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I wonder what SATA version my laptop uses as I intend to install an SSD and want to choose the most suitable TRIM options in (probably Debian) Linux. The information presented by smartctl is:

Model Family:     HGST Travelstar 7K1000
Device Model:     HGST HTS721010A9E630
Serial Number:    JG40006PGJL7XC
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000cca 6acc78a77
Firmware Version: JB0OA3B0
User Capacity:    1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
Sector Sizes:     512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical
Rotation Rate:    7200 rpm
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 6
SATA Version is:  SATA 2.6, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
Local Time is:    Mon Jan 18 00:01:09 2016 JST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

This seems inconsistent as it appears that SATA 2.6 is 3.0 Gb/s but here a speed of 6.0 Gb/s is claimed. What am I to conclude?

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  • What do you mean by "choose the most suitable TRIM options"? What "options" are you talking about? Why do you think that the SATA version has anything to do with TRIM?
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:06
  • I'm thinking that a drive with SATA 3.1 will do trim efficiently on the fly and that earlier versions would perhaps be better served by a cron'd fstrim. As it happens, with the SSD attached it's reporting SATA 3.1, so no problem. Feb 8, 2016 at 19:44
  • Ah you mean queued TRIM that is (apparently) introduced with SATA 3.1. But I wonder if ALL SATA 3.1 SSDs support it. Not to mention that not all that appear to support it really works well: git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/tree/…
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 9, 2016 at 3:34
  • That's right. This is an Adata A550 which seems to support it well. Block and page size seem to be closely matched so it works efficiently. An fstrim after around fourteen days took negligible time, so it seems that queued TRIM is working. Feb 9, 2016 at 20:18

3 Answers 3

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I'm suspicious you have SATA 3, but the version is reporting wrong. You can check the output from

dmesg | grep -i sata | grep 'link up'

To see what speed each port is running at.

SATA 2.6 specification is defined at 3Gb/s as you have stated, with SATA 3.0 and above (currently) rated at 6Gb/s.

Ultimately the best way to find out is to look up your SATA chipset or motherboard to establish for certain, as something here is reporting incorrectly.

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  • 1
    Result of dmesg is [ 3.654691] ata2: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 300) 3.662700] ata1: SATA link up 6.0 Gbps (SStatus 133 SControl 300) Not entirely sure how to read both lines, but it looks like one SATA channel is 3 and the other 1. Perhaps internal drive and optical drive? Jan 19, 2016 at 10:35
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    @TonyMartin Yes, this could quite likely be the case. It's possible the speed of the optical drive is giving a particularly low reading, as 3Gbps and above isn't required for a DVD drive. I'd still recommend looking up the chipset to get absolute information though :)
    – Jonno
    Jan 19, 2016 at 10:55
  • the HP website is very uninformative on the issue. I'll research further... Thanks for your insights. Jan 19, 2016 at 20:56
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This probably shows you your current hard-drive's SATA version. To check the actual support of your SATA interface, use a program like PC wizerd (Download here)

enter image description here

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    There doesn't seem to be a Linux version of that tool, hence my use of the smartctl tool. The report you have presented shows that the controller is SATA generation 3 with a bandwidth of 6Gb/s, which is consistent. Mine is reported as version 2.6 with a bandwidth of 6Gb/s, which seems inconsistent. Jan 19, 2016 at 6:37
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The signaling speeds and the sata versions supported are indicated by different bits of the data return by the IDENTIFY DEVICE command. You can see that with smartctl --identify=wb /dev/sdX | grep -i sata.

As you can see, the signal speeds supported are stored in word 76 and the versions are stored in word 222. It's documented in ACS-3 rev 5, Table 45 — IDENTIFY DEVICE data (http://www.t13.org/Documents/UploadedDocuments/docs2013/d2161r5-ATAATAPI_Command_Set_-_3.pdf).

These are the capabilities reported by the drive itself, so don't mix it up with what is supported by your motherboard, which is CAN BE indicated by "current:" in the smartctl output (and dmesg as told in the other answer from @Jonno)

EDIT: Here is the exact spec file your drive claim to conform with: http://www.t13.org/documents/uploadeddocuments/docs2008/d1699r6-ata8-acs.pdf (ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 6). You can see the two words in Table 29 — IDENTIFY DEVICE data. As you can see, SATA 2.6 and 3.0Gb/s are the latest/maximum defined as of this revision of ACS. So I guess your drive simply doesn't completely conform with the spec and set the 6.0Gb/s bit, which is defined later, to 1 instead of 0.

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  • The output of that query is: ` 76 3 1 SATA Gen3 signaling speed (6.0 Gb/s) supported 76 2 1 SATA Gen2 signaling speed (3.0 Gb/s) supported 76 1 1 SATA Gen1 signaling speed (1.5 Gb/s) supported 222 6 1 Reserved | SATA 3.1 222 5 1 Reserved | SATA 3.0 222 4 1 Reserved | SATA 2.6 222 3 1 Reserved | SATA 2.5 222 2 1 Reserved | SATA II: Extensions 222 1 1 ATA/ATAPI-7 | SATA 1.0a` Is this relevant to the drive or the motherboard? Feb 11, 2016 at 7:34
  • As I said, the drive. Only "(current: 6.0 Gb/s)" in "SATA Version is: SATA 2.6, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)" might indicate the maximum supported by the motherboard (depends on your drive as well). And I think this output is from your new SSD but not your Hitachi HDD in the OP? Also you aren't using a recent enough version of smartctl (smartmontools), otherwise you will be able to see whether SATA 3.2 is supported or not too.
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 11, 2016 at 9:48
  • That's right. The Adata SSD is reporting SATA Version is: SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s). Feb 11, 2016 at 22:28

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