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Thread: What Is SATA?

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    Senior Member ajbrun's Avatar
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    Question What Is SATA?

    Please don't think of me as stupid or anything .

    I've been reading a lot of threads that have SATA in them, and have always wondered what it is. The one thread that's made me make this thread is luap.h's thread about PC world, where people were generally mocking those who didn't know what SATA was. I know these people were supposed to be PC world technicians and should know what SATA is anyway, but I want to know too.

    I believe it's a different way of connecting a HDD to a mobo. Is that correct?

    I've also heard that it's better than normal IDE - is that correct, and if so why?



    Please don't mock me for not knowing .

  2. #2
    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    Faster than parallel ATA, smaller, thinner cable.

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    Senior Member ajbrun's Avatar
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    So why don't most people use SATA?

    I can't just change to SATA can I? I'd need another HDD for that I think.

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    You need a HDD and motherboard which support it.

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    Its faster (although you really wont notice), and uses a smaller, thinner, sexier cable.

    Not an amazing advantage, but as its only a few quid more, you might as well go for it.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    pata, sata.

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    Senior Member ajbrun's Avatar
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    Can hard drives have both types?

    I could be wrong, but whilst building my PC, I'm sure I saw SATA written somewhere like in motherboard manual or on the hard drive.

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    Banned myth's Avatar
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    nope just one of the two, however they can have 2 types of power conectors! Theres a new version of conectors for the power as well... Like my raptors suport both the old and the new...


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    SATA= serial advanced technology attachment, this is a serial interface used for connecting storage devices to the computer,it uses a seven-pin connector that is much smaller than the 40-pin ata interface cable, sata is capable of a 150mb/s transfer speed as opposed to 100mb/s for ata/100.
    Reality is for people with no imagination....

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    Ah, Mrs. Peel! mike_w's Avatar
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    PATA maxes out at 133mb/s, while SATA can get up to 150mb/s. While those speeds aren't that much greater, SATA300 is supposed to be arriving fairly soon, with, unsurprisingly, 300mb/s speeds.

    When you have an ordinary PATA hard drive, you can use a connector to change it into SATA, but the only reason to do it would be so that you don't use the PATA connections.
    "Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius who died wrapped in cabbage leaves but we assumed that was a freak accident."

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    Senior Member ajbrun's Avatar
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    OK - thanks for the help. I now fully understand what SATA is .

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    If you require really in depth and I mean "geeky" indepth information regarding SATA then the best thing to do is check the following PDF files ;

    http://www.serialata.org/specifications.asp

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    No more Mr Nice Guy. Nick's Avatar
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    None of you guys mentioned the advantages of a pair of SATA drives, other than the speed, which as mentioned, isn't actually noticeable...

    I dunno, leave a job half done!

    ajbrun, if you get yerself TWO identical SATA drives, you can then set up a RAID storage system on your machine... there's several different ways of doing it, but the idea for most people is to have an automative back-up of everything they save... What happens is that all the info saved to one drive is saved to the other as well, so if a drive fails, you've not lost a thing...

    Me, I like to live life loose and free, so I've got my two drives set up to act as one big one... the data is written equaly across both drives, so instead of my PC showing as having two 120gig drives it thinks its got one massive 240gig drive in there... of course, if one drive fails, I loose all the info on both as half a program is useless... but I was after more storage... anything important goes onto CD...

    There's a thread in here somewhere all about RAID arrays (as the different varieties are called), its worth having a look for it.

    btw, I've been told to NOT use SATA as a boot drive as it extends XP's load times due to having to load drivers for the SATA first... I dunno if its true as I've not tried it.

    Oh, one more thing about SATA, you can hot swap drives too, depending on how they're set up.... though WHY ANYONE would want to be whipping hard drives out of a running machine and plugging in new ones is beyond me!

    (and one more 'one more thing', the thinner cables are superb if you want to go for a windowed case and show of the inside of your rig... they're so much smaller and neater than IDE.)
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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    The fact that data transfer is 133MB/s vs 150MB/s is not an issue unless you are running RAID 0 arrays with 3 or more drives because drive mechanics are limited to about 60MB/s per drive. On a single drive it's the head seek and RPM that determines the maximum speed, not the SATA or PATA electronics.

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