Is your SATA cable slowing you down? Maximum PC investigates
We had a recent incident in our lab where SATA 6Gb/s performance inexplicably dropped going from one motherboard to the next. In theory, both boards should have offered the same performance on the SATA 6Gb/s port as both used the same south bridge chip in the board and the same SSD. When we couldn’t diagnose it as drivers
or a mis-configured benchmark run, we decided to swap out the SATA cable for a “real” SATA 6Gb/s cable. Like magic, the performance went back to what we expected.
This got us wondering if there is actually a need to run “real” SATA 6GB/s cables with high performance SSDs. The official word from the SATA International Organization is no, not at all. The SATA I/O lays it out in its FAQ: “Question: Does SATA 6Gb/s require different connectors and cables to support the higher transfer speed? Answer: The same cables and connectors used for current SATA 1.5 and SATA 3.0 Gb/s implementations can be used to connect SATA 6Gb/s devices, although SATA-IO recommends quality components be selected to ensure data integrity and robust operation at the faster SATA 6Gb/s transfer rate. Keeping the existing SATA connector form factor enables SATA 6Gb/s to be designed into the same cost-conscious hardware architectures while minimizing infrastructure changes.”