Marvell chip problems could sink SATA 6Gbps on P55 boards

According to a report over at PC Perspective, a problem with Marvell’s 88SE9123 6Gbps SATA controller could tank the next-gen storage standard’s expected arrival on P55-based motherboards. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI had all planned to use the Marvell chip, but its performance apparently isn’t up to speed. The chip has reportedly been dropped from upcoming P55 boards from Asus and Gigabyte, possibly to be replaced by plain old SATA 3Gbps silicon.

AMD demoed its own 6Gbps SATA controller back in March. When paired with a prototype Seagate drive, the AMD controller apparently reached a maximum data rate of just under 590MB/s—a mere 10MB/s shy of the new standard’s peak theoretical data rate. To put that into perspective, the highest burst speed we’ve seen from a SATA 3Gbps drive is 262MB/s, a full 38MB/s short of the interface’s potential.

We don’t have official word on whether Intel’s upcoming P55 chipset will support the new Serial ATA specification, but recent indications suggest that it won’t. If that’s the case, AMD could have the first credible SATA 6Gbps controller on the market. That would be quite a coup given the numerous Serial ATA issues associated with AMD’s recent south bridge chips. We’re not holding our breath, though.

Comments closed
    • glacius555
    • 10 years ago

    In detail: there were two reasons to wait for P55, USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps, none seems to show up anytime soon, while I7 920/X58 is becoming very cheap, probably cheaper than any Lynnfield/P55 combo at launch..
    EDIT: meant as reply to #14

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      That seems unlikely, since Intel is responsible for the pricing of all the important parts of both platforms, and by all accounts they want the Lynnfield platform to cost less than the i7/X58 platform. (If nothing else, I wouldn’t expect the 920 to survive Lynnfield’s introduction)

      • reactorfuel
      • 10 years ago

      LGA1366: “High end” chips carrying a price premium, traditional two-chip chipset design with a very high-bandwidth link between CPU and “northbridge,” high-end boards.

      LGA1156: Budget/midrange chips sold to an aggressive price point to compete in a segment where AMD’s still competitive, incredibly simple motherboard design that boils down to “connect CPU to PCIe slots and southbridge,” midrange and budget boards available.

      No doubt there will be a few crazy-go-nuts LGA1156 boards for people convinced that a $300 motherboard grants useful benefits for something other than LN2 level overclocking. Likewise, there will probably be a couple of expensive high-end LGA1156 CPUs. However, on launch day, it’ll probably be possible to build a sensible LGA1156 system for less than any LGA1366 system. Wait a week or two for the initial demand spike to fade, and it’ll certainly be much cheaper.

    • snakeoil
    • 10 years ago

    wow intel post a loss of 400 million this quarter, and now they are getting behind in the sata race, amd has six core processors. what is happening? is intel going down?

      • Farting Bob
      • 10 years ago

      AMD’s 6 cores are in competition with Intel’s 4 cores. Intel will be moving to 32nm in the not to distant future, AMD will continue to lag behind for a while.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Intel going down is as likely as you not making such silly troll posts that are mainly good for laughs.

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      Intel, having executed flawlessly for a couple years straight, is having some market-positioning problems on the Atom in the midst of a global recession, and also just got massively fined by the EU. Hence the loss, which otherwise would have been a billion bucks of profit.

      They aren’t going anywhere. It’s just the cyclic nature of this industry.

    • axeman
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t worry kids, AMD will still manage to mess it up somehow. Or maybe they’ll make up for it by making their USB controller even worse somehow. And the newly included gigabit ethernet on the southbridge (finally)? You just know they’re going to foul that up too, somehow.

      • axeman
      • 10 years ago

      You idiot, what about Amd64 or x86_64 or whatever you want to call it? I think we’re all glad that we had an easier upgrade path to 64 bit computing than Itanium.

    • TheEmrys
    • 10 years ago

    Wow. AMD getting it right the first time. Been a while since that happened. Good on them.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Getting it out first does not necessarily mean getting it right the first time.

        • shank15217
        • 10 years ago

        Well, they didn’t get out first apparently as evidenced by this article and what makes you think they cannot get it right?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      that remains to be seen – the shortbread has a link saying that their new southbridge has again been delayed.

        • Hattig
        • 10 years ago

        The SB810 is delayed until H2’10. The higher-end SB850 is still on schedule for Q1’10.

        Anyone wanting SATA3 is going to be going for the enthusiast system anyway.

      • swaaye
      • 10 years ago

      Heh. They still need to perfect some other stuff, tech that has been around for several years now, like SATA II say.

      AMD southbridges aren’t exactly the gold standard.

        • clone
        • 10 years ago

        they are 1 revision away from not only being the gold standard but the only game in town by the looks of things.

        history isn’t a decent judge nor an indicator of future performance…… as always time will tell.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    I’m more than a little dissapointed that Intel didn’t have SATA 6Gb/s in theirP55 southbridge. Maybe it would be a bad move since x58 doesn’t either but it’s got to come out first somewhere. Most likely I’ll wait until 32nm and whatever chipset is out then anyway…P65 I guess?

      • glacius555
      • 10 years ago

      Well, that settles it. I’ll be buying X58 platform later this year, since it’ll be cheaper than P55..

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      The timing was awkard. The spec wasn’t ratified until last summer; Intel was originally planning to debut the P55 (and Lynnfield) this spring. That’s pretty tight, even given that Intel was one of the prime movers behind the spec and could work from the preliminary specs. Now that Intel is focused on the SSD business they have an incentive to advance that part of their SB asap, so you’ll likely see a respin sooner rather than later (not that that’s any consolation to the early adopters, but you have been looking for a use for those other PCIe slots, right?) At least Braidwood may give a boost in the interim. Maybe.

      §[<https://techreport.com/discussions.x/15374<]§

        • bdwilcox
        • 10 years ago

        Hopefully they wedge USB 3.0 in that re-spin, as well.

          • UberGerbil
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah, that might actually have been a factor as well. Just go with what you’ve go, and save /[

          • Kurotetsu
          • 10 years ago

          Are there even any USB 3.0 devices out yet?

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Does it matter? Chicken and egg, right? Who’s going to sell USB 3.0 devices without USB 3.0 support in mobos, etc?

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