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Seagate, AMD Show Blazing Fast SATA 3

For the last few years, SATA 2 has been the hard drive connection standard of choice for non-server markets. Offering up to 3 Gbps (300 MB/sec.) of (theoretical) speed has been adequate for many. However, Seagate, AMD and SATA-io believe the time for SATA 3 has come.

During a demonstration at the Everything Channel Xchange Conference in New Orleans, Seagate demoed the new 6 Gbps SATA 3 standard. According to the demo, the SATA2 drive (a 7200.12 Barracuda) topped out around 288 MB/sec, running just below the standards top theoretical speed. The SATA 3 drive, a Seagate Barracuda SATA 3 prototype, reached a staggering 589 MB/sec, more than double the speed of the SATA 2 setup.

"The increasing reliance of consumers and businesses worldwide on digital information is giving rise to gaming, digital video and audio, streaming video, graphics and other applications that require even more bandwidth, driving demand for PC interfaces that can carry even more digital content," said Joan Motsinger, Seagate's VP of Personal Systems Marketing and Strategy. "The SATA 6Gb/second storage interface will meet this demand for higher-bandwidth PCs."

New standards always make consumers nervous. New standards, in some cases, mean new hardware and new cables. In the case of SATA 3, the new drives will be 100 percent backwards compatible with SATA 1 and 2, and will use the same cables for easy integration. So if you find yourself with a new motherboard that sports SATA 3, hooking up an older SATA 2 hard drive packed with all your music and photos will be a snap.

According to the SATA-io website, SATA 3 (or SATA Revision 3.0) will be available in the first half of this year. AMD has said it plans to support the new standard with an upcoming revision of its 700 series chipsets. While no word from Intel has been received, expect SATA 3 on several chipset revisions as well as the new P55 motherboards coming out in a few months.

  • makotech222
    excellent. more speed for future ssds
    Reply
  • LoneEagle
    This will be good for RAID-0 SSD! But not for that long... Using the newest SSD and RAID-0, you can already bust that 589MB/sec.
    Reply
  • garydale
    While some people tout this as being great for SSDs, and it probably is, it appears that it will also give HD manufacturers some incentive to come out with faster drives. While the drives currently are running nowhere near their peak throughput, they do hit it sometimes. SATA-3 appears to give them enough headroom for future growth.
    Reply
  • While SATA 3 chugs along at decent pace where is my non-draft 802.11n?! :(
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    ill resist from buying a sata 3 and get one of those pcie 2.0 ssd's... o man those are effin fast
    Reply
  • Blessedman
    but unbootable ekilpz.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I think the fact that WD's Raptor line stuck with SATA 1.0 until the Velociraptor last year shows that in general, the world doesn't need faster SATA. If the fastest harddrive for 2 years never needed 3.0Gbps, how long until we need 6Gbps?

    This is probably just a ploy to prevent people from switching to USB 3.0. 5Gpbs? That's nothing compared to our 6Gpbs, so please, don't switch your harddrives over to USB 3.0. Pretty please?
    Reply
  • nekatreven
    hellwigI think the fact that WD's Raptor line stuck with SATA 1.0 until the Velociraptor last year shows that in general, the world doesn't need faster SATA. If the fastest harddrive for 2 years never needed 3.0Gbps, how long until we need 6Gbps? This is probably just a ploy to prevent people from switching to USB 3.0. 5Gpbs? That's nothing compared to our 6Gpbs, so please, don't switch your harddrives over to USB 3.0. Pretty please?
    I'd have to agree with that second part. Although, SATA port management and boot configuration tends to be a little better integrated into the bios on most systems, so that may also deter an all-out switch to usb. I'd always thought usb was more stressing on the cpu anyway. Then again there is still the point that there aren't that many mainstream parts that could take advantage of 6.0 or even 5.0gbps. I do disagree there though...I don't think it will be so long until we do have affordable parts that are that fast.
    Reply
  • MoUsE-WiZ
    hellwigIf the fastest harddrive for 2 years never needed 3.0Gbps, how long until we need 6Gbps?Why do you think OCZ is connecting the Z drive directly to a PCIe slot instead of sticking with SATA interface? It's because their forums are full of people hitting a bottle kneck with 3Gbps SATA with very obvious potential to bottle kneck at 6Gbps in the not very far future.
    Reply
  • foxman
    Please don't call this SATA 3. There is nothing like SATA 3. The correct name is SATA 6 Gbit/s. Now everyone is confused with the nomentaclature, where you don't know if someone talking about SATA 3 is taking about SATA 3 Gbit/s or SATA 6 Gbit/s. I HATE ALL OF YOU!!! ;)

    And 6 Gbit/s is per SATA link and not as whole, loneeagle.
    Reply