What is a SSATA port?

Andy asked:

I bought an ASUS ZPE10-D16 motherboard for a server I’m building. The manual describes two banks of SATA ports; a group of four it calls SSATA, instead of just SATA ports. I’m wondering if there’s any difference between the SSATA ports and the SATA ports. The manual offers no explanation. How are these ports different than the group of six?

My answer:

It’s what happens when you let marketing people touch technical documentation.

This particular server motherboard has a secondary SATA controller, to which the ports labeled SSATA1-4 are connected. It can be enabled or disabled independently of the other SATA controller in the system BIOS.

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