Sata III hard drive in a Sata II motherboard

I recently purchased a western digital caviar black, as my old hard drive was only 5,000rpm sata II. My current motherboard only has a sata II bus, but i have a sata III motherboard hanging about (don't ask). I have heard that hard drives cant all take advantage of the capabilities of sata III, but i know that my drive is very fast. I was wondering whether i should install the sata III motherboard or simply use the sata II slots of my current MB. My windows license is an OEM version, so if i replace my motherboard (the Sata III one is better) i will have to repurchase windows, but i was considering upgrading to windows 8 anyway. Please help!
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  1. Hard drives can't benefit from SATA III, is true so far. They only put SATA III ports on them for two reasons: 1) cheaper to maintain stock of only one kind of port across all products, and 2) being able to write 6 Gb/s transfer speed on the box even though the drive will never transfer at that rate.
  2. just an addendum but an HDD can read and write at sata3 speeds but only to/from its onboard cache which is small (16,32, or 64Mb (not Gb)) and runs out real fast.
  3. WyomingKnott - Minor correction - The SATA ports on a motherboard are all identical. The pinouts are identical. There is only one international standard for SATA cables and SATA ports until SATAExpess is introduced at the end of this year to start the migration to consumer oriented PCIe ssd's. I'm guessing you probably meant the controllers on motherboards.
  4. Just linguistic - I call a port attached to an SATA II controller an SATA II port, and a port attached to an SATA III controller an SATA III port, and a port attached to an LPT controller an LPT port. You are right, the first two are physically and electrically identical.
  5. If you have an ASRock you better check their list of Boxed Sata II motherboards that recognize sata III hard drives.
    http://www.asrock.com/support/SupportList.asp?cat=eSATA2box
    I have also had to update the BIO's on Gigabyte motherboards before the motherboard would recognize the 6GBs hard drives.
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