Article ID : S700023714 / Last Modified : 12/07/2018

Which SATA speed can my drive use?

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Serial ATA is the most common interface for mass storage devices in notebook and desktop computers. Depending on the revision and the connected devices, different speeds can be achieved.

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The Serial ATA interface has been improved in two revisions since it has been available. SATA I, II and III have a gross bandwidth of 1.5 Gbit/s, 3Gbit/s and 6Gbit/s and a net transfer speed of 150 MB/s, 300 MB/s and 600 MB/s respectively. You can determine the available SATA speed for your computer by looking up the specifications of the chipset on the chipset manufacturer's website.
Example: VPCSB1S1E/S uses the Intel HM65 Express Chipset, which according to Intel offers 2 SATA III ports and 4 SATA II ports.

Mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) read/write speed depends on a number of factors, most prominently the size of the discs, the speed which which the discs rotate.and the position of the data on the disc. HDDs with 3.5" form factor and are typically unable to achieve data rates that exceed 130MB/s. Drives in the 2.5" form factor for notebook use are slower.
Some manufacturers quote the transfer speed between the HDD's cache memory (up to 32MB) and the SATA host controller instead of read/write speed of the disc itself, which is much lower and varies widely depending on what exactly the drive has to do.
The read/write speed from and to the actual discs is the limiting factor. Connecting the hard disk via a faster interface (SATA II or III) does not make it faster.

Solid state drive (SSD) speed depends primarily on the flash memory and controller type used. While the first generation of SSDs did not outperform hard disk drives in read/write speed, some third generation SSDs and SSD raid arrays offer speeds just under 600MB/s and can use the full bandwidth that SATA III offers.