I have two questions:

  1. I have an old motherboard with SATA I slots. Could I mount and SSD SATA III? Is the hard drive downward compatible with SATA I slot? I wouldn't buy an SSD just to find out the answer is "no"...

  2. If I will connect an SSD SATA II or III (via an adapter) to the IDE slot, is there a max limit of what the motherboard can see? (I heard the SSD should be max 250 GB or max 500GB)

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, @Dragos, but I'm afraid you will bottleneck the performance of the SSD because of these connections to it! :(

  1. SATA I is the first generation SATA interface running at 1.5 Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface is up to 150MB/s. Yes, the SSD is compatible with any SATA port, however, the maximum speed you will get out of it is 150 MB/s. Respectively, SATA II (3 Gb/s) = 300MB/s and SATA III (6 Gb/s) = 600 MB/s max bandwidth throughput. When getting solid-state drives, you should always make sure your motherboard incorporates SATA III ports in order to deliver the performance it's capable of.
  2. If you use a IDE-to-SATA adapter in order to connect the SSD, you will be able to connect it. However, the SSD's performance will be hampered by the IDE controller again. The maximum transfer rate of solid-state drives is ~ 500 MB/s.

The SSD won't be able to give you the performance you want if you don't upgrade your motherboard. Even if you use a controller or an adapter, you may not be able to boot from the SSD.However, it depends on the controller and your motherboard model. If it is to be used just as a storage drive, then it's possible you might not face such issues.

Best of luck, though! :)

  • 2
    You still gain on access time. But a SSD on SATA1 or SATA2 is mostly a waste of money.
    – cylgalad
    Apr 14, 2016 at 7:12
  • 2
    Not really. I've had pretty dramatic performance improvements with older machines with sata II and low end SSDs . I wouldn't go out and buy a top of the line one, but there's decent options at the ~120gb range and ~50c a gig or less for systems like this.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Apr 14, 2016 at 7:15

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