Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive - SATA 6Gb/s versus SATA 3Gb/s

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


First off, in HDTune we can see the minimal difference between the two SATA standards.

Though the higher bandwidth does result in faster maximum reads, in overall real-world performance the advantage is just not that significant. Even worse, comparing the Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB on SATA 6Gb/s to the older standard on our Intel Core 2/Asus P5E3 test rig, SATA 3Gb/s consistently outperforms the newer and supposedly faster standard.

We're frankly at a loss to explain this reversal of what one would expect, since if anything the newer board with its more recent firmware should outperform its older cousin on the old SATA standard, let alone the new. The only possible conclusion to part of this puzzle is that the Intel 3Gb/s controller outperforms the Marvel 6Gb/s one regardless of bandwidth.


February 18, 2010, 10:56 am

Lets face it none of those tests even exceed the sata 1.5gb/s limit.Another excuse to buy unneeded hardware.


February 18, 2010, 2:13 pm

These drives might not exceed the TEORETICAL max of sata I (1.5gbps), but in reality both sata II and III have their advantages, more specificly SATA II's new features like ahci, ncq and other enhancements that improve performance.

Otoh, i dont recomend getting sata 3 if you have sata 2 allready - you will still gain the performance of this disk (but only if you run them in ahci mode and not legacy ide).


February 18, 2010, 3:26 pm


For now, I agree with you. However, as I mention in my {http://www.trustedreviews.c...} P7P55D-E motherboard review, SATA 6Gb/s should get the chance to come into its own once fast SSDs adopt the interface. Therefore it's not totally "unneeded" for future-proofing.


As above - if you're planning a build with a moving parts drive there seems little reason to get SATA III (which is officially called 'SATA 6Gb/s', much as 'SATA III' might have made everyone's life easier as 'SATA II' has become the most common appellation for its predecessor).


February 18, 2010, 8:56 pm

> We check out the first hard drive ... to come with 64MB of cache.

Is the WD Caviar Black 2TB not available in the UK? It's been on the market for almost 8 months now.

It's a bit odd that you don't compare the Seagate to that drive since the Caviar Black is a much more direct competitor for the Seagate than any of the other drives you compare it with.

G Hell

February 20, 2010, 3:57 am

I know I'm nit picking (after all, I can't fault your verdict) but

"...the higher bandwidth does result in faster maximum writes..."

is not what the histogram shows. Unless I'm reading it incorrectly it says that max write speed on SATA 3GB is 129.5 MB per sec and on SATA 6GB it is only 100.9 MB per sec.


February 22, 2010, 7:32 pm

The tests сlearly show that Marwell "SATA 3G" chips are a swindle. They are even inferior to Intel SB SATA II


March 2, 2010, 10:47 pm


Good point actually, I'm not sure which one made it to market first...

@G Hell:

Well spotted - that should have been "Reads". Review corrected, thanks.


Indeed, hence "The only possible conclusion to part of this puzzle is that the Intel 3Gb/s controller outperforms the Marvel 6Gb/s one regardless of bandwidth."

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