We had high hopes for SATA 6Gb/s before we starting benchmarking one of these new platforms, but other than having some nice burst benchmark screen shots we don’t have really anything else to show you. Seagate was kind enough to send over the Seagate XT 2TB hard drive for benchmarking and while the drive is great the performance benefits of SATA 6GB/s don’t seem like it will create a mad dash for new motherboards or drives anytime soon. The Seagate marketing slide that talked about SATA 6Gb/s maturing over the next 2-3 years really starts to make sense now that we have seen the performance numbers.
The old SATA 3.0 GB/s standard has been holding back performance for those running RAID SSDs arrays for some time now, so maybe once SATA 6Gb/s SSDs come out the technology will look a little more impressive with results we can actually see in the real world rather than on synthetic benchmarks only. Still, many enthusiasts will purchase motherboards and drives with these features as a way of future proofing their current systems. SATA 6GB/s is backwards compatible with SATA 3.0 GB/s drives so you won’t end up with a header on your board that can’t be used no matter how you look at it. Why Intel wasn’t the first to bring SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0 to market is beyond me. You would think that Intel would have been all over those two new technologies, but now we are seeing motherboard vendors like ASUS and Gigabyte buying controllers from Marvell and NEC to implement it themselves. It’s only a matter of time before Intel will bring out a chipset with native SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 support, but is it worth waiting for? That is a question that only time will tell and we are currently looking at other SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 enabled motherboards to figure that answer for ourselves.
Legit Bottom Line: SATA 6Gb/s has finally arrived, but didn’t leave us jumping up and down about the insane performance that it offers!