Parallel ATA (PATA)

PATA or Parallel ATA is a standard like SATA that connects storage devices with computers. Using this IDE connection you can connect hard drives, optical drives with the motherboard.

Parallel ATA (PATA)

Parallel ATA (PATA)

PATA is a certain set of cables which we can use in this standard. It’s been called as ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) while it’s advanced version is SATA standard.

Both of these are IDE standards and have almost similar functions and characteristics plus both uses cables and connectors to make connections between storage devices and computers.

PATA Cables and Connectors

PATA cables are 40-pin connections flat cables with two ends. One end connects with the motherboard while the other end goes at the back of the hard drive we want to connect. Some devices have their own PATA cable connector.

PATA cables come in two different designs 40-wire and 80-wire. With newer PATA storage devices the 80-wire connection is used while with older devices 40-pins works perfectly. Both have minor difference in them regarding the speed. But they have different colors as well as the 40-pin comes in black while other comes in black, gray, and blue.

The maximum speed of ATA-4 and UDMA-33 drives is 33 MB/s while the ATA-6 is capable to deal with 100 MB/s speeds.

PATA cables are 18 inches in length which are 457milimeter. Molex is the power connected used with PATA storage drives and extends from the power supply to get enough power.

For newer systems, you can use older PATA drives with SATA cabling. You can use the opposite of SATA devices on older computers which supports PATA only. But PATA hard drives can also scan virus for your backup files.

You are going to need an adapter for these conversions:

If you have older PATA device you can use SATA to molex power connector adapter with 15-pin cable connections.
You can use Molex to SATA adapter to connect SATA devices with your power supply and 4-pin power connections.
You can use IDE to USB adapter if you are looking to connect PATA hard drive to a computer system using USB.

PATA and SATA differences

PATA is older and SATA is the newer technology with a lot of improvements over PATA.

PATA cables are bigger than SATA cables which make PATA cables hard to tie up which creates management issues. PATA cables also create hindrance for airflow and make the system overheat while SATA cables allow the airflow for the system making it stay cool due to their slimmer size.

PATA cables are expensive than SATA cables. PATA lacks hot-swapping while SATA supports it. The hot-swapping feature allows you to connect device while the machine is running which PATA doesn’t support and you have to turn off the system first.

PATA cables allow you to connect two devices a the same time while SATA cables support only one device. To increase the speed of both devices connected with PATA you can use independent device timing to run the devices smoothly. Both of these connections are known as device 0 and device 1 which is master and slave.

PATA can work on older OS like Windows 98 and 95 while SATA doesn’t. eSATA devices are external SATA devices which you can connect from the back of the machine. PATA cables cannot connect in a computer case. There you can use USB to bridge the distance.

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