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Not many motherboards support new standard yet

Seagate is launching today the latest in the  Barracuda family of 7200 RPM hard disk drives. The Barracuda XT is the first drive to market that supports SATA interface speeds of up to 6Gbps. 

The 2TB monster features a large 64 MB cache, which is the largest seen on a regular HDD. However, several SSDs already use 128MB caches, and at least one controller design in the works is capable of accessing up to 256MB of cache. It is these large and fast caches that are driving SATA standards forward.
 
The latest version of Seagate's SeaTools software allows for short-stroking, in which data is stored only on the outer tracks of the drive, allowing greater access speed at a reduction in capacity. The company claims that a short-stroked Barracuda XT using 1TB of storage will be able to compete with a 10k RPM Velociraptor drive from competitor Western Digital.

The company is targeting high performance and gaming PCs, low cost servers for SMBs, and external storage applications using eSATA for the new drive. Seagate expects almost 20% of all HDDs sold in 2010 will have a capacity of  1TB or greater.

The new drive (model ST32000641AS) comes with a 5-year warranty at a MSRP of $299. It should be available at retail by the end of this week.

Despite all the enthusiasm from Seagate, it will be SSDs that see the greatest performance jump with the move to the next generation for the SATA interface. Several SSDs are already hitting the limits of SATA II when reading from their cache.

Adoption of the new SATA standard is currently slow, as the ASUS P7P55D is the only motherboard that is natively capable of support 6Gbps. Older motherboards are capable of such speeds only through the use of a PCIe adapter card.

The problem is that motherboard manufacturers are waiting for a new I/O Controller Hub (ICH) from Intel. Commonly known as a southbridge, the new ICH is expected to support new technologies such as SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps. AMD is also working on a new southbridge to support these technologies.



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RE: ok so how about
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2009 9:58:45 AM , Rating: 1
I don't honestly see the point in making faster and faster standard hard drivers. SSD's are here, they are viable, and they are already cheap enough. In the near future the standard setup will be an SSD for OS/apps, and a larger mechanical hard drive for storage (where peak performance won't matter anyway).

Standard hard drives will, however, be viable for servers for a long time. However any serious server will be running SCSI anyway, so these drives don't apply.


RE: ok so how about
By trisct on 9/21/2009 10:20:54 AM , Rating: 1
SSDs are here, but they are still just around the corner from being a smart buy. There are a number of good technology choices out there, but none that are a reasonable cost ratio. Good SSDs still only come from the higher end of product lines. Once Windows 7 and some file system tweaks get to the mass market, jitter-less controllers are the norm, and the fragmentation problem has been solved, the prices for "good" SSD disks will finally come into a window that is properly affordable. A boot disk that costs much more than $200 is a no-go for most people. The Velociraptors are just at the top of that range, and the only SSDs that you can get for that price either aren't trustworthy or they don't consistently outperform the WD.


RE: ok so how about
By mixpix on 9/21/2009 10:24:23 AM , Rating: 2
SSD storage space is the issue. its still far too expensive to get a drive with amount decent storage space (200GB+).


RE: ok so how about
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2009 2:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing the storage capacities of SSD's to hard drives is idiotic. Nuff said. They aren't for storage. They are for performance.


RE: ok so how about
By afkrotch on 9/22/2009 2:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
That's why they aren't viable. Most users can't even tell what performs better than the other. If it mattered, Raptor/Velociraptors would be sitting in every single desktop.

Most users simply don't care. Until SSDs can match a conventional hard drive in price/storage, it will always stay in the upper teir's for performance nuts. Just like the Raptors/Velociraptors.


RE: ok so how about
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2009 12:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's why they aren't viable. Most users can't even tell what performs better than the other. If it mattered, Raptor/Velociraptors would be sitting in every single desktop.


Wrong idiot. Velociraptors, compared to SSD's, have year long seek times. It's not the speed of the driver that matters, it's the near zero seek times that really makes them ideal for OS/app drives. Hard drives can NEVER compete with SSD's. They will always be limited by their moving parts.

