Hard Drives: ATA versus SATA

The execution of PC frameworks has been consistently expanding as speedier processors, memory, and video cards are persistently being produced. The one key part that is regularly disregarded when taking a gander at enhancing the execution of a PC framework is the hard drive. Hard drive producers have been continually advancing the fundamental hard drive utilized as a part of present-day PC frameworks throughout the previous 25 years, and the most recent couple of years have seen some energizing advancements from quicker axle speeds, bigger reserves, better dependability, and expanded information transmission speeds.

The drive sort utilized most in customer review PCs is the generous ATA sort drive (regularly called an IDE drive). The ATA standard goes back to 1986 and depends on a 16-bit parallel interface has experienced numerous advancements since the first experience with increment the speed and size of the drives that it can bolster. The most recent standard is ATA-7 (first presented in 2001 by the T13 Technical Committee (the gathering in charge of the ATA standard)) which bolsters information exchange rates up to 133MB/sec. This is required to be the last refresh for the parallel ATA standard.

As long prior as 2000, it was seen that the parallel ATA standard was maximizing its impediments in the matter of what it could deal with. With information rates hitting the 133MB/sec stamp on a parallel link, you are welcoming a wide range of issues in view of flag timing, EMI (electromagnetic obstruction) and other information respectability issues; in this manner industry pioneers got together and thought of another standard known as Serial ATA (SATA). SATA has just been around a couple of years, however, is bound to wind up "the standard" because of a few advantages to be tended to in this Tech Tip.

The two advancements that we will take a gander at are:

ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) - a 16-bit parallel interface utilized for controlling PC drives. Presented in 1986, it has experienced numerous developments over the most recent 18+ years, with the most recent rendition being called ATA-7. Wherever a thing is alluded to just like an ATA gadget, it is generally a Parallel ATA gadget. ATA gadgets are likewise generally called IDE, EIDE, Ultra-ATA, Ultra-DMA, ATAPI, PATA, and so on (each of these acronyms really does allude to particular things, yet are normally traded)

SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) - a 1-bit serial development of the Parallel ATA physical capacity interface.

Essential Features and Connections

SATA drives are anything but difficult to recognize from their ATA cousins by the diverse information and power associations found on the back of the drives. A next to each other examination of the two interfaces can be found in this PDF from Maxtor, and the accompanying spreads a significant number of the distinctions...

Standard ATA drives, for example, this 200GB Western Digital model, have to some degree massive, two-inch wide lace link with 40-stick information associations and get the 5V important to control them from the well-known 4-stick association. The fundamental information links for these drives have appeared to be identical for a considerable length of time. A change was made with the presentation of the ATA-5 standard to better enhance the flagging quality by influencing an 80 to wire link utilized on the 40-stick connector (these are ordinarily called 40-stick/80-wire links). To enhance wind stream inside the PC framework a few producers depended on actually collapsing over the lace link and taping it into that position. Another current physical change additionally accompanied the appearance of adjusted links. The execution of the adjusted links is equivalent to that of the level lace, yet many favor the enhanced framework wind current managed, simplicity of wire administration, and cooler appearance that accompany them.

SATA drives, for example, this 120GB Western Digital model, have a half inch wide, 7 "cutting edge and shaft" information association, which brings about a substantially more slender and simpler to oversee information link. These links take the comfort of the ATA adjusted links to the following level by being much smaller, more adaptable and equipped for being longer without dread of information misfortune. SATA links have a most extreme length of 1 meter (39.37 inches), which is considerably more noteworthy than the prescribed 18-inch link for ATA drives. The lessened impression of SATA information associations authorizes space on motherboards, possibly taking into account more helpful designs and space for more locally available highlights!

A 15-stick control association conveys the 250mV of essential energy to SATA drives. 15-pins for a SATA gadget sounds like it would require a considerably bigger power link than a 4-stick ATA gadget, however, in all actuality, the two power connectors are just about a similar stature. For now, numerous SATA drives are additionally accompanying an inheritance 4-stick control connector for accommodation.

Numerous cutting edge motherboards, for example, this Chaintech motherboard, accompany SATA drive associations locally available (many including the ATA connectors too for inheritance drive similarity), and new power supplies, for example, this Ultra X-Connect, by and large element a couple of the important 15-stick control associations, making it simple to utilize these drives on new frameworks. More seasoned frameworks can without much of a stretch be moved up to help SATA drives by utilization of connectors, for example, this PCI space SATA controller and this 4-stick to 15-stick SATA control connector.

Optical drives are likewise winding up more promptly accessible with SATA associations. Drives, for example, the Plextor PX-712SA exploit the new interface, in spite of the fact that the execution won't be any more noteworthy than a practically identical optical drive with an ATA association.


Notwithstanding being more helpful to introduce and drawing less power, SATA drives have execution benefits that truly set them apart from ATA drives.

The most fascinating execution highlight of SATA is the greatest transfer speed conceivable. As we have noticed, the development of ATA drives has seen the information exchange rate achieve its greatest at 133 MB/second, where the current SATA standard gives information exchanges of up to 150 MB/second. The general execution increment of SATA over ATA can presently be required to be up to 5% (as indicated by Seagate), yet changes in SATA innovation will without a doubt enhance that.

The eventual fate of SATA holds awesome things for those needing considerably more speed, as drives with 300 MB/second exchange rates (SATA II) will be promptly accessible in 2005, and by 2008 paces of up to 600 MB/second can be normal. Those rates are mind-boggling and are difficult to envision now.

Another execution advantage found on SATA drives is they're worked in hot-swap capacities. SATA drives can be expedited and disconnected without closing down the PC framework, giving a genuine advantage to the individuals who can't bear the cost of downtime, or who need to move drives all through operation rapidly. The higher number of wires in the power association is incompletely clarified by this, as six of the fifteen wires are devoted to permitting the hot-swap include.


Contrasting ATA drives with SATA drives can be dubious given the majority of the factors, however by and large the case SATA drives will, in any case, cost slightly more than a practically identical ATA drive. The hole is shutting quickly, however, and as SATA drives pick up in notoriety and accessibility a particular move in costs can be normal. Considering the advantages of SATA over ATA, the potential distinction of a couple of dollars can without much of a stretch be legitimized while considering an update. PC Geeks presently has a restricted determination of SATA drives, however a few specialized locales, for example, The Tech Zone and The Tech Lounge, offer ongoing value advisers for perceiving how practically identical drives stack up.

Last Words

The current SATA standard gives critical advantages over ATA regarding accommodation, control utilization and, in particular, execution. The primary concern ATA has letting it all out right now is history, as it has been the standard for so long that it won't likely vanish at any point in the near future. The fate of SATA will be significantly additionally fascinating as speed increments will enable hard drive improvement to keep pace with other key framework segments.
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Khalil Elhazmiri

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