Can Command Queuing Turbo Charge SATA?

What Is It All Good For?

In order to make the differences between TCQ and NCQ clear, we tested the technology with four different hard drives: Two Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 with 160 GB, whereas one of them operates with 32 step NCQ and the other one without this feature. Furthermore, we included the fastest Serial ATA drives: Western Digital's Raptor at 36 GB and the faster model with 74 GB and TCQ. Unfortunately, it was not possible to directly compare TCQ and non-TCQ operations with the last two drives because of technical differences (7,200 vs. 10,000 rpm).

Working at 10,000 rpm, Western Digital's Raptor still is the fastest SATA drive available.
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  • Thank you for the comparison. Judging by the tests, it seem NCQ is no big deal. Does it really help with multitasking in ways other than speed, though?