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Old 02-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

I'm at a crossroads. I'm upgrading my system and a lot of the boards I can afford come with 2xSATA3 and 4xSATA2 ports.

I have 3 drives in my computer. An OS drive, and 2x RAID drives for data. I plan to get a new OS drive, a 60gb SSD SATA3. So having at least one SATA3 port is a must. But while I'm upgrading, I'm wondering if getting more than 2xSATA3 ports would be future proofing myself. Or, is it impossible for regular 7200 RPM drives to take advantage of SATA3's speed? If so, I'll bury that idea all together and just worry about SATA3 for the OS and SATA2 for data drives.

EDIT - further reading suggests non-SSD drives aren't even capable to hit SATA2, let alone SATA3. That said, it should present me with a decent setup. An SSD on SATA3 for OS, and 2x1TB RAID for data on SATA2 that they can't even max out. Parts ordered. Now we wait...
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

If you ever manage to get a Hybrid HDD, you could potentially flood SATA2, but it wouldn't be for long. The highest hybrid I have seen ever was an enterprise HDD that had a 12GB SSD built in. The most commonly accessed data would be moved from platters to the SSD portion by the drive when not in use. But this was back a few years ago, they probably don't make them anymore since the costs of SSD's have come down.

Then there is newer technology being worked on, that could in theory, make hard drives faster than an SSD, but probably wont see the light of day just like holo-cards that could store several TB of data on what was the size of a credit card.


But honestly, don't worry about SATAIII unless your SSD is going to be SATAIII, the fastest hard drives can max out SATA, but don't come close to flooding SATAII
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

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Originally Posted by c0rr0sive View Post
But honestly, don't worry about SATAIII unless your SSD is going to be SATAIII, the fastest hard drives can max out SATA, but don't come close to flooding SATAII
+1 to that.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

To put it simply, no. I have a SATA 3 Caviar Black, and it doesn't even come close to flooding SATA 2 speeds. If you're buying an SSD on the other hand, buy a SATA 3 and use it on a SATA 3 port, you'll be blown away.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

One other thing, there is only one reason HDD's are shipping as SATAIII now, SOME controllers have issues with different speed drives and it's starting to show. I have ran into a few SATAIII systems that could not, what so ever pick up SATA drives, but could pick up SATAII/III, then I had a SATAIII drive that wouldn't work on a SATA controller, had to set jumpers to cap it to SATAII speeds. Not sure why this is happening, as it's all supposed to be cross-compatable, but it probably has to do with how large these drives are becoming, and technology changing too often.

I am honestly surprised they don't make a SATA port that is above 30G. Then again, if you have SATA drives in RAID, you can max out a gigabit network connection, so...
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

Sounds good fellas. The original interest came when we purchase 30 mini ITX builds and set them up. They're running Ubuntu Linux and going into the one media computer lab at the one middle school. They're running E-350 APU's with DDR3 1333 RAM and the Crucial M4 SSD. Oh. My. Gosh. Things are just instant, absolutely instant. Every Libre Office application loaded, instantly. It was amazing how quick it was. That's what got me interested in updating my system...

The bottom line is, if a few extra bucks could benefit me for getting more than 2 SATA3 ports, I wouldn't mind doing it. However, I like the OS=SSD, Data=HDD setup, and I see no reason putting my data drives on SATA3 unless they can benefit from SATA3. A few things would have to happen to warrant 3 or more SATA3 ports.

1 - SSD's in the 1-2TB range come to about 100 bucks where I would actually buy them to utilize for data drives.
2 - SATA3 HDD's (non-SSD) that could actually benefit from a SATA3 pipe, which seems impossible since they can't max a SATA2 pipe.

So if maximum storage is still dictating standard HDD's, yet standard HDD's can't even max SATA2, I am now seeing that SATA3 for anything more than SSD drives is rather pointless.

Considering the cost of motherboards with 3 or more SATA3 ports is about double of those with 2 SATA3 ports in the range I was looking for, I think manufacturers are currently in the same trend. I ended up snagging a board with 2 SATA3 ports and 4 SATA2 ports. That way I can have a decent array of storage ports and even with my SSD I'd still have an open spot on the SATA3 front. Should work out nicely...

EDIT - I also heard that a lot of standard HDD's are coming at SATA3 simply because manufacturing processes can be cheaper if you do just SATA3 versus a SATA2 lineup and a SATA3 lineup. Makes sense from that standpoint.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayce View Post
Sounds good fellas. The original interest came when we purchase 30 mini ITX builds and set them up. They're running Ubuntu Linux and going into the one media computer lab at the one middle school. They're running E-350 APU's with DDR3 1333 RAM and the Crucial M4 SSD. Oh. My. Gosh. Things are just instant, absolutely instant. Every Libre Office application loaded, instantly. It was amazing how quick it was. That's what got me interested in updating my system...
It's nice to see people being proactive and adopting SSDs in a professional environment. It seems like a lot of people still have an irrational fear of using them even when the budget permits it and they could vastly improve the users experience.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a standard HDD benefit from SATA III?

They have a fear because they know what to expect from traditional hard drives, as they have existed for what, 40 years? I still say an SSD is not proven worth crap till I see one last for 10+ years with REGULAR USE FROM A USER, not this, "oh my, I have an SSD, I need to treat it special" ********.
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