Is Your SATA Cable Slowing Down Your Data Transfers? Max PC Investigates

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dno36

Duplicate post

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dno36

Cut right to the chase and get the answers.

Very well done indeed.

Thank You

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jsegall

I typed in "Do you need new serial ata cables for 6gb drives?" for a Google search and of course got a lot of hits. I started the process of trying to determine which results would lead to a site with trusted information and noticed that one of the results was to MaximumPC. That was the end of my search. Thank you for being there. I always know I can trust the information I get from you.

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tonyearl

Do we need to get specific USB-II cables for USB-II devices, or USB-III specific cables for USB-3 devices? I'm assuming matching ports or newer. I've always wondered about this because I have a bag of USB cables I just grab one from when I need one.

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tehLazyNinja

Excellent work. . . From the start I suspected oxidized contacts, but the resulting study is definitely worthwhile and satisfies all kinds of curiosity.

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D00dlavy

I signed on to say this was the best article I ever read. Thanks!

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Computer_Repair...

I've always wondered what the electrical/design limits were for SATA cables. I guess this sort of applies to eSATA too, since the only difference between the cables is the pinout/connector AFAIK (some have better shielding, but not necessarily). Interesting article to say the least. Thanks.

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Doctor_Death

I recently installed a OCZ Vertex 3 240GB, to use with the new Intel DX79SI and 3960X only I used one of the older sata cables and could not score higher than 451 with AS SSD, I decided to use one of the new sata 6GB cables that came with the ASRock X79 Extreme 9 that we had gotten in for review, and my score jumped to 577, a 126 point difference.

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robluft

I must say I like the unbiased and thorough analysis.  I knew the spec dictated the cables to be interchangable but this is awesome data to 'calm' the confusion. 

 

While the kinks test is pretty awesome (no BS ;-) I'm amazed wrapping around the hot PSU line didn't cause magnetic interference and/or increased thermal resistance.  Really shows they did a bangup job in establishing the requrements to be very robust from the start.  I wish that was the case in many, many other areas in the tech industry.

 

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neural0

I always love reading articles that face-punch marketing hype. Good job guys!

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dav532000

Thanks for the review just shows that sometimes the latest isn't always the greatest. Like the bending it 15 times when some state don't use them at right angles lol.

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Danners

I suspected that the only difference was really the quality of the cable, not the price or if it was "6Gb" rated.  Good to know the truth, marketing the more expensive is always a retail tactic and is a big revenue generator for them.  Check out monoprice.com for good quality low price cables of all sorts. I too would love to have some time in your lab!

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Supermonkey

Very good information and good picture too.

Bending the cable 15 times is good experiment.

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gX15L97bCcaTHvj...

Thank you, Gordon, for this very informative article.  This is why I read Maximum PC.

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FascistNation

These fun 'let's just see' experiments are why I read Maximum PC.  Kickass for curiosity.

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ikleinit

Great Job Gordon,

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strangelove9

Thank you for posting this. Like others before me have already remarked, it's increasingly rare to get good hands-on technical journalism these days...

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LatiosXT

Digital signals don't care about the cable quality as long as the signal reaches the end in a complete fashion. And of course, meets the electrical requirements for signaling.

Analog signals on the other hand, are affected by cable quality.

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ikleinit

So CAT5E has anttenuation up to 330 feet , is that digital or analog?

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Ghost XFX

The only thing that ever tripped me up, was the color of the cable itself =P

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jbwhite99

I think this proves the value of Monster cables (at least in this case) - I love it when the store tries to sell you a $30 USB cable to go with a $50 printer.

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calicowboy

i agree data doesnt really get effected by cable  leight or quality  ,only in audio applications which is why i use  monster cable or equivelent  

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bling581

I know, but that's how they make a lot of money. The know that if you buy a product that requires accessories they can price gouge you because the majority of people will grab it in their store. I bought an HDMI cable on Amazon.com for $8 and saw the exact same cable the next week on sale in Best Buy's weekly add for $50.

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h e x e n

I've always wondered about this myself. I always thought they did make a difference so it's nice to know it really doesn't matter all that much. Very interesting.

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dgrmouse

Neat article.  Thanks.

