_SAT free?

When working with ARB_fragment_program, each instruction has an ordinary version and a _SAT version. From my experience with register combiners, I’m guessing the _SAT version is “free” much like source swizzles and write masks. Can anyone verify?

Saturation and swizzle is free on all DX9 hardware. It was stated by Nvidia and ATI lots of times.
So yeah, you are right.