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. We decided to test it and see.