Technically we’re not supposed to call it “SATA 3″ or even “SATA III” because of all the confusion with SATA II and SATA 2 and SATA Revision 2. What they want us to call it is “Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0″. Good luck with that. I think I’ll stick with “SATA 3″.
Seagate is the first out of the… gates… with a 6 Gbps SATA 3 desktop drive – the Barracuda XT ST32000641AS. The new drive is a 2 Terabyte four-platter monster, with an areal density of 368 Gb per square inch.
Seagate is of course promising amazing increases in performance compared to 3 Gbps drives, something which we’ll look at in the near future. Right now, only Marvell is making a SATA-3 controller, which can already be found on some motherboards such as the Asus P7P55D and the Gigabyte GA-P55-Extreme. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how it performs. The new drives are fully backwards-compatible, which will allow us to compare the busses easily.
We’ll be covering this with a full review and details on the technology in the coming weeks. It should be interesting to see how much of this 6 Gbps it can make use of, for anything other than burst speeds from its 64 MB cache.