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SATA 3Gb/s vs. 6Gb/s Cable Performance (Revisited)

Written on February 11, 2013 by Matt Bach


When SATA 6Gb/s drives were first launched, there was a lot of confusion over whether or not you needed a special cable in order to get the full speed benefit of SATA 6Gb/s. While the official SATA-IO documentation states that there is no difference between SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s cables, there were still some people that insisted that you needed a SATA 6Gb/s cable to fully utilize SATA 6Gb/s drives.

In order to debunk this myth, we examined a number of supposed SATA 3Gb/s cables and compared them to a SATA 6Gb/s cable in our SATA cables: Is there a difference? article. In that article, we found no significant physical or performance difference between any of the cables we tested. Due to how long ago that testing was performed, however, we have recently had some readers that have questioned the relevancy of that article. SATA drives are faster now than they were when SATA 6Gb/s was new and advances in SATA controller technology might change our results.

In order to determine if there is still no difference between SATA cables, we decided to revisit this topic. Luckily, relevant hardware and cables are readily available for us as a custom computer company, so this type of testing is very quick and easy for us to do. We will be using the latest Intel Z77 chipset, the fastest mainstream Intel SSD available, and cables that are currently being bundled with both Asus motherboards and Intel SSDs.

Test Cables

Some of the cables we used in our original SATA cable article are no longer being manufactured, so we decided to update our test cables to reflect those that you would find included with modern hardware. Many of these cables are not actually labeled as either SATA 3Gb/s or SATA 6Gb/s, but by researching the model number of the cable itself we were able to find the rated SATA revision for these cables.

Asus SATA 6Gb/s
P/N: 14G000130223
Asus SATA 3Gb/s
P/N: 14G00012707H
Intel SATA 3Gb/s
P/N: E156437
Intel SATA 3Gb/s
P/N: E92245-001

The Asus cables are what come bundled with almost every modern Asus motherboard and are labeled in the manual as being compatible with either SATA 3Gb/s or SATA 6Gb/s. The two Intel cables are bundled with the retail version of Intel's SSD drives and required some research to find the compatible SATA revision. The black cable (E156437) is included with the Intel 320 series of SSDs, while the red cable (E92245-001) is included with the Intel 520 series of SSDs. Interestingly, looking up the specs for the actual cable reveals that both of these cables are only rated for SATA 3Gb/s even though the Intel 520 series of SSDs are rated for SATA 6Gb/s speeds. So clearly, Intel is not worrying about which SATA revision their cables are rated for.

Since our original SATA cable article, a few things have changed in regards to the physical cables. First, most of the cables we are testing have four ground wires (the bare wires) rather than three that was the norm in our last article. Second, one of the cables (The black Intel cable) actually has a slightly smaller gauge of wire. By our measurements, this wire (not counting the shielding) is .25mm in diameter (30 gauge), while the other cables are .4mm in diameter (26 gauge). We will find out if this has any impact on performance when we run our performance testing later in this article.

Test Setup

To compare the performance of each cable, we configured our test SSD as a secondary storage drive and ran CrystalDiskMark with each cable. We will be testing using both compressible (All 0x00) and incompressible (Random) data. We recently benchmarked the performance difference between these two types of data in our SSDs: Advertised vs. Actual Performance article, and the difference is large enough that we feel it necessary to use both types of data in our testing.

Our test system consists of the following hardware:

Testing Hardware
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz
CPU Cooler: Gelid Tranquillo Rev2
RAM: 2x Kingston DDR3-1600 4GB
Video Card: Intel HD 4000
Hard Drive: Intel 520 480GB SATA 6Gb/s
Chassis: Open Air Test Bench
Testing Station

The Intel 520 480GB is one of the fastest mainstream drives currently available, with an advertised Sequential Read speed of 550 MB/s and a Sequential Write speed of 520 MB/s. This is much higher than the actual throughput of SATA 3Gb/s (roughly 300MB/s), so it should be very clear if the drive is being limited to SATA 3Gb/s speeds. Between each test we will perform a secure erase on the hard drive to ensure that the drive is operating at peak efficiency.

Performance Results

Starting with compressible data, we see virtually no performance difference with any of the cables. There are small variations, but all are well within the margin of error for a hard drive benchmark.

