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Old June 26, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Speaking in generalities. Yeah overall a sata cable is a sata cable. However, for an enthusiast system where any difference is unacceptable....it actually depends on the cable. There can be actually be a dif in between unknown cable A and unknown cable b. Overall there isnt a difference between brand a and brand b, but in individual cables yes there can be a difference in performance (I am talking from personal experience here). If cable A is borderline and is failing to pass some of its signals but not most (or even a lot), the controller usually wont put up a fuss and it wont be downgrade to PIO mode or even just a lower ultra dma mode by the os, it will leave it alone and not tell you what is going on but performance will suffer in variable increments until the cable fails enough for the controller to cause a fuss. It is rare but it does happen. This is why I use the exact same known good cable from review to review. A quick few tests is always a good idea when wanting the best performance from a new system. Take the avg from four runs of a given test ( hdtach & hdtune avg speed is a good ones and look for any wonky low spikes) on a new cable vs four runs of that test using a known good cable. Viola. You will instantly know if that unknown cable is a good cable (and thus a "known good" cable). If you are really anal retentive...keep the results and check again in 6mths time. Cables do fail. But that is kinda overkill for most peeps ;)

As for the newer high performance cables. I actually prefer using them as they are built to a higher spec and are just plum NICER to work with. This is a personal pref only and YMMV on it. Dont know if they are worth the extra cost (I just have a crap load of them) Of course, I plan for the longer term and as I replace sata 2 drives with newer sata 3...its nice to know the cable is good (though once again I do a couple runs to make sure it is still capable of sata 6gb/s specs).

YMMV
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