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 PostPost subject: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:25 am 
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What are the differences between SATA and SATA II? I've always been wondering that and I figured this would be the right place to ask.


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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:26 am 
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SATA has a "maximum" speed of 1.5Gbps, whereas SataII has a "maximum" of 3.0gbps, and supports ACPI and a few other fancy features.
If you have the choice between Sata and SataII, go SataII

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:40 am 
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Remember 1.5Gbps/3.0Gbps is a theoretical speed. You'll never get anywhere near it in real life...

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:43 pm 
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Andy wrote:
Remember 1.5Gbs/3.0Gbps is a theoretical speed. You'll never get anywhere near it in real life...


Well you can really. 1.5Gb/s is 150MB/s, and 300Gb/s is 300MB/s hence SATA150 and SATA300. both 150MB/s and 300MB/s can be achieved depending on manufacturer and RAID configuration.

(According to the industries use of 1000 bits in a KB and 1000 KB in a MB and 1000 MB per Gb as opposed to the true 1024 now denoted with an i (KiB/MiB/GiB)

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Last edited by OG on Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:58 pm 
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If you can reach those speeds on either interface, I'll eat my hat. Its just like USB2.0 speeds. Its 480Mbps (60MB/s) theoretical, you'll never actually reach it.

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The actual throughput currently (2006)[update] attained with real devices is about two thirds of the maximum theoretical bulk data transfer rate of 53.248 MB/s. Typical hi-speed USB devices operate at lower speeds, often about 3 MB/s overall, sometimes up to 10–20 MB/s

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:03 pm 
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SATA drives are meant to be used in arrays where speeds of 120MB/s for SATA150 are definately achievable and speeds of 260MB/s+ on SATA300. Those are just speeds I've seen personally using 7200 RPM drives. I have no doubt that better can be achieved with 10k drives using better controllers and more disks. They dont even need to sustain those speeds, only reach them at some point for the claim to be accurate. What we have with the use of these terms is a basic misunderstanting of the terminology. It is gigabits per second, not gigabytes per second. Once that is understood there is no uber fast unobtainable speed.

Edit: USB is another matter all together as there are vitualy no USB devices available that can take advantage of the theoretical transfer limit on USB2. If you use Firewire as another example, the common 400Mbit/s was not really achievable with any sort of storage due to the limitations of the storge devices at the time, you could however quite happily get sustained 40MByte/s when using Firewire400 for networking or closer to 80MBytes/s if using Firewire800. I have little doubt that if there was actually hardware that could take full advantage of the 480mbit speeds of USB2, it would supply that or pretty close to it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:21 pm 
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SATA (SATA 1.0):

  • Supports only one data transaction at the time (same as its predecessor PATA).
  • A theoretical speed of 150MB/s (less real speed due to protocol overhead and parity data, approx 110-120MB/s)
  • Up to a meter cable length (2m using eSATA with a maximum of one active HBA extender)
  • 1.1 supports NCQ and hotswapping, but often not implemented in older SATA controllers
  • Supports staggered spin-up mode. (Do not use on non-certified harddrives!*)
  • One device per channel, 16 devices with port multiplier (speed divided dynamically between all devices), port multiplier must be supported by controller.
  • Power (3.3V, 5V, 12V) provided by separate cable


SATA-II (SATA 2.0):

    Same as SATA 1.0 except...
  • Supports multiple data transactions at the time (same as SCSI).
  • A theoretical speed of 300MB/s (less real speed due to protocol overhead and parity data, approx 250-260MB/s)
  • Supports NCQ and hotswapping, mandatory on SATA-II controllers, NCQ needs supports on harddrive as well.
  • Supports speed negotiation, if device does not support SATA-II speeds or has persistent data transfer failures it falls back to SATA. Can be manually set on most harddrives by a jumper.


SATA-III (SATA 3.0) (upcoming standard):

    Same as SATA 2.0 except...
  • A theoretical speed of 600MB/s (less real speed due to protocol overhead and parity data, approx 500-520MB/s)
  • Supports enhanced NCQ and hotswapping.


Since no single mechanical harddrive can attain the speed for even SATA (SATA 1.0) the interface does not get maxed out. But modern flash-based harddrives can max out this speed easily, thus newer (SATA-III) and faster upgrades are needed. Even if SATA-I wasn't slow enough to slow down modern mechanical harddrives they opted to speed up the interface to 3Gbit/s with SATA-II, and at the same time force certain functions such as NCQ, multiple data transactions, staggered spin-up to be required for the standard. These could be added (except for multiple data transactions) onto an older SATA-I controller but most often were not (except for more expensive PCI and PCI-Express adapters such as RAID controllers).

A common misconception is that you can max out the SATA speeds by using harddrives in a RAID configuration. But only ONE device (if not using port multiplier) can be used per channel, and each channel can use the full speed, so if you add two or more drives in a RAID configuration each drive will have it's own 150Gbit/300Gbit/600Gbit interface. You will get higher speeds, but only because multiple harddrives cooperate in data transfers, not because the interface somehow "becomes faster" because you use RAID.

To use NCQ, hot-swap, enhanced power settings, staggered spin-up and multiple data transactions your BIOS must be configured to set the SATA controller in AHCI mode. RAID mode will also enable these functions. If the controller is set to "IDE mode", "IDE compatibility mode" or "PATA mode" the controller will act as an older parallell ATA controller thus disabling these functions.

*Stagged spin-up is a function that allows the SATA controller to spin up multiple harddrives one by one, thus lowering the high current requires during spin-up. Servers usually have multiple harddrives, so to avoid damage to the power supply the controller spins up each drive individually with a pause between each. [b]This function should only be used with server certified harddrives! [b]There are known problems with Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor consumer class harddrives where the staggered spin up function triggers an option in the harddrive firmware which makes the drive refuse a spin-up if not connected to a RAID controller supporting the feature. This will make the harddrive unusable. Only way to fix this problem is a firmware factory reset which can only be made at the factory.

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If you find any errors here let me know :P

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 PostPost subject: Re: SATA & SATA II        Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:23 am 
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