For incompressible data, we again see no performance difference outside of normal testing variations. Even the black Intel cable with a thinner gauge of wire shows no performance drop at any point in our testing.


Our results confirm that despite the faster hardware available today, there is still no performance difference between SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s cables. The SATA 3Gb/s revision only supports transfer speeds around 300MB/s, yet we saw transfer speeds up to 500 MB/s with each cable that we tested. This clearly shows that the SATA revision designator on cables is mostly just marketing and has no bearing on the actual performance the cable can provide.

This is not to say that all cables are created equally, but rather that you cannot base the quality of the cable from the SATA revision it is supposed to be compatible with. A wire is a wire, and as long as the gauge of the wire is adequate, the end connections are good, and the right metal is used, there is no performance difference between one cable and another. The place where some users get into trouble is when they are using a particularly cheap cable that has either bad connections or uses sub-par materials. Even in those instances, however, you would see problems with the drives dropping or not being detected long before you see any sort of decrease in performance.

Avatar das

And thats a wrap

Posted on 2013-02-15 20:14:51
Avatar Anonymous

Thank you for taking the time to actually do it. Very well written article and great info.

Posted on 2013-02-18 05:40:56
Avatar Diego Zenizo

"...as long as the gauge of the wire is adequate..." Here there may be a differences among cables IF the geometry of the cables themselves (impedance) is different, since impedance not only depends on the gauge but on the way cables are put together, like the differences between Cat 3, 4, 5, 5e, 6 etc in UTP cable for RJ-45 ethernet cabling.

In these tests, you're using same brand cables, what may suggest similar or even identical manufacturing facilities, thus similar or identical cable construction regardless of the intended speed.
It may be worthwhile to compare different brands which may have different construction characteristics.

Posted on 2013-02-27 18:27:25

In this test, there was actually at least three different actual brands of SATA cable. I don't know of any motherboard manufacturers that actually make their own cables (although Asus might since I couldn't find their model numbers referred to as anything but Asus) but rather just re-brand cables. For example, the two "Intel" cables are actually made by Golden Bridge and Bizlink.

The way the cables are put together shouldn't matter as far as SATA cables go. The reason for the differences in CAT 5,6,etc. is primarily due to how tightly twisted together the wire pairs are. The closer you get the wires to 90 degrees (which is achieved by twisting the wires together as many times as possible per inch), the lower the interference. https://sites.google.com/si... has a decent explanation of why twisted pair wires reduce interference.

As far as what I remember from my Physics classes, since the wires in SATA cables are parallel to each other, the only thing that would affect the signal quality (assuming that the wire material, gauge, distance and voltage are the same) would be the distance between the wires. Since SATA cables vary very little in terms of spacing, theoretically there should be no difference in the signal quality (and thus SATA speed) between cables, which is exactly what our testing shows.

Posted on 2013-02-28 19:54:15
Avatar trippy_biscuits

Cat 5 uses 24 gauge while cat 6 uses 23 gauge. There is a difference: Cat 6 copper has a larger diameter.

Posted on 2013-08-08 01:00:08
Avatar Paul

Sadly, because most SATA cables are not twisted pair (Akasa make some they claim are) they are vulnerable to interference despite having internal shielding. I don't know why the SATA group didn't choose cat. 6, the electrical specification is almost the same and it's got inherent noise rejection from the twists. 4-lane SATA in the spec would be able to utilize the extra pairs too. The SATA spec calls for 30-26ga wire which is much thinner than cat. 5 but plenty for lengths<1m.

On cable quality, there are cables that do not work reliably at the rated speed, I have 4 that are unusable with a new Toshiba HDD.

Posted on 2013-08-09 19:24:20
Avatar Shawn Jones

these are all scumbags in this industry trying to steal your money.
Thats why they need different quack features. Thats why they can release wave after wave of CPU and GPU with barely noticeable speed upgrades. Specially android is this boat as they dont even tell you CPU speed in any of their titles, yet its the single most important factor. They dont tell ya cause they are scamming you with $1000 non upgrades at this point. Corporate scum will be corporate scum till you get a leader who hangs a few of em to let the others know.

Im very glad a very tiny portion of us tech geniuses are honest enough and smart enough to understand some of this and talk of it cause most people around such technology call us naysayers and liars for actually using science to study this garbage they release.

