Serial ATA

Computex appears to be Serial ATA’s coming out party.

Serial ATA is just a different way for a hard drive to give and get data.

The difference between it and current parallel ATA is basically the same as that between RDRAM and SDRAM. It’s the difference between giving/getting a narrow bandwidth message at very high speeds and giving/getting a wider bandwidth message more slowly.

This new standard was adapted because it will be easier and less hassle to make this faster and faster than continuing with the old standard.

Serial ATA doesn’t do a thing in-and-of-itself to improve general hard drive speed. The initial incarnation can handle burst speeds up to 150MB/sec (as opposed to the 133MB max with parallel ATA), but the best hard drives today can only sustain at best 50MB/sec transfers. So don’t expect any miracles from it.

This also means you’re in no rush to get it. Figure they’ll start becoming commonplace in a year or so. They’ll begin to be incorporated in mobos, but it will be a long time (maybe a long, long time) before you’ll see a serial ATA only motherboard.

Eventually, the fastest drives will be serial ATA only, but again, don’t hold your breath waiting for that one, either.

Just one of those technology items you’ll eventually get in the course of upgrading for other reasons, not a reason to upgrade by itself.


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