Friday, April 17th 2009

AMD SB850 Southbridge to Pack Gen. 3 SATA 6 Gbps Support

As the market receives AMD's homegrown chipsets well since its successful 7-series, the company is preparing a new breed of platform core-logic technologies that will serve present and upcoming generations of the company's processors. From what we know so far, the company has designed the RD8xx and RS880, and has reportedly prepared prototype motherboards based on the chipsets. Several motherboard vendors have already prepared their upcoming SKUs based on the RS880 (AMD 880G), though all of these feature current SB710/SB750 series southbridge chips.

The successor, SB850, has been known to bring in an expanded feature set, and more importantly, an update with its storage controller. The southbridge will be one of the first ones to feature the third-generation SATA interface, that offers a maximum bandwidth of 6 Gbps between the system and the storage device, in comparison to 3 Gbps SATA II offers. In RAID mode, the controller will provide RAID 0, 1, JBOD, and RAID 5 modes. Six SATA channels will be supported in all. Other known features include support for 14 USB ports, albeit USB 2.0. AMD won't be embracing USB 3.0 just yet. The new southbridge will be released in Q4 2009 according to a portion of a roadmap slide by the company.

Source: Expreview
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37 Comments on AMD SB850 Southbridge to Pack Gen. 3 SATA 6 Gbps Support

#1
Wile E
Power User
TheGuruStud said:
Depends on exactly what mem is used. But I can surely smoke any flash drive in write performance with an old IDE drive and equally old enclosure. Proving, USB is not to blame.

Now, tons of tiny files can be an exception. Idk what causes it (windows maybe?), but those write slow as hell, less than 1 MB/s (on flash drives).
Yeah, but your IDE/enclosure loses in portability compared to a USB stick. I can't carry my enclosure in my pocket, but my Xporter XT 16GB goes with me in my pocket, everywhere I go. It just needs to be faster. The step to USB3 will make faster usb sticks a reality, and they'll be fairly cheap to boot, I imagine. USB is still more accessible than eSATA.
Posted on Reply
#2
TheGuruStud
Wile E said:
Yeah, but your IDE/enclosure loses in portability compared to a USB stick. I can't carry my enclosure in my pocket, but my Xporter XT 16GB goes with me in my pocket, everywhere I go. It just needs to be faster. The step to USB3 will make faster usb sticks a reality, and they'll be fairly cheap to boot, I imagine. USB is still more accessible than eSATA.
Well, you know, I can carry a 2.5" HDD powered by the USB with me :)
(Obviously it's not tough, I just wanna be a dick haha)
Posted on Reply
#3
TreadR
Wile E said:
I don't know about you, but faster usb sticks would be very useful to many. Have you ever seen how long it takes to transfer 12GB of data to a USB stick?
I wouldn't have used the word many... maybe to you and a few other people, but for most of us, it's good enough. The reason for that is that very few people are crazy enough to use flash for high amounts of data storage... which introduces your problem with time. The majority of people use 1-2 GB at most and that amount of data will get transferred fast enough.

Why I say crazy? From experience, I still have my 128MB "veteran" stick from 6 or 7 years ago, by using various flash stick I found lots of times the data was corrupted. It's unacceptable. Sorry but flash is just... small. It's not reliable, not is it meant to be fast in that form factor.

That's why I searched for an alternative and I found it. The Prestigio pocket drive... it's was like 100 USD, but the 20GB 1.8in Hitachi HDD did it's job. Not a single time in 3 or so years was my data corrupted! It's also small and light.

Wile E said:
USB is still more accessible than eSATA.
That's the thing... if chipsets support only so few SATA channels, how can we expect eSATA to reach a broader adoption? Besides, now you're switching your attention from data transfer speed to general use... it's like saying that I like mango juice and you come and say "but with lemons you can make lemonade".

True, USB is universal, (e)SATA isn't... but this is not the point of the discussion.

It's still the better alternative compared to USB when it comes to data transfer speeds... even when compared with the upcoming 3.0.

Typically, USB can reach 66% effective speed of its 480 Mbps (60MB/s) and that means around 40 MB/s, where as SATA can reach 80% effective speed from it's 1.5 Gbps, that's 150 MB/s. SATA II can reach 300 MB/s and SATA 6 Gbps should reach 600 MB/s. USB 3.0 can only reach a bit less than 400 MB/s if it has the same efficiency as USB 2.0.

Do you still want to put your money on it for that purpose? Or demand a better eSATA adoption?

If you take a look at the figures, you'll realize that USB 2.0 isn't even a problem for you yet.

Like I said, it's just a try at being the dominant technology.