Posted on 2016-12-10 10:10:30
Avatar Anono

Don't leave Apple out, they do the same, they are fringin kings of hyperbole oh ever six months "its the best invention ever.."

Posted on 2018-08-24 23:53:50
Avatar Jansen

Did you check if the wires are pure copper or tinned copper?

Posted on 2013-05-20 18:26:23

That's a good question, and one we didn't look at when we ran these benchmarks. Since SATA cables are cheap, I cut up a few just now to check and I believe they are all tinned copper. I'm not the greatest when it comes to identifying metals, but the wires are silver in color on the outside, and when I strip off a thin layer with a knife they are copper in color. So from what I understand that should mean they are tinned copper, but feel free to correct me if I am misinterpreting.

Posted on 2013-05-20 20:04:52
Avatar Mike

Excellent evaluation and summary. Very useful for my current task at hand, replacing an SSD to a 6 Gb/s ASUS motherboard. Now I won't unnnecessarily go out looking for cables to replace the ones I have

Posted on 2013-07-04 16:57:48
Avatar weilah

Nice report, much appreciated. Thanks!

Posted on 2013-07-29 10:09:37
Avatar Nelson Nolte

Is there a difference between a SATA I cable and a SATA III cable?

Posted on 2013-08-21 22:22:22

We haven't tested that, but as far as I know SATA I cables are physically identical to SATA II cables, and thus should have no performance difference from a SATA III cable. However, the SATA I specification is over 10 years old now, so if you have a SATA I cable you should probably replace it anyway simply due to the age of the cable.

Posted on 2013-08-21 22:30:20
Avatar Shawn Jones

plastic takes centuries to dissolve, metal even longer.
As a wise mechanic always says "if it aint broke dont try to fix it"

Posted on 2016-12-10 10:14:45
Avatar Darryn Frost

But plastic can deteriorate fairly quickly depending on the atmosphere and conditions it is exposed to.

Posted on 2017-09-28 23:06:13
Avatar Shawn Jones

the metal connections and pins fail b4 anything usually. All my 20 year old computer parts work fine, cept hard drives. if it were a roseweed (rosewill) and one of the other similar brands it wouldve failed by now but it should be fine if its 10 years old and lasted that long

Posted on 2018-03-30 00:36:07
Avatar CaspaB

Thanks, it was bugging me too, as I had unpacked and mixed up the cables before noticing a difference.

Posted on 2013-09-24 04:03:15
Avatar Ipurnauju

Thank you for this! Was very helpful, saved me some tears and €€.

Posted on 2013-10-16 16:38:13
Avatar Conor

Very clear and well done.

Posted on 2013-11-26 17:37:28
Avatar Ric Hales

Thanks for this confirmation, it's just saved me a few quid. I wasn't sure I'd be able to reuse my old SATA cables for my new P.C, but now I know that I can...Awesome!

Posted on 2013-12-11 16:08:50
Avatar Jessica Park

Nice post you have here. Here is Nutone replacement parts for you. Thank you so much for this post.

Posted on 2014-01-19 13:52:07
Avatar mikie

reminds me of similar scams involving $100+ video HDMI cables. its a digital signal, it will work on a coat hanger wire just the same -- just trying to exaggerate the point of the $5 cables and the $180 cables

Posted on 2014-01-19 16:27:28
Avatar sz

I have 1 question its about the motherboard... what is the SATA connection mark on the motherboard is it 3gb sata or 6gb sata?

Posted on 2014-10-11 21:12:41
Avatar luckz

With HDMI there is some merit to more expensive cables because it's simply a shit standard that requires insufficient hardware quality from manufacturers. Gotta shop around and read reviews if you want very long cables, for example. When I last bought one, in the 10-20 meters range you had cables that can only do 720p, not 1080p/60Hz. I assume it's the same now if you want 4K.

Obviously not saying a $180 cable is useful, but at the same time a $5 can be worse than a $15.

Posted on 2017-06-20 13:26:13
Avatar Jeremy Tyler

Is there a test that will show the data transfer rate as 6 gb/s or 3 gb/s or maybe a math to convert test #'s to reveal the actual #? I can't seem to find the answer to this. I recently installed an ssd that is 6 gb/s and the motherboard states that the port is 6 gb/s. I might have to concede to assumption that things are right but there's nothing like "proof!"

