Our overview of the SATA II specification a few days ago provided our readers with some insight on what SATA II was really about. In short, SATA II provides updates to the SATA 1.0 specifications including new features and a possible increase in transfer rates from 1.5Gb/sec to 3.0Gb/sec if drive manufacturers decide to implement these features in their products. The new transfer rates depend on what combination of hardware is used to build a drive such as the port multiplier, port selector, cables, and connectors used in a storage system.

The first drives capable of 3.0Gb/sec transfer rates came to our attention a while back but we wanted to see a few other manufacturers show us their offerings before we dug deeper into the supposed higher speed drives. Hitachi was the first to market the SATA II 3.0Gb/sec drive with Samsung and Western Digital following. Samsung was nice enough to send us a test sample to work with and we picked up a Hitachi and Western Digital model in time.

All drives are, of course, SATA II units capable of 3.0Gb/s. The Samsung and Hitachi drives feature Native Command Queuing while Western Digital has decided to leave the feature out. The SATA II standard does not require any of these features but it is always nice to have them in any newly released drive. Our look at Seagate's Barracudas proved that NCQ has no great effect on regular day-to-day tasks so we are not expecting much from the feature this time around. Let's take a look at our testing methods...

Note: To enable 3.0Gb/sec and/or spread spectrum clocking it is required that we download the Feature Tool from Hitachi GST's website. The Feature Tool is a boot time utility and comes in CD ISO and floppy image format.

The Test


View All Comments

  • bersl2 - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    And I need to learn to refresh. Reply
  • bersl2 - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    Our first benchmark shows Western Digital's WD1600JS coming in at second best in pure hard disk performance at 719 IO operations per second while the 74GB 15000RPM Raptor still tops the charts.

    Um... did I miss something? Aren't Raptors 10k in RPMs?
  • mechBgon - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    Typo on page 3 referring to a 15000rpm Ratpro. They wish :D

    ...errr, 10th post!
  • cryptonomicon - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    eh, a few minutes ago, the review showed up but when i clicky, it goes to search review panel.
  • GhandiInstinct - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    No graphs on some pages still. Reply
  • GhandiInstinct - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    Haha! Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    When our publisher is away, with HTML we get to play!

    Sorry about that guys...everything should be good now. Do let us know if you see anything odd though.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • pastorjay - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    If I remember right, Wes said that their HTML coder was gone and they were doing all their own coding. Reply
  • Krk3561 - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    graphs wont work for me either Reply
  • ChiefNutz - Saturday, June 25, 2005 - link

    Never mind. Reply

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