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Intel MB vs AMD MB - Sata3 ports

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March 5, 2010 12:27:20 PM

I'm looking at building a new system. I do software dev and run webservers and databases on my machine. I'm also an audio enthusiast and use tools like cakewalk. Thus I'm really looking for max MIPS from my CPU as well as disk throughput (within reason).

This is still in flux, but a system I'm looking to put together would include:

i7-960
1 Crucial C300 128GB SSD (system drive)
3 Western Digital 1TB Sata3 Black HDs (RAID5).

I've read the articles about the 6Gbps drives not being able to saturate the bus and so limited returns there.
Nevertheless, those drives are only $119./ea (last time I checked) and that's not bad.

The problem is, all the Intel based MBs only have 2 Sata3 ports. For this I'd need 4, and more would be ideal.
I already see some AMD MBs with 6 Sata3 ports.

Can somebody tell me why the Intel based MBs are lagging in this area?
Is it a limitation in the chipset? All the manufacturers have this same 2 port limit.

More about : intel amd sata3 ports

a c 435 V Motherboard
March 5, 2010 12:48:57 PM

The first 1366 board I checked at newegg is made by asrock and comes with 6 sata 3.0 ports for $159.99 shipped. That's very reasonable. Are you looking to buy the Intel brand or just the x58 chipset?
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March 5, 2010 1:09:31 PM

Just the x58 chipset. I checked newegg and every Intel based MB there only has 2 Sata 3 ports. I sort of had my eye on the ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366. That's >$300 (pricey, yes). But even that one only has 2 Sata 3 ports and 6 Sata 2 ports.
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March 5, 2010 2:17:24 PM

Please don't be confused between 'SATA 3' & 'SATA 3Gbps'.
SATA 3 (aka SATA 3.0 or SATA III) has a data rate of about 5-6 Gbps
while the older version SATA 2 (aka SATA 2.0 or SATA II) has a data rate of 3Gpbs.
Most of X58 mb have 6 slots of SATA 2 (3Gbps) since it's specified by the Intel chipset.
New mb (example: ASUS P6X58D, Giga X58A-UD7, etc.) have SATA 2 plus SATA 3 & USB 3.
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March 5, 2010 2:36:33 PM

Right. No confusion there. When I say Sata3, I mean 6Gbps. When I say Sata2, I mean 3Gbps.
I want an Intel MB (so I can put an i7-960 on it) and have (at least) 4 Sata3 (6Gbps) drives on it.
One will be a crucial C300 SSD. The other 3 will be the 1TB Western Digital Sata3 (6Gbps) hard drives
that recently came out configured on RAID 5, so I'll have 2 TB available.

All Intel based MBs on newegg I see only have 2 Sata3 (6Gbps) ports. But the AMD MBs there (3 the last time I checked) have 6 Sata3 (6Gbps) ports on them.



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March 5, 2010 3:05:07 PM

flavius64 said:
Just the x58 chipset. I checked newegg and every Intel based MB there only has 2 Sata 3 ports. I sort of had my eye on the ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366. That's >$300 (pricey, yes). But even that one only has 2 Sata 3 ports and 6 Sata 2 ports.


Flavius, sorry. My previous post is meant for o1die:
Quote:
Please don't be confused between 'SATA 3' & 'SATA 3Gbps'.
SATA 3 (aka SATA 3.0 or SATA III) has a data rate of about 5-6 Gbps
while the older version SATA 2 (aka SATA 2.0 or SATA II) has a data rate of 3Gpbs.
Most of X58 mb have 6 slots of SATA 2 (3Gbps) since it's specified by the Intel chipset.
New mb (example: ASUS P6X58D, Giga X58A-UD7, etc.) have SATA 2 plus SATA 3 & USB 3.


As for your question, I think both Intel & AMD mb will have very limited SATA 3 slots.
The reason: SATA3 uses PCIE lanes. Intel has 32 lanes while AMD has 42.
I read somewhere that SATA3 uses 6 of those lanes. I'm not sure whether the
6 PCIE lanes is for 1 or 2 SATA3 slots.
Note: If you want to have SLI/CF you need 32 lanes (16x + 16x).
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a c 435 V Motherboard
March 5, 2010 3:21:56 PM

Thanks for the clarification.
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March 15, 2010 1:48:16 AM

I still haven't figured out why the AMD motherboards (3 on newegg last count) have 6 Sata3 ports and none of the 20+ Intel motherboards that support Sata3 have more than 2 ports.

Does anybody know the answer to this?
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Best solution

March 15, 2010 1:43:51 PM

The reason that AMD has boards with 6 sata 3.0 slots is because they just came out with a chip set that is capable of running that many. I imaging that Intel will incorporate this capability but the question is how soon. If your 3 1TB hds are only rated at sata 2.0 then I would not worry about this because there will be little to no advantage to running them on sata 3.0.

I hope that helps answer your question.
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March 15, 2010 3:26:20 PM

Best answer selected by flavius64.
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