Posted on 2014-01-24 14:05:07
Avatar Cheska Gomez

This is a nice post. Like seriously, it might not be that easy to do something like this unless your a pro but your article explains it all.

Nutone parts

Posted on 2014-04-16 02:24:55
Avatar richard jones

Yea with a single drive the data has to be the same because no matter how much data the cables will allow the drive is still only outputting 500mb a sec so if the sata cable was 10 gb per sec itll still be 500 mb/s. I do believe though if you have multiple drives in raid 0 with a 6 gb/s cable the numbers on this graph would be different.

Posted on 2015-02-19 22:25:02

"A wire is a wire, and as long as the gauge of the wire is adequate, the end connections are good, and the right metal is used, there is no performance difference between one cable and another." That conclusion lacks any scientific foundation. How would you define "cheap" materials? Specifications for SATA cables include such characteristics such as: insulation resistance, dialectrical withstanding voltage, low level contact resistance, contact current rating, cable pull out, cable flexing, insertion force, removal force, durability, affect of vibration, humidify, temperature-life, thermal shock, mixed flowing gas, mated connector impedance, absolute impedance, cable pair matching, common mode impedance, insertion loss, crosstalk, rise time, etc. You have measured non of these characteristics. Grabbing some cables and failing to demonstrate that any impede the data transfer rate is not particularly useful information. We know nothing about the comparative length of the cables, and the environment under which they were "stressed". Performing the specification tests on a group of cables would be much more valuable information. It would give users a quantifying measure of "quality" to direct their decisions on which cable to purchase. Would your conclusion that "it makes no difference" hold up when using longer cables, placing bends in these cables, routing these cables closer to noise generating components? Your conclusions seem to add to the confusion rather than reduce it.

Posted on 2015-06-20 11:04:28
Avatar david

I have a problem with removable hdd frame.
in some socket Sata 3 drive not recognized.

Posted on 2015-07-04 20:26:08
Avatar uumanebs .

So, we should test Usain Bolt's genetic material to determine if he's the fastest man in the world, rather than having him run competitively.

This isn't a "Who makes the best cable" thing. It's a "Do i really need to spend the extra cash for a new cable" thing. This just shows that if you're worried about needing to go buy the new models, you don't need to.

I get what you're asking, but it's like complaining that an article about the weather in China isn't informing you of the weather in Europe.

Posted on 2016-11-09 17:48:31
Avatar Shawn Jones

you simply need to test usain bolt for steroids and amphetamines to determine if hes the fastest man in the world. cause you learn soon after hes just another drug addict lying conman

Posted on 2016-12-10 10:18:24
Avatar quatermass

Basically we need decent made connectors. Which no one seems to be talking about....

Posted on 2018-02-16 14:11:03

SATA 3Gb/s vs. 6Gb/s Are you saying that 1 Sata 3 Cable goes at 6 GB a Second.. Because that is what it sounds like.. I Thought they were going 600MB's In 2008 they had USB 3.0 ANd that goes at 5 gb a second.. Why not just Plug a USB 3.0 Cable into your motherboard and Hard drive's and then Just Raid it that way on USB 3.0 Ports? Heck.. Why not just use a 10 GB's ETHERNET CABLE and RAID THOSE HARD DRIVES!! Nickle and Dime Upgrades when We all ready had sata 3 in 2008 Called usb 3.0.. Whats next sata 4? then Sata 5.. When we all ready have sata 7... Same with DDR Ram I suppose.. DDR 4 is Finally out and We have DDR 8 On HIGH.. Guess People think its good business making money this way!! Pretending DDR4 is cutting edge.. Or this is Cutting edge Or that is.. When they hold the True Cutting edge back for later Cash flow.. Planned Advancement for money.. Yeah we have DDR 8 Today But we will sell you the DDR 5 First and the Motherboards and all the crap that goes with it.. Buy up Consumer!!!

Posted on 2015-08-02 20:15:20

I think you have some mix-up with your units. Gb/s = Gigabits per second, while GB/s is Gigabytes per second. 1GB = 8Gb. Bits vs Bytes makes comparisons confusing, as does mixing Megabits / bytes with Gigabits / bytes.

