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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 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
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.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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