Will a SATA300 HDD work on a SATA150 port?
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Thread: Will a SATA300 HDD work on a SATA150 port?

  1. #1
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    Will a SATA300 HDD work on a SATA150 port?

    I want to get a 500GB HDD but most if not all are SATA300. I only have 150 ports on my motherboard obviously that'll make the drive function slower but other than that will it work?

    Alternatively I could get a PCI SATA300 controller card. Any recommendations on a good but cheap one?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdogcat
    I want to get a 500GB HDD but most if not all are SATA300. I only have 150 ports on my motherboard obviously that'll make the drive function slower but other than that will it work?
    Yes it will work.

    You won't beable to tell the difference between SATA 150 and SATA 300.

    The drives just aren't fast enough yet to see a performace difference at 7200 rpm.

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  3. #3
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    Really?! So it's all kind of a techno con like 64bit processors running on a 32bit OS?

    Phew that's good to know! If I have to then, I'm going to forget the SATA II controller card and get a normal SATA I card.

    Thanks Jankerson.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdogcat
    Really?! So it's all kind of a techno con like 64bit processors running on a 32bit OS?

    Phew that's good to know! If I have to then, I'm going to forget the SATA II controller card and get a normal SATA I card.

    Thanks Jankerson.

    Yeah it's the same thing as the ATA 100 and ATA 133 performace difference..... All Marketing.

    That will all change in the future though once all of the hardware is 64 Bit, standard PCI slots are limited.

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  5. #5
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    are you so sure there is no performance difference and that it's just marketing? i haven't taken a computer hardware class or anything. but i was reading a little bit and i learned that, sata-300 means 300 mb/s for buses (storage) and likewise, 150 mb/s for sata-150 buses (storage).

    and to answer your question. if i may, mrdogcat. sata-150 ports will sometimes not even run sata-300 drives unless the drive manufacturer has added a user-accessible jumper-switch, to select between SATA-150 and SATA/300 operation.

  6. #6
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    All SATA 300 MB/s drives will work on 150 MB/s controllers. Some have a jumper that needs to be set, some do it automatically.

    As for any performance difference, WD Raptor (10,000 rpm) drives can only sustain about 90 MB/s off the disk surface (7,200 rpm drives will be slower). Whether the cable can handle 150 MB/s or 300 MB/s is irrelevant until the drive can supply enough data to make a difference. This thread is 16 months old, but 150 MB/s is still fine.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleryry
    are you so sure there is no performance difference and that it's just marketing? i haven't taken a computer hardware class or anything. but i was reading a little bit and i learned that, sata-300 means 300 mb/s for buses (storage) and likewise, 150 mb/s for sata-150 buses (storage).
    It's a simple matter of where the bottle neck occurs littleryry. In a hard drive the bottleneck is in the physical transfer of data to/from the rotating platters, which is tops out at around 60 to 90 MB/sec for current generation HDD's.

    Imagine the analogy of a shipping port exporting coal for example. Say that the rail link feeding coal to the port could handle 200 kT of coal per day and the ship loading facilities could handle only 100 kT per day. You are in charge of upgrading the ports infrusructure to export more coal. You decide that upgrading the ship loading facilities is too difficult so instead you upgrade the rail link to double it's capacity to 400 kT per day. Ask yourself, does this really help all that much?

    The answer of course is that it only helps in marketing. You now have a bigger number that you can throw about when promoting your facility.
    Last edited by uart; June 12th, 2007 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have two 500GB SATA 300 drives (a Western Digital SE 16 and a Seagate 7200.10) on a SATA 150 interface, and both work fine. The Western Digital auto-detects the interface speed, and can be forced via jumper if needed, but the auto-detect works perfectly fine in my case. The Seagate doesn't have auto-detection, but comes out of the box already set for SATA 150, and you need to remove that jumper to run it at SATA 300.

    The difference between 150 and 300 only shows on burst rates (from the HDD cache to the SATA controller) and it's more theoretical than anything.
    SATA 300 has additional features like NCQ that can boost performance in some cases, but the boost comes from the feature itself and not the increased 150MB/s.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by equinoxe3d
    SATA 300 has additional features like NCQ that can boost performance in some cases
    The two features aren't always linked. You can get 150 MB/s drives with NCQ, and 300 MB/s drives without it.
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  10. #10
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    Also NCQ has been shown to cause an actual performance drop in some instances. Apparently when the queue depth isn't very high the overhead of NCQ is not offset by the gains and there's a net performance loss. I haven't used NCQ myself but I've seen people post benchmarks to support this. Some people are recommending only using NCQ if you have a "server type" HDD work load.

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