Since SATA made its debut back with the Intel ICH5 Southbridge, its performance ability was questioned, and its usefulness over Parallel ATA was brought up. At introduction, SATA was no faster than PATA, but its effectiveness was not in question. The need for a 7 pin serial cable over an 80 pin parallel cable meant less clutter in the case, and the expansion possibilities of SATA with unlimited channels means you can get more drives onto a system with less cable clutter.
SATA is clearly here to stay. In fact, Intel has now abandoned PATA ports on its ICH8 Southbridge, rather foolish considering 99% of optical drives (CD and DVD that is) are all Parallel ATA ATAPI devices - only a few companies have gone SATA on ATAPI, and none of them are DVD recorders, just CD-RW combo drives.
With SATA 2.5 specs now approved, we are now seeing speeds hitting 3Gbps from the controller chip to the cache of the drives, making RAID setups faster than Parallel RAID arrays with independent channel communication rather than two drives on each channel that Parallel ATA had. Another feature of the SATA 2.5 spec is e.SATA or external Serial ATA. This new specification allows for connecting to Serial ATA protocol outside the case, allowing for 3Gbps external HDD enclosures.
Today we are taking a look at Highpoint's first controller card that is devoted entirely to e.SATA. Introducing the Highpoint RocketRAID 2322, Mini SAS to e.SATA controller - If you're on the market for a high performance e.SATA solution, make time to read on over the next several pages.