Is there such a thing as a SATA II cable?

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LH
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Is there such a thing as a SATA II cable?

Post by LH » Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:25 pm

I'm going to buy a Samsung or Western Digital SATA II hard drive. (I'm waiting for SPCR reviews on the SP2004C/SP2504C and WD2500KS drives :)). Since these are SATA II drives, do I need a SATA II cable (if there is even such a thing) or do I use a SATA/150 cable? I believe Western Digital recommends the same SecureConnect SATA cable for both its SATA/150 and SATA II drives.

I'm thinking that a SATA/150 cable might hamper the data transfer a bit (although I doubt a SATA or SATA II drive would max out all its available bandwidth anyway) or at worst be incompatible with the SATA II drive?

Any thoughts on this?

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:00 pm

I think the WD SecureConnect cables are probably the best SATA cables available at this time. SATA II will not exceed the bandwidth of these cables, especially on 7200 RPM drives.

Just remember that if you use the WD SecureConnect cable, you must use a regular Molex power connector from your PSU and not the SATA power connector that is available on many new PSU's. The WD drives have both power connectors, but the WD SecureConnect cable blocks the SATA power input socket.

JazzJackRabbit
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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:18 pm

WD SecureConnect is a proprietary cable, it will work only with WD drives. Besides, I think regular SATA cables are just fine.

Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:58 pm

I can't seem to find it now, but I think I read that the main change for SATA 2 (and eSATA) cables was to make the connectors more "robust" so they could withstand a greater number of plugging and unplugging cycles. They are electrically compatable with the SATA 1 specification.

Here are some SATA 2 cables:

http://www.satagear.com/SATA_II_Products.html

Here is the industry association:

http://www.sata-io.org

LH
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Post by LH » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:30 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

If I end up going with the WD2500KS, I'll definitely use the WD SecureConnect cable. However, judging from some reviews of the WD2500KS, it seems that drive is just "average" and is a bit overpriced. It's supposed to be quiet, but I'm kind of scared of the whine some report with their 320GB WD drives. I'm leaning more towards the Samsung SP2004C, since nobody seems to have the SP2504C in stock... :(. I hope the SATA cables that come with my AN8 Ultra will be good enough.

jackylman
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Post by jackylman » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:40 am

Hmmmm... How many times are people going to plug/unplug their hard disk?

Sounds like some people are trying to make some money off the placebo effect.

teknerd
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Post by teknerd » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:57 am

LH, you might want to reconsider buying an SATAII hard drive.
1) There is no added performance benefit, a 7200RPM drive tops out at about 70MB/s, far below SATA I's 150MB/s limit.
2) SATA II hard drives are more expensive for nothing extra
3) Some of the "features" (like NCQ) can actually reduce performance in a standard desktop system.

All in all it doesnt really make sense to buy a SATA II hard drive (its kinda like a USB 2.0 Mouse).
I'd just get one of the the SATA I Western Digitals (the JD series).
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Pgh
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Post by Pgh » Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:13 pm

jackylman wrote:Hmmmm... How many times are people going to plug/unplug their hard disk?

Sounds like some people are trying to make some money off the placebo effect.
SATA 2 and eSATA extend SATA to external hard drives. So you will get SATA transfer rates and bootability (?) from external drives. Some motherboads are starting to incorporate eSATA ports on the back next to the Firewire and USB ports. I read an article at the Inquirer that said eSATA ports should be commonplace soon.

FYI here's an eSATA drive enclosure:

http://www.satagear.com/CG-35SATA-II-KS ... osure.html

jackylman
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Post by jackylman » Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:45 pm

Yes, but how do you break a cable? Unless, you pull on the wire itself and not the plug, I see no reason to pay money for any kind of premium SATA cable.

the_e_dean
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Post by the_e_dean » Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:34 pm

teknerd wrote:LH, you might want to reconsider buying an SATAII hard drive.
1) There is no added performance benefit, a 7200RPM drive tops out at about 70MB/s, far below SATA I's 150MB/s limit.
2) SATA II hard drives are more expensive for nothing extra
3) Some of the "features" (like NCQ) can actually reduce performance in a standard desktop system.

All in all it doesnt really make sense to buy a SATA II hard drive (its kinda like a USB 2.0 Mouse).
I'd just get one of the the SATA I Western Digitals (the JD series).
I have a hitachi 160GB SATAII Hard drive and according to HDTach it peaks at 220 MB/s and it is 7200RPM

Dean

LH
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Post by LH » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:04 pm

teknerd wrote:LH, you might want to reconsider buying an SATAII hard drive.
1) There is no added performance benefit, a 7200RPM drive tops out at about 70MB/s, far below SATA I's 150MB/s limit.
2) SATA II hard drives are more expensive for nothing extra
3) Some of the "features" (like NCQ) can actually reduce performance in a standard desktop system.

All in all it doesnt really make sense to buy a SATA II hard drive (its kinda like a USB 2.0 Mouse).
I'd just get one of the the SATA I Western Digitals (the JD series).
I agree with you, but in the case of the Samsung drives, I believe their 160GB+ drives only come with a SATAII interface. And in the case of the WD2500KS, its 16MB cache seems kind of interesting and apparently none of the WD SATAII drives utilize NCQ for exactly the reason you stated.