Not viable ? Funny, Anandtek seems to think they are plenty viable. You might want to read up on sh#$ before you open your dumb trap.

And please, enough with the "most users" argument. "Most users" today benefit for standard technology that a few years ago idiots like you were saying wasn't for "most users". If we were talking about Extreme Edition CPU's I would agree, but EVERYONE can benefit from SSD's.


RE: ok so how about
By Laereom on 9/21/2009 11:16:31 AM , Rating: 2
Well, a lot of consumers disagree with you on SSDs being vialbe in terms of cost effectiveness. Besides, Seagate doesn't make SSDs -- they have to do whatever they can to leverage their HDD technology to stay relevant.


RE: ok so how about
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 2:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I agree with you. I think SSDs are something that a lot of people are talking about, but only a small number of people are actually buying. And in the meantime, people are still buying machines and upgrades that include plain-old HDDs.

I'd be curious to know the marketshare of SSDs, but I'd be suprised if it exceeded even just 1% right now.


RE: ok so how about
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2009 2:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
Are you ppl dense ? The interface isn't the limiting factor on hard drives, it's the mechanical parts. The new version of Sata will NOT improve standard hard disk performance because the drives will never be fast enough.

It WILL however improve SSD performance.

You people sound like a bunch of VHS junkies who claimed DVD will never get "marketshare".


RE: ok so how about
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 2:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
Two points:

1. 6Gbps will also improve performance of HDDs because it allows faster access to reading from and writing to the DRAM cache. After all, not every I/O request requires a full trip down to the magnetic media. Many requests can be served by the DRAM. After all, that is the purpose of the DRAM in the first place!

2. I specifically didn't say that I don't see SSD market share growing in the future, as you imply. I'm saying I believe the current market share is much less than some techies think it is. The perceived market share is much higher because of all the media/blog attention it gets because of being a new/developing technology.


RE: ok so how about
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 3:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
One more point - you are assuming that the only change in the new interface is the speed, but that is not correct. 6Gbps SATA also adds a number of new features that are also beneficial to HDDs:

• A new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming command to enable isochronous
data transfers for bandwidth-hungry audio and video applications
• An NCQ Management feature that helps optimize performance by enabling host
processing and management of outstanding NCQ commands
• Improved power management capabilities

http://www.sata-io.org/documents/SATA-Revision-3.0...


RE: ok so how about
By MrPoletski on 9/24/2009 9:57:28 AM , Rating: 2
This NCQ will require both hardware and software support no doubt and will also primarily benefit enterprise applications.

Desktop PC's just don't have the Iops load for NCQ to make a significant difference - especially given the non existant seek times of SSD's.


RE: ok so how about
By Silver2k7 on 9/22/2009 2:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
"I don't honestly see the point in making faster and faster standard hard drivers. SSD's are here, they are viable, and they are already cheap enough."

If you want to buy me two 1.6TB bitmicro drives, you can have my old Seagate 1.5TB drives.. its viable yes?


RE: ok so how about
By afkrotch on 9/22/2009 2:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't honestly see the point in making faster and faster standard hard drivers. SSD's are here, they are viable, and they are already cheap enough.


Viable? $300 for this 2 TB drive or $6000 for four 512 GB SuperTalent SSDs. Yep, sounds viable and cheap enough.

quote:
Standard hard drives will, however, be viable for servers for a long time. However any serious server will be running SCSI anyway, so these drives don't apply.


Except that many servers support SATA or SAS. Many companies will use a backup array using SATA, where performance isn't necessary. They simply require a mass amount of storage and it's on the cheap.


RE: ok so how about
By MrPoletski on 9/24/2009 10:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Viable? $300 for this 2 TB drive or $6000 for four 512 GB SuperTalent SSDs. Yep, sounds viable and cheap enough.


Those 4 SSD's in RAID 0 will make your PC so fast you'd think you're running your entire PC from a RAM drive.

That would be nearly 1GB/s transfer rate. You could read your entire windows 7 install in under 5 seconds.

That's officially 'stupid fast'.


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