SATA 6.0 Gb/s rollout delayed

Problems with popular SATA controller cause motherboard manufacturers to delay rollout of new standard

Triple-whammy. PC Perspective is reporting that a trifecta of motherboard manufacturers--ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI--are all using the exact same SATA 6.0 Gb/s controller into their upcoming P55-chipset motherboards. Only said controller, Marvell's 88SE9123, is suffering from a few problems that are causing at least two of the three vendors to pull the controller from their motherboards. Consequently, said products will ship without support for the SATA 6.0 Gb/s connection specification.

Although Gigabyte has pulled the SATA 6 Gbit/s from the entirely of its P55 line, the company alleges that it will be able to reintegrate the Marvell controller into its X58-chipset motherboards scheduled for launch in late August. ASUS initially stripped the faulty controller from all of its scheduled P55 motherboards save for one, the P55 Premium. However, a subsequent follow-up to the hardware site Legit Reviews shows that the company remains skeptical about its ability to integrate these controllers into even a single product.

"As of now I would just go with the it is a work in progress and if ASUS and Marvell's Q & A and R & D teams feel satisfied with performance and functionality it will be implemented," says an ASUS spokesperson. "ASUS is working closely to ensure the performance and quality of this controller implementation. This is because we do not want to have it start on the wrong footing especially it being a key future technology."

According to PC Perspective, the controller's primary problem is that a software and hardware issue is preventing throughput from reaching the full 6.0 gigabit-per-second ceiling. The irony, of course, is that no modern hard drive based on either magnetic or flash-based formats would be able to hit this limit anyway. While the news might certainly disappoint those who had dreams of running a huge RAID array of solid-state drives in the next few weeks, there's no word yet on whether MSI has decided to scrap the functionality in its own SATA 6 Gbit/s motherboards.

Catch David Murphy on Twitter @acererak, where he will gladly discuss all of your SATA-related issues.

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David Murphy

PC World (US online)
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