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Difference Between SATA and PATA

SATA vs PATA

SATA (Serial ATA) and PATA (Parallel ATA) are two interfaces that are used to connect to mass storage devices like hard drives and optical drives. SATA is the successor to PATA, which has now become obsolete. You’d be hard pressed to find PATA drives in your local computer stores because they now stock SATA ones.

There are several factors that made SATA far superior to PATA and the biggest one is speed. The maximum speed of PATA is 133MB/s. In comparison, the first and slowest version of SATA is capable of achieving a transfer rate of 150MB/s, while the third revision is capable of four times that at 600MB/s. Not all hard drives are capable of taking advantage of the speed as mechanical drives are relatively slow. Solid State Drives (SSD) are more able to use SATA as it does not have the same limitation. SATA does give a slight advantage to mechanical hard drives by way of NCQ. This feature rearranges the order of requests so that all the positions on the platters can be reached with the least amount of passes.

Another feature you get with SATA is the ability to remove or attach drives without having to shut the computer down; known as hot pluggable drives. Unlike PATA where the computer needs to recognize the drives on boot, SATA drives are pretty similar to USB drives that can be swapped on the fly. The hot plug feature also opened up SATA for use as an external interface just like USB. Also known as eSATA, it provides much higher speeds than USB and is suited for external hard drives and other portable mass storage devices.

Another major difference between the two is the cables that they use. PATA uses the very recognizable wide ribbon while SATA uses cables that are just over a centimeter wide. PATA cables were a nightmare to manage and it blocks airflow inside the case. The smaller cables of SATA make it a breeze to tuck into sides or corners. PATA cables allow two drives to be attached to the same cable via a master/slave arrangement. This is somewhat confusing to some people as jumpers are employed so that the drive knows whether it is a master or a slave. SATA abandons the master/slave arrangement and each cable can attach to a single drive.

Summary:

1.SATA is the current standard while PATA is already obsolete
2.SATA is much faster than PATA
3.SATA is equipped with NCQ while PATA isn’t
4.SATA drives are hot pluggable while PATA drives are not
5.SATA provides an external interface while PATA does not
6.SATA uses smaller cables than PATA
7.PATA uses a slave/master arrangement while SATA does not


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4 Comments

  1. but what does ATA stand for?

  2. Hi friends,

    What makes Iphone costly as compared to a Smartphone????
    I mean to say, what is the difference between iPhone and Smartphone ??

    • The iPhone is technically a smartphone yet has been over simplified for the use of the common person. ‘Twas made for the lax and simple purposes that the common person would want out of a mobile device and has the processing power to do so with ease.

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