For me, it's just that universal bus and I would prefer my chipset to keep it's power usage and heat dissipation at its current levels than add more and more to it for the sake of... "progress".
Posted on Reply
#4
Wile E
Power User
TreadR said:
I wouldn't have used the word many... maybe to you and a few other people, but for most of us, it's good enough. The reason for that is that very few people are crazy enough to use flash for high amounts of data storage... which introduces your problem with time. The majority of people use 1-2 GB at most and that amount of data will get transferred fast enough.

Why I say crazy? From experience, I still have my 128MB "veteran" stick from 6 or 7 years ago, by using various flash stick I found lots of times the data was corrupted. It's unacceptable. Sorry but flash is just... small. It's not reliable, not is it meant to be fast in that form factor.

That's why I searched for an alternative and I found it. The Prestigio pocket drive... it's was like 100 USD, but the 20GB 1.8in Hitachi HDD did it's job. Not a single time in 3 or so years was my data corrupted! It's also small and light.



That's the thing... if chipsets support only so few SATA channels, how can we expect eSATA to reach a broader adoption? Besides, now you're switching your attention from data transfer speed to general use... it's like saying that I like mango juice and you come and say "but with lemons you can make lemonade".

True, USB is universal, (e)SATA isn't... but this is not the point of the discussion.

It's still the better alternative compared to USB when it comes to data transfer speeds... even when compared with the upcoming 3.0.

Typically, USB can reach 66% effective speed of its 480 Mbps (60MB/s) and that means around 40 MB/s, where as SATA can reach 80% effective speed from it's 1.5 Gbps, that's 150 MB/s. SATA II can reach 300 MB/s and SATA 6 Gbps should reach 600 MB/s. USB 3.0 can only reach a bit less than 400 MB/s if it has the same efficiency as USB 2.0.

Do you still want to put your money on it for that purpose? Or demand a better eSATA adoption?

If you take a look at the figures, you'll realize that USB 2.0 isn't even a problem for you yet.

Like I said, it's just a try at being the dominant technology.

For me, it's just that universal bus and I would prefer my chipset to keep it's power usage and heat dissipation at its current levels than add more and more to it for the sake of... "progress".
I never said USB is the way we should go. It's adoption rate is what makes it so popular. Based entirely on that fact, it's going to be that way for a long time to come. It's useful for much more than just data storage, and while that fact may not be what you are focusing on, it is probably the most important factor when it comes to the needs of most users. I just want cheap, fast, and highly compatible thumb drives out of it. lol.

As far as USB not being a problem for me, I disagree. The transfers are entirely to slow. And who said I use my thumb drive for data storage? I use it for data transport, not any kind of long term storage solution. And I doubt that the number of people that need large, yet very portable storage is "very few". These drives wouldn't exist in the numbers they do if there wasn't a market for it.

I'm personally not a fan of the format, to be honest. I wish Firewire would've became the predominant format for connecting devices. Its superior to USB in almost every way, but that isn't the case, and we need to accept that, or struggle finding the devices we need in less compatible formats. I would love more SATA channels, but not at the expense of connecting my devices or compatibility.
Posted on Reply
#5
TreadR
Wile E said:
It's adoption rate is what makes it so popular. Based entirely on that fact, it's going to be that way for a long time to come. It's useful for much more than just data storage, and while that fact may not be what you are focusing on, it is probably the most important factor when it comes to the needs of most users.
What I said, and what you understood... I never said it's "just for storage". I said it's universal... for general purpose and I think I listed the most common devices it's used for.

Wile E said:
As far as USB not being a problem for me, I disagree. The transfers are entirely to slow.
Blame the flash chips and controllers for that, not USB. I doubt any of your flash drives can writhe with 40 MB/s... that means 12 GB in 5 min... common, now you're being ridiculous if you want more and for cheap at the same time.

Yeah... I'd like my SUV to drive like a Ferrari, but then again I wouldn't want it to cost more.

The thing with writing on NAND's is that it can be done through a controller, which will ensure data integrity as well as higher life for the chips at the expense of speed. Or it can be done directly, like those fingernail drives but at a cost.

Wile E said:
And who said I use my thumb drive for data storage? I use it for data transport, not any kind of long term storage solution. And I doubt that the number of people that need large, yet very portable storage is "very few". These drives wouldn't exist in the numbers they do if there wasn't a market for it.
To transport data, you need to store it, temporarily or long term. You just want to make an argument by denying and changing what I said... that doesn't change the fact that you actually store data, temporarily, to transport it. What's your point?
Mine is that of data transfer... it's good enough for most users.
If you want more... you need to consider eSATA.