I guess I could go for a SP1614C, but since I'm buying online, I'd be gambling on whether or not I'd get a Nidec (it seems the P120 drives use Nidecs). But then again, if I go for a WD JD drive, I'd be gambling on whether or not the drive will have an annoying whine... :?

LH
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Post by LH » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:10 pm

jackylman wrote:Yes, but how do you break a cable? Unless, you pull on the wire itself and not the plug, I see no reason to pay money for any kind of premium SATA cable.
I may be wrong, but I think it's more an issue of the connectors becoming loose rather than the cable breaking. I've no firsthand experience with SATA cabling, but there do seem to be complaints that it is very easy to accidentally unplug the connector(s) from the motherboard/drive. I believe the WD SecureConnect cable is supposed to address this issue.

LH
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Post by LH » Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:13 pm

the_e_dean wrote:I have a hitachi 160GB SATAII Hard drive and according to HDTach it peaks at 220 MB/s and it is 7200RPM

Dean
Interesting... :)

Are you getting that high a data transfer using a typical SATA/150 cable?

the_e_dean
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Post by the_e_dean » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:16 pm

LH wrote:Interesting... :)

Are you getting that high a data transfer using a typical SATA/150 cable?
Same cable it is even one that came with the motherboard

Dean

jackylman
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Post by jackylman » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:55 pm

LH wrote:
jackylman wrote:Yes, but how do you break a cable? Unless, you pull on the wire itself and not the plug, I see no reason to pay money for any kind of premium SATA cable.
I may be wrong, but I think it's more an issue of the connectors becoming loose rather than the cable breaking. I've no firsthand experience with SATA cabling, but there do seem to be complaints that it is very easy to accidentally unplug the connector(s) from the motherboard/drive. I believe the WD SecureConnect cable is supposed to address this issue.
Ahh, I see. All of these SATA standards are very confusing. :(

teknerd
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Post by teknerd » Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:04 pm

the_e_dean wrote:I have a hitachi 160GB SATAII Hard drive and according to HDTach it peaks at 220 MB/s and it is 7200RPM

Dean
HD Tach is misreporting, even 15K SCSI drives have trouble moving data that fast. It simply cannot be done by a 7200RPM drive.
LH wrote:I agree with you, but in the case of the Samsung drives, I believe their 160GB+ drives only come with a SATAII interface. And in the case of the WD2500KS, its 16MB cache seems kind of interesting and apparently none of the WD SATAII drives utilize NCQ for exactly the reason you stated.

I guess I could go for a SP1614C, but since I'm buying online, I'd be gambling on whether or not I'd get a Nidec (it seems the P120 drives use Nidecs). But then again, if I go for a WD JD drive, I'd be gambling on whether or not the drive will have an annoying whine... Confused
According to reviews i have read, the 16MB cache doesnt help that much, and the performance of the KS series is not that good, especially considering price.
I don't blame you for being confused, i always get that way. Well, i've made my opinion clear, so i guess it is in your court now. My advice would be to buy one of the WD JD series (since they are the most widely availiable) from a store with a good return policy so you can return it if it whines.
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the_e_dean
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Post by the_e_dean » Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:04 am

teknerd wrote:HD Tach is misreporting, even 15K SCSI drives have trouble moving data that fast. It simply cannot be done by a 7200RPM drive.
I also have a 15K SCSI and HDTach says it peaks about 250MB/s, I have a Raptor and it peaks around 100MB/s, and I have a 16MB cache maxtor that peaks around 80MB/s

It has always seem pretty accurate to me, I was getting about 100MB/s until I enabled the SATAII on the drive

Dean

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Post by BillyBuerger » Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:14 am

teknerd wrote: ...
1) There is no added performance benefit, a 7200RPM drive tops out at about 70MB/s, far below SATA I's 150MB/s limit.
...
True that the maximum transfer rates of drives are limited by rotational speeds and such. But transfering from the cache is not limited by this. So although your sustained transfers are bottlenecked by rotational speed, there's no reason that the drive can't transfer data from the cache at faster speeds getting into the SATA II range.

teknerd
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Post by teknerd » Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:10 am

[quote-"the_e_dean"]
teknerd wrote: HD Tach is misreporting, even 15K SCSI drives have trouble moving data that fast. It simply cannot be done by a 7200RPM drive.
I also have a 15K SCSI and HDTach says it peaks about 250MB/s, I have a Raptor and it peaks around 100MB/s, and I have a 16MB cache maxtor that peaks around 80MB/s

It has always seem pretty accurate to me, I was getting about 100MB/s until I enabled the SATAII on the drive

Dean[/quote]

HDTach usually is pretty accurate, and i dont know why it wouldnt be in this case, but the speeds you listed prove my point. I mean does it really make sense that a 7200RPM drive could move data as fast as a 15000RPM SCSI drive.

BillyBuerger, true, but even that transfer would only be for a fraction of a second (given that most caches are either 8MB or 16MB, a transfer rate of 150MB/s would only last for a tenth of a second or less).
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[size=75]Main Rig: X2-4200+ | XP-120 | A8N-SLI Premium | 2GB RAM | XFX 6600GT w/VF700 | 74GB Raptor & 320GB 3200JD | P180 | SmartPower II 500W | 2x Dell 1704FPV (Digital)
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the_e_dean
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Post by the_e_dean » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:35 pm

I thought we were talking about peak i am not sure about the sustained throughput, I was trying to show that the SATA cable is not maxed out by the SATA 150 standard.

Dean

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