Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What's the difference between SATA and SATA-II (3.0 GB)?

Specifically, if I'm shopping for a new (budget, so not new-new) motherboard, do I need to take into consideration if it supports SATA-II?

And if buying drives for an existing SATA-capable board, do I need to make sure they're not SATA-II drives?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Both SATA-II connectors are backwards compatible with SATA-I, so it's OK to use a SATA-I drive on a SATA-II board and vice versa. The primary difference is the speed of the connection - SATA-II operates at 3.0 Gbps, whereas SATA-I operates at half that, or 1.5 Gbps.

In most cases, you won't gain any speed improvements using SATA-II over SATA-I, unless you're using very fast server-grade disks or SSDs in your system. Ordinary desktop hard drives cannot saturate the 1.5Gbps connection.

Technically, SATA-II is a misnomer for Revision 2.0 of the SATA specification, just as SATA-I is a misnomer for Revision 1.0 of the spec. Revision 3.0 of the spec adds 6 Gbps speeds. All of these are properly referred to as just SATA.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.