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SSD (and HDD) Sata-III Compatibility Question

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February 24, 2012 7:25:29 PM

Hi there,

I have a PC which is still running XP (32bit) currently but has a pretty good spec for when I built it.
Some details:
Nvidia (Evga) 790i Ultra SLI
Core 2 Duo E8500
4GB Ballistix 1066 RAM
Nvidia 9800GX2 graphics

My plan was this: Rather than spending out on a whole new system right now which would be very costly, I hoped to give this system a new lease of life. I've been tackling an overclocking problem with help of the forum recently and believe I have almost solved that.

The main point of this question is with regards to the hard drive. The current HDD is nothing special and I planned on keeping it as a spare back up and getting a new drive to do a fresh Windows 7 install.
After looking into the options, I decided that the way I wanted to do it was have a smaller SSD for the operating system and software such as the Adobe Suite and then a regular HDD for storing files.
Models I had in mind are Corsair 60GB Force GT SSD and WD 150GB VelociRaptor HDD.

My attention was then drawn to the fact that these are both Sata 3 drives and my ageing motherboard is only going to be Sata 2 (At best, I assume).
Are there issues with using this set up? I'm guessing if it works at all, there will be a significant performance drop.

Sorry for the long post, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Joe
a c 544 G Storage
February 24, 2012 7:45:47 PM

Jozzle said:
Are there issues with using this set up? I'm guessing if it works at all, there will be a significant performance drop.


No, there should be no issues.
The SSD is backwards compatible with SATA 2 ports. Just make sure that the port your SSD is connected to is in AHCI mode for best performance.

Although you won't get maximum advertised speeds from your SSD it still will be faster than a HDD.

HHDs can be SATA 3 "compatible", but not SATA 3 "capable".
No single HDD can spin fast enough to saturate a SATA 2 port, let alone a SATA 3 port, so there will be no loss of performance connecting it to a SATA 2 port.
February 24, 2012 7:50:14 PM

Thank you very much for your reply, it's a great help. I think for now I can swallow the fact that performance won't be quite as advertised, so long as there is a significant difference between that and a HDD.

Thanks again,
Joe
a c 544 G Storage
February 24, 2012 7:58:26 PM

Yes, there will be a definite real-world difference between an SSD with an O/S on it and a HDD with an O/S on it.

And in the future when you upgrade your motherboard, cpu, & O/S you will get increased performance from your SSD.
!