Wile E said:
I wish Firewire would've became the predominant format for connecting devices.
Blame Apple!... if they wouldn't have been so greedy we would have that.
I too was considering it some time ago for its advantages... but no luck.

Wile E said:
I would love more SATA channels, but not at the expense of connecting my devices or compatibility.
I didn't get this one... what expense?

Well... SATA was created in 2003, while USB was in 1996 and was pushed by Intel and IBM.
That's a 7 year advantage and it already got beaten at what it wants to promote lately... which is data throughput. Remember, USB 3.0 isn't yet adopted, while AMD already announced SATA 6Gbps support for future chipsets.

I'd say it's going pretty well, a lot of mainboard manufacturers add eSATA's to their designs, some even add more than one controller, like MSI, one on-SB for the internal SATA's and a separate one for eSATA.

Also if you look at it from a technical point of view... USB 3.0 needs additional wires to make its magic happen... where as SATA 6Gbps uses the same connector and number of wires. What was that? A technical mistake? And will that happen in the future? Because if it does IDK how many more wires they can cramp on that little connector until they think of redesigning it. And there would go the compatibility.

Also, I'm sure that companies that design flash drives and other data storage devices that are aimed at users like yourself will think of adding both solutions... USB for compatibility with old PC's and eSATA for the fastest transfer rates possible. If I remember right, I already saw that once on TPU. I'm to lazy to search for it right now. :D
And I also bet it would be a tad more expensive. So pretty fast and cheap don't work well together in this case.
Posted on Reply
#6
Hayder_Master
cool , now i see my next upgrade , i wait for AMD 890fx
Posted on Reply
#7
Wile E
Power User
TreadR said:
What I said, and what you understood... I never said it's "just for storage". I said it's universal... for general purpose and I think I listed the most common devices it's used for.


Blame the flash chips and controllers for that, not USB. I doubt any of your flash drives can writhe with 40 MB/s... that means 12 GB in 5 min... common, now you're being ridiculous if you want more and for cheap at the same time.

Yeah... I'd like my SUV to drive like a Ferrari, but then again I wouldn't want it to cost more.

The thing with writing on NAND's is that it can be done through a controller, which will ensure data integrity as well as higher life for the chips at the expense of speed. Or it can be done directly, like those fingernail drives but at a cost.

To transport data, you need to store it, temporarily or long term. You just want to make an argument by denying and changing what I said... that doesn't change the fact that you actually store data, temporarily, to transport it. What's your point?
Mine is that of data transfer... it's good enough for most users.
If you want more... you need to consider eSATA.


Blame Apple!... if they wouldn't have been so greedy we would have that.
I too was considering it some time ago for its advantages... but no luck.


I didn't get this one... what expense?

Well... SATA was created in 2003, while USB was in 1996 and was pushed by Intel and IBM.
That's a 7 year advantage and it already got beaten at what it wants to promote lately... which is data throughput. Remember, USB 3.0 isn't yet adopted, while AMD already announced SATA 6Gbps support for future chipsets.

I'd say it's going pretty well, a lot of mainboard manufacturers add eSATA's to their designs, some even add more than one controller, like MSI, one on-SB for the internal SATA's and a separate one for eSATA.

Also if you look at it from a technical point of view... USB 3.0 needs additional wires to make its magic happen... where as SATA 6Gbps uses the same connector and number of wires. What was that? A technical mistake? And will that happen in the future? Because if it does IDK how many more wires they can cramp on that little connector until they think of redesigning it. And there would go the compatibility.

Also, I'm sure that companies that design flash drives and other data storage devices that are aimed at users like yourself will think of adding both solutions... USB for compatibility with old PC's and eSATA for the fastest transfer rates possible. If I remember right, I already saw that once on TPU. I'm to lazy to search for it right now. :D
And I also bet it would be a tad more expensive. So pretty fast and cheap don't work well together in this case.
You seemed to have missed the point that I was agreeing with you on some points. AKA: USB being universal. And was just adding a point that having more of them is beneficial to many people. While also adding the point that USB is more useful to most than more (e)SATA. I was touching on 2 subjects at once, usefulness and speed.

And my point about faster storage was that with the release of USB3, cheap and fast thumb drives are sure to follow, not that today's sticks would see much, if any, improvement. Yeah, some have already started releasing eSATA sticks, but they're more expensive, and require USB for power if you don't have power over eSATA. With the need of only one interface on a USB 3 stick, I'm willing to bet they will be cheaper than their eSATA counterparts.

As far as the data storage argument, that's a misunderstanding on my part. I assumed you meant long term storage, as I've never had a single data corruption problem on USB sticks with short-term storage uses, but have when I tried to use them for long term storage, which is where the misunderstanding came from. I wasn't denying or changing anything.

