SATA 3.0 released, solid state drives rejoice

New SATA standard ratified for faster file transfer

We've seen glimmers on the horizon for some time now, but the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has finally made official the third iteration of the serial ATA specification. SATA Revision 3.0 doubles the existing SATA 3Gb/s bandwidth to 6Gb/s, or roughly 600 MB/s, using a connector that's fully backwards-compatible with the older specification. Device manufacturers (especially motherboards) won't have to reinvent the wheel connection-wise, which should help the new specification reach full market acceptance in a short time frame.

Other features that come with the new specification include:

— A new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming command to enable isochronous data transfers for bandwidth-hungry environments

— An NCQ Management feature that optimizes performance by enabling host processing and management of outstanding NCQ commands

— Improved power management capabilities

— A small Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices

— A connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks

These seem less important on their face than the powerful connotation conveyed by the bandwidth doubling. But these improvements, especially the upgrades to native command queuing and power management, will have the most measureable impact on everyday performance--at least, until a mainstay of consumers have switched to flash-based storage technology. That's because conventional, magnetic hard drives have yet to saturate the throughput of a SATA 3.0 Gb/s connection. The best of the solid-state drives have been creeping up against this wall for the past many months, and will easily be the first storage devices to push into the available space that the SATA Revision 3.0 spec will offer.

As always, an update to the SATA specification is more a future-proofing measure than a stop-the-presses technological evolution. Regardless, the storage space just got a bigger stadium, and it will be fun to see how the flash-based drive manufacturers will make use of the extra overhead.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags SATAstoragesata 3.0

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Murphy

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?