What Is a Serial ATA (SATA) Cable?

what is sata

SATA or Serial ATA is the abbreviation of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. The SATA is an IDE standard that was released in 2001 to connect different kinds of devices like motherboards, hard drives, and optical drives. However, we are going to explain what is a serial ata sata cable in detail.

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 a 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.

Hope you understood what is a serial ata sata cable. However, let’s see some of the other things regarding this topic.


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 the 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 avoids 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 But these Windows versions are outdated as well.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 do 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 a SATA hard drive.

You can use external hard drives using SATA connections and the 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 at a reasonable price.

One problem with hard drives is that this cable only transfers 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 transferred to SATA hard drives, unlike the micro SATA cables.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the SATA cable in the computer?

SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. It is a standard bus interface used to connect a computer’s host bus adapter to the storage device, including hard disk, SSD, optical drive, etc.… These cables are inside the computer’s case. Mainly it is a connecting device for data transfer. 

Do I need a SATA cable for SSD?

Yes, the SATA cable is compatible with SSD. It is used for data transfer but not for power transfer. 

Does my PC need a SATA cable?

Yes, your PC needs a SATA cable. For example, if you have a CD ROM drive and Hard disk, you need one SATA cable for data transfer and one power cable. 

Where do SATA cables plug into?

SATA cables are connected to the drive and motherboard. SATA connects one end to the drive and the other to the motherboard, and the data transfer process begins. 

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