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szore

Boy, would I love to poke around that workshop for a while...

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Pball1224

Excellent article. I love seeing stuff like this. It's something many system builders have probably thought about, but who would ever take the time or have the resources to test. Great work.

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warptek2010

Very cool article. When I was scouting around the web for parts for my last build, being as anal as I am, I insisted on so called 6Gbs sata cables. Couldn't find any or I got tired looking or something but I eventually just plugged in my older sata cables from the older build I was replacing and lo and behold, didn't seem to  make a damn difference. Your article just solidified that experience for me. Thanks Gordon.

 

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Cool article, man. I just built my first SATA machine, and had a lot of questions about the cables you just answered. Thanks for putting in the work!!!

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don2041

Thank You Gordon for a MAXPC type of story. I am so sick of seeing maxi pad and iphone crap in a mag that I started to read so that I could make my PC a better experience, all this filler that is being flowing out of MAXPC lately is begining to turn me off of this publication.

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sas281gt

This is great!  Just what the mag needs, Mythbusters for computers!

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4wsprelude

I think Cnet had the same conclusion on HDMI cables too. Didn't really matter if it had gold plated to copper plated connectors, it was no difference from one to another.

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limitbreaker

i'm always very skeptical about the difference in HDMI cables, the dumb salesmen are always trying to convince me to get some very expensive ones from brands like Monster. What i wonder about is if there's actually a difference between the HDMI 1.3 rated and the 1.4 for a 6 foot cable.

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robluft

Just to clarify when talking about HDMI and cable you've got to be careful about crossing the two.  HDMI 1.3/1.4 are specifications, and provide a rating system of Category 1 and 2.  Cat 1 is the regular/standard speed and is only rated for 1080i (I've never had issue with outputting 1080p with shorter cables) while Cat 2 is guaranteed to meet 1080p and up.  To add to the confusion BOTH categories are manufactured with and without ethernet.

 

I've already seen cable scams on ebay/amazon so look out.

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Supall

Doesn't 1.4 allow you to do Internet?

Also, I was under the impression that for 6 or 9ft cables, Gold-plated vs copper-plated didn't amount to squat.  Its when you start going in the longer cords would you see a difference.  Am I wrong in this regard?

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robluft

The HDMi 1.4 spec set the ethernet requirement for 100 Mb/s internet connectivity, however, as mentioned above this can come on Category 1 and 2 cables.

 

FYI - There is no such thing as a "HDMI 1.4 cable", and if you come across a vendor saying they have them run away.  It's probibited to market cable this way and you're likely dealing with some unscrupulous company with likely BS products.  In fact I've come across many TGTBT-priced "HDMI 1.4 with ethernet cables" that are assumed to be Cat 2 w/ eNet are actually Cat 1 with ethernet.

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limitbreaker

well to the best of my knowledge the 1.3 and 1.4 have the same amount of pins, if that's true than any possible difference would be in the actual copper wire size inside the cable and the protection against inteference around them kind of like when comparing network cables like Cat5e vs Cat6 which doesn't actually make a difference unless the cable is going to be very very long.

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X2brute

this is weird because my mobo came with "SATA II" and "SATA III" cables and they look different, the SATA III cables have a groove down them. good to know i can use them for either

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sas281gt

I think what you have is a sata and an esata.  The one that makes an L is a sata and the other is e or external sata.

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biggiebob12345

Copper data cables is copper data cables.  Nothing has changed other than the metal locking clips.  You could have saved a ton of time by cutting the "6 gbps" cables in half and comparing against the cross sections of the 10 year old cables.  Probably identical.

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jtrpop

Great article!  Wish I knew this before buying an "official" SATA6 cable.

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pinson101

You could have saved yourselves the time and taken a look at the Puget Systems website.

 

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frizzly

at least now you know it was tested by someone not trying to sell you something.so you know the results are not bias.

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nedwards

But now you have TWO sets of data. Isn't that better than one?

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SkinnyZeroOne

Excellent article -- great work guys.

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AntonioGarrison

This is why I come to this magazine daily and at least a few times a day.  Articles that are truly tech related. 

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allc0re

Excellent article! I have been curious about this myself.

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gamzu07

Favorite article of the year.

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