they never were claimed to meet a spec that did not exist when the cheap older cable was made. On the other hand, many older cables were made a little better than the absolutely minimum requirements and they out-performed what was required back then - so much so that even now they CAN meet all the performance requirements of the updated new specs. So it gets confusing because the actual performance of "older" things (like cables) looks just fine in most cases, but fails in a few. If you pay for the new equipment that claims to be fully compatible with the new specs, you are VERY unlikely to have a failure. If you stick to using older components the failure probability is a little worse, but it might work just fine anyway.
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June 22, 2011 12:03:12 AM

Best answer selected by XPiRX.
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