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

64

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

gamzu07

Favorite article of the year.

avatar

sotoa

Thanks for the testing guys.

avatar

GenMasterB

As a PC Technician, I've always wondered if they were up to snuff as I've come across some bad cables myself. Thanks for the article. Needed that info. congrats.

avatar

BadCommand

I've had a different experience.  I've found that while older cables may work somewhat consistently, cables just as recent as the 680i platform do not perform consistently enough for long term 6GB SSD usage (I have no 6GB mechanical drives, so cannot comment on that).  These cables work fine for absolutely any other sata use without error- even Sata II SSD's.  However, I've had enough problems with older sata cables WITH 6GB SSD's that were solved by simply swapping out the cable with a newer cable and from that point on- no problems.  BTW, I have taken these same unreliable cables from those 6GB SSD's and redeployed them elsewhere with no problems at all. YMMV.

avatar

gordonung

Do you still have any of those cables? Again, I expected a different outcome but after testing, came to conclusion that it didn't seem to matter on vintage, style, length, color, thickness, connector or "rating." I suspect the bad cables I've run across are just bad cables. 

 

oh, one thing I didn't mention is that on the super long cable tests that failed SATA 6Gb/s testing, they seemed to run fine when moved over to SATA 3Gb/s ports.

avatar

calicowboy

longer the cable the longer the distance it has to carry the electricity to the  controller or hd, electricity will only travels so far then it begins to drop off little by little  , as a musician i run into this  and have to take it into consideration when choosing guitar cables i buy cause from a audio standpoint it affects the quality of the sound so it stands to reason that  at some point it would affect data transmission and the quality of that data  as well  but i  think it would take something  over 50 feet to start to notice a diffrence ,if you test again i recommend using voltage meters to measure the diffrences in voltage between the cables that would be facinating to see 

avatar

BadCommand

Yes, as a matter of fact I do have them- mostly from 680i days or about 4 years ago.  Damnedest thing, kept having servers/ws booting from the new 6GB SSD drives just randomly fail.  They would install (OS) fine, run for sometimes days fine, then all of a sudden we would see boot failures and random data corruption on these drives.  After simply pulling them (cables) and replacing them with newer cables (they didn't even need to be specifically rated at 6GB) all was well again.

Funny thing is, I searched the hell for an answer and came across the same thing you did- it shouldn't make a bit of difference, yet it seems to (at least in the case of 6GB SSD drives).  Also, I would note that it doesn't seem to matter what vendors newer cables I use, they all seem to work just fine.  And as noted, the older ones I simply placed in sata II machines (even sataII SSD drives) or used for optical drives.

Strangest anomaly I've come across in mucho years in this gig, but I was happy as hell not to have to screw around with replacing drives.  I will say that I payed close attention to the reviews of SSD/6 drives and noticed an increase in issues, yet never did any of the vendors suggest cable replacement en masse, so maybe it was just a ghost in my machines.

avatar

gordonung

i'm pretty sure I have some 680i vintage cables in the mix here and actually have a box of cables I'm sure came with some 680i boards. However, remember, that 680i's boards (well, except for the VGA card guys) were made by multiple board companies who all sourced different SATA cables so it's hard to say what the cables were that you had. 

 

Believe me, I'm still looking for the proof that you need a higher end cable but I think it's more about good cable vs. bad cable, rather than SATA 6Gb/s vs. SATA 3GB/s.

avatar

immersive

Very informative article.

avatar

Deviate

Very interesting article.  I love this kind of exploratory stuff.

avatar

Baer

Thanks, that is good info. That will save me some $$ on my next build.

avatar

Vernak

Nice article, Gordon & friends.  Thank you for testing those little nagging items that question the "official word."  Nice to see it held up this time.

avatar

bautrey

So need to buy expensive cables then.

avatar

Neufeldt2002

Cool, This answers my question on SATA cables. Really enjoyed the article.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.