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SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. The SATA cable generally functions to make a link between the motherboard and the hard drive or the motherboard and the CD drive. At first, the IDE ribbon was the initial cable type used for creating the connection. Today, the IDE ribbon is no longer the preferred choice among computer builders. This is because it proved to be slow and is quite large to carry around with. The SATA cable is now the state-of-the-art choice among computer experts.

The first SATA cable moved data at a speed of around 1.5 GB every second. There are new models now that can quickly move data at a speed of 3 GB every second. The speed is expected to continually increase to 6 GB every second in just a few months or years. Now, each motherboard includes an IDE connection option and a SATA cable. The IDE connection, however, is expect to soon disappear as more powerful designs investing only in SATA are being created.

There is also the SATA power cable, which effectively links the hard drive or CD/DVD drive to the main power supply of the computer. The power cables are also part of several modern power supplies. Older versions will not be able to run well, because there are no longer adapters that can convert the old Molex power cables into the new SATA power cable.

SATA Better Than IDE

The standard SATA cable is much more convenient and smaller compared to the IDE cable. This is because there are only 7 pins used in the connection. The IDE cable uses 40 pins and appears in a very wide form. Connection capability is also better if you use the SATA cable over IDE. You then have the advantage of getting extra length on the cable, plus the benefit of not having very wide cables. One advantage that the IDE cable has over the SATA is that it can link two hard drives. SATA is only capable of linking one.

As for speed, SATA beats IDE by a lot. IDE can only transfer information at a speed of no more than 133 MB every second, compared to the 1.5 GB or 3 GB that SATA cables can transfer. Installing a SATA hard drive will save you time, effort and space. Even though IDE cables let you connect more than one device at a time, the sophisticated jumper management can also be quite difficult, especially for new computer builders. Overall, SATA cables now are the preferred choice because these outperform IDE cables, are fast and more compact.

Final Word

Most computers today still have both SATA and IDE cable ports and drives. If you’re not sure whether you have a SATA cable or an IDE cable connected, you can find out by opening the casing of your CPU. Generally, SATA cables are narrow and a bit thicker compared to the flat and lined appearance of the IDE. Usually, SATA cables are red in color, while IDE cables are gray. There are also variations in IDE cables that make them seem like SATA connections. Check the plug or the ends and see if these are wide and can be linked to the IDE port. Innovators may have improved the design and look by narrowing the width similar to a SATA cable to save more space.

To find out more about “>SATA cable connections, go to SataCable.Net.

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