Gb Ethernet = 1Gb/s
SATA II = 3Gb/s
USB 3.0 = 5Gb/s (standard released in 2008, mainstream adoption a couple years later)
SATA III = 6Gb/s (current SATA standard, been around a couple years)

10Gb Ethernet = 10Gb/s (been around a while, but still rare outside of data centers and somewhat expensive)
USB 3.1 = 10Gb/s (standard adopted in 2013, only being implemented this year)
SATA Express = 12Gb/s (on some motherboards, but I have not yet seen any drives that use it)

There are also newer drive standards for SSDs, like M.2 and NVMe over PCI-Express. Those can allow for even faster drive speeds. However, only SSDs really benefit from most of these technologies. Hard drives, because of their nature, are a lot slower internally - and haven't really exceeded SATA II speeds in real performance. So really, SATA II / III is still more than fine for hard drives, with SSDs being what push the boundaries of interface performance.

Posted on 2015-08-02 20:53:56

I dont know man the Google keeps telling me the Data Transfer speed of a Sata 3 Cable is 600 MB's Il go check google and see what He says.. Allmighty google never lies

SATA III (revision 3.x) interface, formally known as SATA 6Gb/s, is a third generation SATA interface running at 6.0Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 600MB/s. This interface is backwards compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s interface.

I know that there are data transfer speeds faster then this along a cable.. why not just make the damn hard drive sata 8 Now instead of giving me sata 3 and then a couple years later making me pay for sata 4.. just make it sata max..
Nothing new about the hard drive but the port on it.. and some small chips that are worth like a dolor each.. the Hard drive still spins at 7200 rpm and dont even talk about SSD's because I know those can Pump data out as fast as your ram stick.. if they were designed too.. and the port is not even different.. Its like Sata 1 is Sata 3 Or some bs..

So tell me how a SATA 2 HDD that runs at 7200 RPM is Beaten by a SATA 3 HDD that runs at 7200 RPM. lets see here.. How much can a Hard drive that runs at 7200 RPM with ONE data arm reader pump out data.. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so the disk in the HDD spins at 7200 RPM so the Data arm Reader can collect its Data from the Platter of the hard drive and to boot there is not just one disk there is 4 so that data arm reader is reading from 4 spinning disks.. HDD never changes but the Port on it says its FASTER some how even though its never faster then 7200 RPM.. Unless I buy 15000 RPM in which case I differently want SATA MAX THE HDD OUT Aka (SATA MTHO) ! instead of Sata 3

Posted on 2015-08-02 23:49:12

600MB/s is the same (roughly) as 6Gb/s. 600MB/s -> 0.6GB/s -> 6Gbps. That last transition should actually be multiplied by 8, not 10, but you get the basic idea.

And as for why they can't provide some future version of SATA now... it is because those haven't been developed yet. Technology moves quickly, but they are not artificially holding back future technologies. The type of memory used in SSDs, even the fastest ones available today, is not as fast as a RAM stick. So why not use RAM for storage? It would be too expensive for most applications, and it does not keep data when power is lost; they call that volatile memory, versus non-volatile memory used in SSDs. But SSD technology is advancing quickly, faster than the SATA standards can keep up with, which is why the fastest SSDs today are not using SATA but instead connect directly to PCI-Express. Even that is not as fast as RAM, though, but believe me: the companies working on this technology are moving as fast as the capabilities we (collectively speaking) have today allow. SSD speeds will continue to get faster and faster in the next few years, and also larger in capacity and less expensive. It is an exciting time to be in this industry :)

Posted on 2015-08-03 05:26:06

the ram slot is smaller then a pci-e slot.. it even handles 2 or 4 gb of graphics card ram Perfectly fine at 7010 Mhz..
Why is Graphics ram 7010Mhz and ddr 3 2000 mhz?
Here let me develup Sata max for you.. Thicker Conduit! and chips that you all ready have that can handle it!
All this Bs about how fast chips and how slow chips go.. When all a chip is is Silica wafers and some silver and Some kind of shell.. Its all the same stuff just different variances of stuff.. A Ram stick chip costs just as much as a flash card chip the same size to produce.. All chips are made of the same stuff.. I Can rip open a ram stick chip and a flash card chip and find the same inside.. there is no difference other then what it is designated.. and what its formatted to be.. You can even change a flash stick into ram if you want to.. but its not designed to be that and he would say its design is what costs money but I dont know how.. a Machine in a factory stamps out a flash Silica based chip or a ram Silica based chip at virtually the same cost! and the fact that there is 7010 MHZ Chips on a GFX card makes me wonder why we even use DDR4 at 3500 MHZ

