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So I've recently been seeing on the higher grade motherboards SATA 6.0gb/s ports. That's all fine and dandy. Extra room for expansion.. Now, my question is why are people already selling SATA 6.0GB/s port containing harddrives when it is already known that harddrives aren't even saturating 3.0GB/s(even server grade). Example link

What is the point of this?

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3 Answers 3

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SSDs are at or near saturating SATA 3G bit/s (with the 8b/10b encoding scheme used, you can roughly divide the bits per second by ten to get bytes per second: 300M Byte/s). So they definitely need to go up a notch.

Old-fashioned platter drives are not quite there, but are in the neighborhood to getting close. Of course, there's a lot more marketing involved there. Yes, a drive can do 6Gb/s out of the buffer, but given that buffer is only 64MB, that buffer is flushed in about a tenth of a second -- then you're stuck at the sustained transfer rate of the drive, which might be 150 MB/s.

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All transfers from the drive are always from a buffer. What is called a "sustained rate" is a numerical average of the full SATA rate used for transferring sectors combined with idle time on the bus between full transfers. It is not a reduced transfer rate actually used on the SATA bus. –  sawdust Jun 16 '11 at 5:21

According to the Wikipedia article, there are several people offering 6 Gb/s hard drives. Along with the increase of SSD drives and storage, there is a market for an upgraded SATA specification.

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Even if current hard drives don't use the extra capacity, having the newest technology is useful for marketing reasons. Plus, there will be hard drives in the future that can better take advantage of it.

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