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Windows 7: SATA vs. PATA HDD's

View Poll Results: Which HDD type do you have?
PATA 6 31.58%
SATA 18 94.74%
SSD 4 21.05%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

31 Oct 2009   #1
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

OK, this came to me while surfing through threads here this morning.

Many people when moving to a new OS will be looking at buying a new Hard Disk Drive (HDD), but many don’t know the difference between PATA and SATA, so:

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA), and Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) all refer to the same technology. The technology has basically remained the same since the mid 80's. There were some changes to the throughput or the amount of data that could ba transferred from mobo to HDD in a given time and back then each revision was given a name & number (ATA1, ATA2, ATA3, etc). This technology culminated in 2001 with ATA7 (AKA: Ultra ATA or Ultra IDE), which had a maximum data transfer rate of up to 133 MB/sec (megabytes per second).

When Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) hit the scene in 2000 it was a fresh new start. SATA proved superior in many areas and has quickly become the new standard. At this stage to make a clear difference between ATA and the newer SATA standard, the older ATA standard was redefined and named Parallel ATA (or PATA).

There are many differences between PATA and SATA when it comes to the cables and connectors. SATA data cables have only four wires; two for sending and two for receiving data.PATA data cables come in 40-wire or 80-wire designs and are commonly referred to as ribbon cables. PATA cables are bulky, hard to install and impede air-flow in the chasis. SATA cables are easier to install & uninstall, consume minimal space and do not impede the air-flow thereby allowing better circulation.
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-data-cables_1.jpg PATA (left) vs SATA (right) data cables

Currently there are 2 versions of SATA drives available: SATA I and SATA II. SATA I, usually referred to as SATA 1.5 Gb/s (gigabits per second) is capable of communicating at a rate of up to 150 Gb/s, while the older PATA can deliver only up to 133 MB/s speed. The latest SATA II (AKA: SATA 3.0 Gb/s) technology can communicate at a rate up to 300 Gb/s. The upcoming SATA III technology which was just finalized earlier this year by the Serial ATA International Organizationwill have a speed of 6 Gb/s.
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-pata-mobo.jpg PATA connectors on motherboard
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-sata-mobo.jpg SATA connectors on motherboard
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-power_cables_1.jpg SATA vs PATA power cables

Today in computing as SATA has won as the data connector of choice, we are now faced with a new choice...
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-mechanical-vs-ssd.jpg
Mechanical vs. Solid State Drives (SSD).

Simply referred to as mechanical HDD's, most of today's PC's still are equipped with a HDD that consists of multiple metal platters which spin anywhere from 5400-10000 RPM via an electrical motor.
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-disassembled_hdd.jpg

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a newer technology that uses non-volatile flash memory (just like what is found in today's USB flash drives) to create a more rugged and compact devices for the consumer market. With no moving parts, solid-state drives are less fragile than mechanical hard disks and are also silent (unless a cooling fan is used); as there are no mechanical delays, they usually enjoy low faster access times and lower latency. All the SSD's found today in the market will use the SATA data interface, due to their faster speeds.
SATA vs. PATA HDD's-oczcolossus.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OEM

Great summary Darryl. Noobs shall be confused no longer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

I don't know the difference you are talking about with SSD drives. Mine is connected using the SATA interface. Just normal SATA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Oct 2009   #4
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nate42nd View Post
I don't know the difference you are talking about with SSD drives. Mine is connected using the SATA interface. Just normal SATA.
SSD's still use the SATA interface but I will add info on them for novices/noobs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OEM

If I am correct, the only PHYSICAL difference with the drive is that it fits in a 2.5" slot, rather than a 3.25" slot like other HDD's. Some newer cases are coming with additional SSD drive expansion slots as well as the regular HDD expansion slot.
This might be a long shot, but I am 90% sure that I have seen what you could call an up-converter so an SSD can fit in a regular hard drive slot.

PS: Darryl, your signature is awesome
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #6
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition


Thanks regarding the sig! And yes many make an adapter to fit a 2.5" HDD in a 3.5" HDD slot in a desktop case!

I guess I need to add the SSD section to this thread!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #7
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition
SSD Section added...

I just added a few paragraphs on SSDs!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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