Posted on 2015-08-03 23:55:48
Avatar theTinPin

I know I'm resurrecting the dead by commenting on this but... you seriously have no idea what you're talking about. I implore you to do your homework on the differences between volatile and non-volatile memory, clock doubling, and signaling before you make an even bigger fool of yourself in a place where it actually matters.

Posted on 2016-03-08 09:13:30
Avatar otongo

if the voltage reaches the logic level all cables are equal
instead you have to measure the voltage margin or signal/noise margin

Posted on 2015-09-24 21:48:42
Avatar Jason Chester

The stanard and what the cable can physically perform at are not on in the same.

Posted on 2015-11-23 11:48:03
Avatar GVS9000

this was a very helpful article thank you for your time for running test, we appreciate your time and this great article

Posted on 2016-02-29 19:06:46
Avatar Tj Williams

Of course advertising and marketing it TRUTH!!!

Posted on 2016-03-24 21:53:19
Avatar Johan

Compliance to 3Gbps doesn't rule out compliance with 6Gbps. But if not
tested it is not proven to be compliant. For example dielectricum choices and shielding structure might affect
performance. It might work good enough or it might not work very good. The criteria
is Bit Error Rate level (an error once every few minutes) and not pass vs complete fail. Some kind of error
detection and error correction will often make it work anyway, but might
result in small performance degradation. But that is not good and
the cable wouldn't be compliant. Compliance is also a minimum, it still doesn't
prove the cable work good in all use cases. For example oxidation/pollution can have long term effects.
Measuring with a typical system isn't good enough. For receiver there must be extra stress injected to challenge the receiver and cover all use cases that compliance covers. For the cable itself measurements shall be performed and compared with IL and RL masks, to fulfill interoperability according to a typical black-box concept. The measurements presented doesn't show anything.

Posted on 2016-05-06 13:01:13
Avatar Todd Smeester

I just hooked up a samsung ssd, when using the samsung magician, it tells me I'm only connected to the sata 2.0, when clearly I can see that I'm connected to the sata 3.0/6GB port. Any ideas? I have the Asus CM6850 motherboard. I'm plugged into the blue port that's all by itself, and it's stamped SATA 3G_4 next to it.

Posted on 2016-07-10 14:46:58

Asus labels their ports according to the speeds, not the SATA revision. So that 3G_4 port is a SATA 2.0, 3Gb/s port unfortunately. You should look for a port labeled SATA6G_# of you want to run the drive at SATA 3 speeds

Posted on 2016-07-10 15:06:15
Avatar Todd Smeester

Thanks Matt, I'm unsure how to tell which is which. The three ones seems to be labeled G_1, G_2, G_4, as you can see in the picture, that's where the SATA 6Gb stamp is, so I only assumed that's them. Do you have a thought?

Posted on 2016-07-10 16:26:27

Its hard to tell from the picture, but the blue ports are definitely sata 2. I can't see the labels under the white ports, but those are most likely the SATA 3 ports.

It looks to me like the "SATA 6Gb/s" text is just marketing text which is rarely put in a place that makes sense unfortunately.

Posted on 2016-07-10 16:36:29
Avatar Roger Faucher


Posted on 2019-12-28 23:43:02
Avatar Todd Smeester

Never mind, I just started switching them and found it's the white ports that are SATA 6! All is good. However, maybe you can help with something else. I had a 2TB platter drive as my internal backup. My old SSD died. I replaced that, and now when I boot up with the HDD connected, I cannot boot to windows for some reason. It actually caused a significant error, so much so that I had to completely wipe, and restore windows onto the SSD a second time. The BIOS has the SSD listed as the initial boot device. What are your thoughts on that?

Posted on 2016-07-10 16:38:44
Avatar quatermass

Sounds like you don't have a Boot or Active label on that drive....Open up the Disk Manager and see if you've got a "Healthy (System, Boot, Active, etc.) labels" on that or other drives.

