Finding out which SATA modes your computer's motherboard supports before purchasing a new drive can be beneficial in a number of ways.There are three SATA modes currently, Sata 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, or in speed terms 1.5 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s and 6.0 Gb/s and knowing which of the SATA modes your PC supports can help you make the right buying decision. You won't run into troubles connecting a faster drive to a slower SATA port or a slower drive to a faster one, but that is not really optimal either way.
If you buy a slower drive you may experience slower performance than you hoped you would get for instance, and the same is true when you buy a fast drive only to realize that your PC does not support the faster speeds so that it runs a lot slower than advertised.
It sometimes may make sense to buy a new Sata 6 Gb/s drive anyway even if your PC only supports Sata 2.0. The reason here is that your next computer may support the faster standard and if you migrate the drive to the new system, you can benefit from the faster speeds at that time.
When you search for information about supported SATA modes you often find suggestions to look up the model of the motherboard to search for information about it on the Internet. While you may be able to look up the information eventually, it is a slow process that may take a lot of time depending on your motherboard's model. Let me show you a faster option to find out which SATA modes your PC supports.
The program to use is the free version of SiSoftware Sandra. There may be other programs that you can use in this regard, but this one was the first to display the information in an easy to understand fashion. Once you have installed the program you are taken to an interface that looks a bit like it is stuck in the Windows 98 era of computing. It is not the easiest to navigate but thankfully, we do not have to do lots of navigating to retrieve the information.
Click on the Hardware tab in the interface and double-click there on Motherboard. This opens a new window that takes a couple of seconds to load. The program retrieves all information it can get about your motherboard. Scroll down on this page until you come to the Disk Controller entry on it.
The values of interest are "Maximum SATA Mode" which lists the fastest SATA mode available, in this case SATA300 which means 3 Gb/s and the Ports section below which highlights the SATA Mode support of each port.
Now that you know which SATA modes are supported by your PC, you can make a better buying decision.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.