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Thread: Difference between SSATA & SATA onX99 Extreme3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Difference between SSATA & SATA onX99 Extreme3

    I'm helping my son put together a new computer and have a question. 4 of the SATA connectors are listed as SSATA, and 6 connectors are listed as SATA. Is there any difference between these two inputs? Is one for HDD & SSD while the other is for optical drives? Should his DVD-ROM be plugged into SSATA or SATA? It is an old IDE optical drive that has a SATA adapter added to it.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Third stone from the sun

    Default Re: Difference between SSATA & SATA onX99 Extreme3

    There is a difference between the SATA and the so called SSATA ports, but it has nothing to do with the type of drive being connected to it.

    The Intel X99 chipset provides ten SATA III 6Gb/s ports. Six of them, SATA3_0 through SATA3_5, may be used to create RAID arrays. That does not mean they can only be used for RAID arrays, they simply provide that capability. Any drive with a SATA interface may be used with those ports.

    The remaining four SATA III ports, SSATA3_0 through SSATA3_3, do not provide any RAID capability. That is the only difference between the SATA and SSATA ports.

    This six ports providing RAID support and four ports not providing RAID is the way Intel has designed and implemented the SATA interface in the X99 chipset. ASRock has nothing to do with that, and all X99 boards regardless of manufacture will have the same basic configuration.

    There is one other difference with one of the SSATA ports which is caused by a design choice of ASRock. The Ultra M.2 socket is shared with the SSATA3_2 port. That means if you use an M.2 format SSD in the Ultra M.2 connector, the SSATA3_2 port will not work. There is probably a BIOS setting for switching between the two, or for configuring how those two ports operate when drives are connected to both.

    ASRock explains all of this in these terms, from your board's information Internet page:

    10 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel® Rapid Storage 13), NCQ, AHCI, Hot Plug and ASRock HDD Saver Technology (SSATA3_2 connector is shared with Ultra M.2 Socket) * RAID is supported on SATA3_0 ~ SATA3_5 ports only.

    ASRock > X99 Extreme3

    Your DVD drive can be connected to any of the ten SATA ports, but might be better off in one of the SSATA ports, due to the lack of RAID support, and your use of the IDE to SATA adapter.

    The default SATA mode should be AHCI. Do not change it to IDE just for the DVD drive, it most likely does not need it set to IDE mode, and what you lose using IDE mode instead of AHCI is not worth it.

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