SATA, USB and FireWire Speeds
Using HDTach 126.96.36.199 and a few handy peripherals, we were able to get some benchmark numbers off of both the SATA controllers on the boards as well as the USB and FireWire connections.
SATA Performance — South Bridge
Here we tested the two south bridge based SATA controllers. We used a new Raptor 150 GB 10k RPM hard drive for the test drive.
Taking a 7200 RPM IDE external hard drive from Western Digital, we use HDTach to find the top transfer speeds on both motherboards.
This external drive has both USB 2.0 and FireWire support so these results are from the same drive with the FireWire connection.
SATA performance is equal across the board, though on the USB test we see the Intel chipset having a healthy lead. Unfortunately, the Asus M2A-VM motherboard doesn’t have any Firewire support; but looking at the MSI K9AGM2 board, the AMD 690 chipset’s SB600 south bridge can’t keep up with Intel’s solution.