You may need to run the DISKPART cmd line program to alter it


Posted on 2018-02-16 14:19:20
Avatar Fred Jones

On my latest MB: Asus ROG Strix Z-370-E all 6x of the SATA 6 ports are black, on my Asus P8Z68-V Pro they are blue, I wish they would standardize the colors.

Posted on 2018-07-27 17:15:38
Avatar Roger Faucher


Posted on 2019-12-28 23:40:35
Avatar Steve Wozniak

Thank you for the analysis! Appreciate the work.

So, what is a good cable to buy?

Posted on 2016-08-17 15:15:11
Avatar Magnetic_dud

Thanks for your time to do this benchmark! I was under the assumption that was the cable the bottleneck on my system. While doing DBAN on two identical drives, one is 3 times slower. I was "hoping" it was the cable...

Posted on 2016-11-08 12:17:00
Avatar Izzy

Just what I was looking for before using some old sata cables. thank you

Posted on 2017-01-28 23:33:49
Avatar Jesus Israel

Why you don't use a Sata 1 Cable?

Posted on 2017-03-04 20:25:24
Avatar luckz

SATA 1 and 2 cables were pretty much the same too.
Overall though the cable build quality matters, not the standard. The cable is just a passive thingie.

It's a bit like HDMI - some HDMI cables suck, others are good. When you have a 10 meters connection, a bad cable ain't gonna cut it.

I heard SATA 3 tend to have helpful locking latches to secure them in place. Some people had cables without latches fall out.

Posted on 2017-06-20 13:18:50
Avatar quatermass

The connector quality is very important too, if you want a reliable system that is going to last years.....

Posted on 2018-02-16 14:21:03
Avatar Lou Vile

Thats fine and dandy but you did not answer my actual question or maybe you did, And that is, does the cable and or connector determine the speed of the entire system? The answer would seem to be yes.

Posted on 2017-03-11 13:03:34
Avatar Jim Irish

My thanks for providing this information.

Posted on 2018-02-03 22:19:43
Avatar quatermass

At least SATA 3 has locking latches on them!
Just hard to find quality SATA 3 with decent made connectors and I'd like more variety in colours. I've 8 SATA drives and having them all with red cables isn't good when you need to trace through them!

I've had a series of annoying SMART errors (Ultra ATA CRC Error Count) which basically means the cable has become loose at either end. So I'm changing all to SATA 3 which have latches!

I'd like to think a review of SATA cables would take SMART readings into consideration just in case of dodgy connectors. There is a fair bit of vibration at the HDD end which can lead to failure if the force of the pins on pins when inserted isn't good.

Posted on 2018-02-16 14:09:30
Avatar Ali


Posted on 2018-06-25 18:10:12
Avatar alopia

They only changed the data flowing through the cable NOT the cables. This debate is nothing else but the result of a big marketing LIE. All they did was to change the printed labels (SATA III "6 Gb/s cable") hoping that this lie about 6Gb/s cables will sell more cables and people will dump most good old cables.

And it worked! People all around the globe changed their good (same) cables with new one printed with 6 Gb/s. What actually matter (sometimes) is only the quality of the cable manufacturing. There are many old cables made years ago better than today cheap products China is pumping on the market... This (may) explain the little difrences between intel and asus. They may not be random, but the result of a better manufacturing process.

I must state i'm a software engineer, working in the industry... so i (may) know what i'm talking about.

Posted on 2018-12-15 17:07:30
Avatar Sam Houston

I appreciate that you are a software engineer. However, if you were a sales engineer, you would know that a fancy label increases performance.

Posted on 2019-05-01 12:36:43
Avatar Cavram

Colour coding might be useful when adding drives since some MB sata ports are 3 and som 6 MB/s.

Posted on 2019-03-25 01:56:17
Avatar Vit

Thank you! Simple, yet powerful explanation.

I always wanted to see the actual test results, totally forgot about it, and today, after a random googling, I stumbled upon this great info! =)

Posted on 2019-06-29 13:31:30
Avatar Oscar Twiddledorf

Thanks so much for putting this together!! I've often wondered about this..and now I know

Posted on 2019-10-05 22:15:21
Avatar MC Spek

Наконец-то и я это понял! ))

Posted on 2021-11-03 21:17:57