546insp
3 Zinc

XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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The general opinion is that only # 0 and # 1 mobo connectors supply sata 3 (6gbs) but it looks like all the ones for all 3 HDD bays are sata III, which is it? (Not seeing any sata II anywhere on this computer.)

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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11 Replies
Vic384
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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The specifications only lists 6 Gbps which is SATA III. There are no SATA II interfaces, but SATA III specifications provide backwards compatibility to function on SATA I and SATA II ports.

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546insp
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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I plugged my 2.5 ssd data cable into one of them but don't know which one so I guess it doesn't matter. Right?

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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Vic384
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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I don't think it matters which SATA port although some have said the boot drive should be connected to the first SATA port (SATA1).

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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"The general opinion is that only # 0 and # 1 mobo connectors supply sata 3 (6gbs)"

Not sure where that opinion originated?

The online XPS 8920 Setup and Specifications PDF only mentions SATA as 6 Gbps. It never mentions SATA as 3 Gbps.

The online XPS 8920 Service Manual shows the following on page 17 =
Port 4 = SATA 6 Gbps for hard drive (SATA1)
Port 5 = SATA 6 Gbps for optical drive (SATA2)
Port 6 = SATA 6 Gbps drive connector (SATA3)
Port 7 = SATA 6 Gbps drive connector (SATA4)

So why would anyone think that two of the SATA ports are NOT 6 Gbps?

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546insp
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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I don't know but I have read in many places that only 2 ports are rated sata III and the others are sata II.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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@546insp wrote:

I don't know but I have read in many places that only 2 ports are rated sata III and the others are sata II.


That is only some old Intel-Chipset machines ... during the transition from SATA-2/300 to SATA-3/600.

XPS-8300/Vostro-460 is one such machine. Now-days, all are SATA-3/600.


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Cbarnhorst
2 Iron

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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My XPS 8920 has all SATA III.  The M.2 slot in the XPS 8920 is NVMe and supports very high transfer rates.  Use it for your boot drive if you can.  Dell ships the Toshiba M.2 SSDs so I recommend those.

My XPS 8500 has one SATA III and three SATA II.  Your information is from that era.  

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546insp
3 Zinc

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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Good info. I guess I am back in my 8500 days because that was my last computer too (It served me very well). I plugged my 2.5 sata Samsung ssd into a random port on the mobo of the 8920 so I guess I can leave it there. I bought a Samsung 970 NVME M.2 and tried for 3 days to get it to work, sent it back, and got the 2.5. I was waiting for the little hold-down screw to arrive so I had it plugged in at the 30* angle which some say doesn't matter and some say it does. I hope that wasn't my only problem. 

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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Cbarnhorst
2 Iron

Re: XPS 8920, SATA ports, are all 6 Gbps?

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The chipset isn't quite right for installing Windows on an NVMe SSD.  The chipset in the 8930 is.  However, you can do it.  Avoid the Samsung NVMe drives.  The one that works for me is the one shipped with my 8920.  It is a Toshiba KXG50NVS 512GB.  The problem is that the seventh gen chipsets require a driver before the chipset can see the drive.  I used the Intel IRST drivers saved to a usb.  The trick is to disconnect all other drives except the optical drive, install the NVMe drive, boot with a Windows 10 dvd and start the installation.  When volume picker page appears,  select load driver and point the installer to the usb.  After the drivers load you will be able to see the NVMe drive so you can select it and proceed with installation.  It is worth doing.  My Toshiba drive hits 3000 seq read.  My 2.5" SSDs only do 550.  Write speeds are comparably faster also.

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