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Are SATA-3 drives backward compatible?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by kfinpgh, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. kfinpgh

    kfinpgh Thread Starter

    Oct 1, 2005
    I found my 2005 vintage Socket A mobo supports SATA-1 drives. There is one SATA connection on the mobo and my Antec 350 watt power supply has a SATA power connector.

    Prices for SATA-1 drives are outrageous, but prices for SATA-3 drives are much more reasonable. Will a SATA-3 drive work on a SATA-1 interface? I assume it's slower and I can accept that, but not working at all would be a bummer.

    The BIOS will let me set HDD and boot priorities, so there shouldn't be a huge problem there.

    Are SATA-1 cable ends different than SATA-3 cable ends? I ask that because I would buy a retail drive kit with cables included if they would work, otherwise an OEM (bare) drive would do the job with separate cables. (I found the SATA cables that came with the mobo.)

    Do SATA drives generate a lot of heat? My drive cage already has 2 IDE drives, so I would need to install the SATA drive somewhere else in my case. Do the 5.25" drive bays at the top of the case get enough air circulation to make them safe for installing a hard drive?

    Do SATA drives use the master/slave jumpers similar to IDE drives?

    Am I better off using an ESATA/USB external drive if the SATA drive is too power hungry?

    Antec 350 watt power supply
    Antec Solution Series SLK2650 case
    Chaintech 7NJL6 mobo
    2 GB PC3200 DDR RAM (2 x 1024)
    AMD Sempron 2500+
    WD 160 GB IDE
    WD 200 GB IDE
    LG DVD-RW Lightscribe burner
    3.5" diskette drive
    120 mm case fan
    80 mm case fan

  2. JSanguancheu


    Aug 11, 2002
    I've been doing a little research on this topic recently as well since my Asus A7V880 MB only has SATA 1 connections too.

    From what I've found, most of the HD manufacturers use some sort of proprietory software to set their HDDs to SATA 1.5Gb/s mode. This seems to require you first installing the HD in a system that supports SATA 3gb/s so you can get access to the drive.

    Western Digital is the only one (from what I can tell) that still uses jumpers on the back to switch SATA modes.

    So to save yourself some installation trouble, you may want to be shopping for a WD HDD.

    The heat generated depends more on the rotation speed. 7200rpm drive will produce more heat than a 5400rpm. SATA is just the connection to the MB.
    Yes, you can put the HD in one of the 5.25 bays but you'll need an adapter frame since the HD will be 3.5".

    There's no space left on your 3.5" drive cage? They can usually handle 3 or 4 HDs.
  3. kfinpgh

    kfinpgh Thread Starter

    Oct 1, 2005
    The cage has room for 2 HDD and 2 3.5" diskette drives. I could move the floppy up one slot and install the SATA drive between my existing IDE drives and the floppy. The 2 regular HDD mounts have rubber washers to reduce vibrations. The optical drive bays use a quick release rail on one side and a lock on the other. I have a bay adapter somewhere, too. It's worth trying.
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