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Difference Between SATA and SATA II


SATA, which stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is the next step from PATA controllers used in the past. SATA controllers are easily identified by the narrower cables and connectors that are often colored red. If your computer was bough no more than 5-7 years ago, chances are you already have SATA controllers and drives. After a few years, SATA was improved and gave rise to SATA II. The main difference between the two is speed as SATA II can achieve speeds of double to that of SATA; SATA has a maximum uncoded transfer rate of 150MB/s while SATA II has a maximum uncoded transfer rate of 300MB/s

Although SATA II is newer, it still retains backwards compatibility with older SATA controllers and drives. When upgrading your motherboard, hard drives, optical drives, or any other devices that use SATA, you can safely opt for a SATA II capable device without having to worry if it would work with your set-up. Just keep in mind that you need to have SATA II a SATA II controller, drive, and even cable to get it to work at SATA II speeds. If any of the three doesn’t conform, the link would revert to SATA for compatibility.

When upgrading your system from PATA to SATA, or even to SATA II, do not expect a significant improvement in performance. The limiting factor in today’s systems is not the link from the drive to the processor but the drive itself. The mechanical components inside a drive are much slower compared to electrical signals. Because of this, most hard drives can’t exceed the transfer rates of SATA. So, if you have typical hard drives, then SATA II would probably do little to nothing for you. But when it comes to newer technologies like Solid State Drives (SSD), SATA II becomes very advantageous. SSD drives have flash memory and no mechanical components. They are very silent, power efficient, and very fast; some are even exceeding SATA II capacities. Its downside is cost and capacity as SSD drives often have much lower capacities at exorbitant prices.

SATA II is faster than SATA
SATA II is backwards compatible with SATA
SATA II is optimal for flash drives while SATA is good enough for hard drives

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