Differences between IDE, PATA and SATA Cables

The Need for Speed

To achieve greater computer speed, cables that connect the hard drive to the motherboard undergo development as computer technology progresses. These cables differ in terms of speed by which they transfer data as well as the kind of peripherals these cables connect to the motherboard.
If one intends to build his own desktop computer and need to buy and choose a hard drive, familiarity with cables that connect the hard drive to the motherboard is required to prevent issues of incompatibility. You might want to upgrade your hard drive in an old computer and find that you bought a SATA hard drive that requires, of course, a SATA cable for attachment to the IDE slot of the old motherboard. A third-party SATA controller, however, can make possible attachment of a SATA hard drive to an old PATA slot.
Three types of cables are described here namely IDE, PATA, and SATA cables. Photos show each type.
What is an IDE Cable?
Definition
IDE is acronym for Integrated Drive Electronics. An IDE cable connects the IDE hard drive to the computer’s motherboard. The conventional IDE cable even with improved later versions of IDE like the Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE) is gradually phased out as new types of cables like SATA cables are developed. You can usually find the original IDE in old computers 2-5 years old.
Data Transfer Rate
The first IDE cable has a data transfer rate of 8.3 megabits per second (Mb/s). Later improvements on the standard, however, achieve a data transfer rate of 133 Mb/s.
What is a PATA Cable?
Definition
PATA is acronym for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment which, essentially, is an IDE standard for connecting hard drives to the motherboard. PATA is used to be called ATA but new cables called SATA or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment renamed the original ATA to PATA to distinguish the new technology from the older one.
Data Transfer Rate
The data transfer rate of PATA cables reached a ceiling of 150 Mb/s.
The IDE/PATA Cable

The old IDE/PATA cable found in older computers.
What is a SATA Cable?
Definition
SATA is acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. This is now the current standard to replace the parallel ATA, PATA or IDE.
Data Transfer Rate
SATA cable started off where PATA reached its maximum at 150 Mb/s. Newer SATA cables allow transfer rates of up to 6 Gb/s (!) as of this writing.
The SATA Cable

The SATA cable is space saving, energy efficient and easier to install than the PATA cable. Long SATA cables (39 inches or 3.25 feet) are now sold by computer peripheral manufacturers.
SATA cables are preferred over the old IDE or PATA cables. In addition, SATA cables allow better airflow in the computer unlike the wider ribbon of IDE or PATA. Also, SATA cables can be as long as 39 inches (3.25 feet) compared to the maximum length of IDE/PATA at 18 inches. SATA cables are also energy efficient. SATA requires only 250 mV for operation, a fraction of IDE/PATA’s requirement of 5 V.

9 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *