Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing

While tagged command queuing is a standard feature for SCSI components, it has not been very successful in the ATA world. IBM was the only manufacturer that introduced a modified version of tagged command queuing into their DeskStar 75 GXP series. Unfortunately, controller support for TCQ was very limited and retarded its success.

Today, more and more SATA drives are going to support command queuing. It's tagged command queuing for all models that work with a parallel ATA interface plus SATA bridge, while all native SATA drives should be able to do native command queuing until the end of this year.

The secret behind command queuing is simple: Provided that the controller, the driver and the drive support command queuing, the latter is given the freedom to reorder incoming commands in a manner that helps to reduce rotational latency and to increase efficiency. As only the drive really knows where exactly some sectors that altogether add up to a document file are stored, it needs to determine the fastest way of retrieving them.

Command Queuing Hard Drives

Maxtor will launch their MaXLine III (on the right) with native Serial ATA on June 21. Intel provided two of these with every reviewer's kit.

Although command queuing has been under discussion for quite some time, it has not made it into the SATA 1.0 specification. Nevertheless Seagate is an early adopter of NCQ (native command queuing) while Western Digital introduced tagged command queuing (TCQ) with their WD740 Raptor. Maxtor is going to introduce their MaXLine III series that feature both native Serial ATA and NCQ.

Again, you can refer to our benchmark section, for our command queuing benchmarks.

Bridged SATA drives use converter chips, here it is a Marvell bridge on a MaXLine II 250 GB drive.

The MaXLine III comes with a native Serial ATA controller that also is capable of command queuing.

We received a prototype of Seagate's Barracuda 7200.7 with Native Command Queuing enabled in January already.
  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
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  • So how do you unlock it?