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I've just bought a Crucial 128GB C300 SSD drive for my Dell Precision 5400.

The PC has 3Gb/s SATA interfaces on the motherboard and the drive has a 6Gb/s SATA interface. Is it safe enough to use a cable rated for 6Gb/s in this configuration.

The reason I ask is that in the dim and distant past (possibly with SCSI) I've had experiences before where using higher rated cables have had a detrimental effect on performance because the electrical characteristics are different from what the controller expected, even though it's a better cable.

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There is no difference between cables in the SATA 1/2/3 revisions. Furthermore, the cable only transmits digital data, so the electrical characteristics play less of a role then in SCSI due to the much lower cable length limit (1 meter for SATA versus up to 25 meters for SCSI). The designers of SATA aimed for backward and forward compatibility with future revisions of the SATA standard.

It should also be noted that there is a specification for a regular SATA cable. They are designed to have a much lower noise level then older device interconnects, so even lower quality cables (within a reasonable length and quality level) shouldn't have any performance degradation.

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