SATA or Serial ATA is the abbreviation of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. The SATA is an IDE standard which was released in 2001 to connect different kind of devices like motherboard, hard drives and optical drives.
What Is a Serial ATA (SATA) Cable?
The term defines the types of cables and some connections which this standard follows. It’s the replacement of parallel ATA standard which does the same job of connecting different storage devices to a computer. SATA storage devices are capable to move data to and from computer at fast speed compared to other PATA devices.
PATA is an IDE and SATA can be used with IDE which is Serial and Parallel ATA cables or connections.
SATA vs PATA
The major difference between PATA and SATA is the ability to hot swap and the cheaper price. using hot swap you can easily replace devices while machine is running. PATA lacks this ability so you need to shut down your machine if you are trying to replace the hard drive.
As SATA support this feature so you can use it while the OS is running. Similarly SATA cables are smaller in size than the PATA ribbon cables. You can manage them easily and they won’t even take much space and you can tie them up easily. The thinner design makes the airflow good and avoid overheating the system.
Similarly, PATA and SATA differ in transfer speeds. SATA can give about 187.5 MB/s to 1,969 MB/s while the PATA is only capable to deliver 133 MB/s fastest of it.
SATA cables compared to PATA cables are 1 meter longer as PATA cables are 18 inches about 1.5 feet and the SATA cables are 3.3 feet. The one thing where SATA lacks is the ability to connect devices. PATA can connect two while SATA can connect only one device.
In few OS SATA cabels are not supported like Windows 98 and Windows 95. But these Windows versions are outdated as well. SATA cables does require a device driver and without you cannot do reading and writing on it.
More About SATA Cables & Connectors
SATA cables are 7-pin cables and are flat from both ends and thin as well. One end connects it with the motherboard while the other end connects it with the storage device like SATA hard drive.
You can use external hard drives using SATA connections and hard drive is called eSATA. You can use the eSATA connection to connect different things like monitor, network cable, and USB ports with the opening. For your information the eSATA drives are not hot-swappable so are the internal SATA drives.
You won’t see eSATA connection on my computer on the back side. You can get a seperate bracket yourself in a reasonable price.
One problem with hard drives is that this cable only transfer data not the power unlike other USB drives, eSATA drives need a seperate power adapter which you can plug into the wall.
SATA converter cables
If you are looking to convert an older cable type to SATA to any other connection type you can purchase the adapter to do that. Like using a USB connection you can wipe your hard drive, backup files and many things. So simply buy an adapter and get the job done.
If you using Molex converters then you should know that they don’t have 15-pin cable connections and power supply needs to be transfered to SATA hard drives unlike the micro SATA cables.