And the "expense" is that many board makers will not give us the best of both worlds, via both more (e)SATA and more USB3 ports, in order to save a few dollars per board. If I had to choose, it would be more USB 3, for it's more universal design, yet still higher than USB 2 transfer rates. Of course I would like to see both, and for a reasonable price, but my bet is that isn't likely to happen with most board makers.

And the biggest point you are missing in all of this is, I'm speaking in theoretical terms. In what I would like to see, and I believe would be more useful to most, not in any cut and dry facts.
Posted on Reply
#8
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
I still say Powered ESATA is beneficial to Laptops
Posted on Reply
#9
Melvis
This is good to see, as the slowest part of a computer is the HDD this was realy needed. might be my next build with one of those boards
Posted on Reply
#10
TreadR
Wile E said:
Yeah, some have already started releasing eSATA sticks, but they're more expensive, and require USB for power if you don't have power over eSATA. With the need of only one interface on a USB 3 stick, I'm willing to bet they will be cheaper than their eSATA counterparts.
That's the thing, for people like you that want the most out of it, it will cost. And I think it's too soon to predict prices. Most likely the makers of USB 3.0 products will use the same logic. If you want it to be fast, pay up! So don't get your hopes to high to early or you might get disappointed later on. After all, all of them want profit more than anything else.

Wile E said:
And the "expense" is that many board makers will not give us the best of both worlds, via both more (e)SATA and more USB3 ports, in order to save a few dollars per board. If I had to choose, it would be more USB 3, for it's more universal design, yet still higher than USB 2 transfer rates. Of course I would like to see both, and for a reasonable price, but my bet is that isn't likely to happen with most board makers.
By more eSATA's I mean more design implementations, no necessarily more ports... the 780G that I have, doesn't feature eSATA on-board, so I have to do with an external card, which is still leaving me with 2 unused SATA ports. If more manufacturers would add at least one on every design, from entry-level up, to two (or more, but not really useful) for high-end designs it would be sufficient. After all, eSATA, like I said, is best for data transfers while leaving general device connectivity on USB which is more than enough.

Wile E said:
And the biggest point you are missing in all of this is, I'm speaking in theoretical terms. In what I would like to see, and I believe would be more useful to most, not in any cut and dry facts.
Well, for fact, eSATA and SATA outperforms USB 2.0 and we have it right now. For me, theoretical is not practical. In fact, I usually challenge the purpose of most products that get thrown into the market without them actually being logical.

Take NV's ION and VIA's new netbook chip with HD capabilities. I don't see them as a netbook things... but rather was expecting them more as nettop things... and was surprised that after they were so praised, very few announced products. That's because, while they are nice, they fall outside the need of most people and as Zotac showed recently, it can also costs to much.

So until I see the product I don't feel the need to debate over something that might not happen this way.

Yeah... it would be nice... but I'd still go with eSATA for just that thing.
Posted on Reply
#11
Wile E
Power User
TreadR said:
That's the thing, for people like you that want the most out of it, it will cost. And I think it's too soon to predict prices. Most likely the makers of USB 3.0 products will use the same logic. If you want it to be fast, pay up! So don't get your hopes to high to early or you might get disappointed later on. After all, all of them want profit more than anything else.


By more eSATA's I mean more design implementations, no necessarily more ports... the 780G that I have, doesn't feature eSATA on-board, so I have to do with an external card, which is still leaving me with 2 unused SATA ports. If more manufacturers would add at least one on every design, from entry-level up, to two (or more, but not really useful) for high-end designs it would be sufficient. After all, eSATA, like I said, is best for data transfers while leaving general device connectivity on USB which is more than enough.


Well, for fact, eSATA and SATA outperforms USB 2.0 and we have it right now. For me, theoretical is not practical. In fact, I usually challenge the purpose of most products that get thrown into the market without them actually being logical.

Take NV's ION and VIA's new netbook chip with HD capabilities. I don't see them as a netbook things... but rather was expecting them more as nettop things... and was surprised that after they were so praised, very few announced products. That's because, while they are nice, they fall outside the need of most people and as Zotac showed recently, it can also costs to much.

So until I see the product I don't feel the need to debate over something that might not happen this way.

Yeah... it would be nice... but I'd still go with eSATA for just that thing.
I guess we are just opposites in what we want or expect then. No big deal really. I can see where you are coming from. I personally love Ion. I want a 10" 720p Netbook that can play HD content without struggling should I decide to hook it to an HDTV. Perfect mobile Media Center.
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#12
TreadR
Pitty the system builders don't see it that way... oh well. As you've said... no big deal really. :cool:
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