What is SATA Connector? Complete Guide

SATA Connector

Are you uncertain about what is SATA connector? SATA (also referred to as Serial ATA) stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, an industry-standard bus interface for connecting a computer’s host bus adapter to storage devices such as hard disk drives (HDD), optical drives and solid-state drives (SSD). In this guide, we’ll cover all the essential information.

The importance of hard drive data transfer speed has increased. Hard drive connections can be made using a variety of ports on modern equipment, particularly motherboards. The SATA port is the one that is most frequently used for hard drives, whether they are mechanical or solid state.

We will define a SATA cable and describe the various types in this article.

What is SATA Connector?

an optical disc drive, storage drives, and computer data buses can all communicate with one another via this interface.

The International Serial ATA Organization is in charge of standards and maintenance. Its job is to create, oversee, and facilitate the adoption of this connector as a standard.

Compared to the outdated IDE connectors they replaced, this SATA connector provides faster data transfer rates. In addition to supporting longer cable lengths, SATA cables are easier to use than their predecessors. Although we can find cables up to 2 meters long, the “standard” length is usually 50 centimeters.

The SATA port’s ability to be hot-stripped is arguably one of its key features. Even when it is in use, this port supports the removal of a storage drive or optical drive.

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Brief History of the SATA Port

This connector, also known as an IDE port, was created to take the place of the PATA connector. The SATA port’s first iteration was released in 2000. Thereafter, it underwent revisions in 2003, 2004, and finally in 2008. Known as SATA III, SATA 3.0, or SATA 6Gbps, this most recent version is available. Every standard increases data transfer speed, and extra features are added to increase reliability.

SATA Connector

Over time, substitutes for this connector have been made available, such as the mSATA, which debuted in 2011. The M.2 port, which is based on PCI-Express lines and offers extremely high speeds, is its most recent evolution.

The SATA port has been moved slightly due to technological advancement and miniaturization. The way they are typically installed in smartphones, tablets, and ultra-compact laptops is by soldering flash memories onto the motherboard. Only the M.2 port is used by some manufacturers of extremely compact notebooks or PCs.

One reason is that data transfer rates are faster, but another is that the size is smaller, enabling more compact systems.

What Types of SATA Cables Are There

The distinction between a data cable and a power cable is the first one that needs to be made when discussing SATA cables. Oddly, the names of the data and power cables are the same. Both cables are necessary for any hard drive or optical drive. Both the power cable and the data cable are connected directly to the motherboard.

SATA power cables have an intriguing feature that prevents them from being connected in any other way: they have a boss and a 90° angle. Even though only four cables enter the connector, there are 15 connection pins overall.

Let’s see now the most common types of SATA cables in PC

SATA (data)

SATA-type data cables are frequently distinguished by being relatively flat and able to withstand significant twisting. At both points, we can find cables with straight connectors, though some cables have connectors that are 90 degrees off-center. Storage or optical drives are intended to be connected using these connectors.

SATA (power)

We have SATA power cables for all storage drives and optical drives because they require power. The power cables have one to four power connectors each, allowing them to power multiple devices from a single cable.

Multiple cables are frequently present on modern power supplies so that SATA drives can be powered. There are specialized adapters that can change this one into additional connectors in case we need more. We have 6 pin PCIe to SATA and MOLEX to SATA adapters available.

Low Profile SATA

For extremely small systems with little available space, a special connector was created. This cable has quite thin cables and is built around a very basic connector. Additionally, they lack the plastic sheath found on “normal” SATA connectors and are built using just one or two extremely thin cables.

IDE SATA Adapter

This adapter is made to be able to use the IDE-type hard drives found on contemporary motherboards. Additionally, we can use it to recover data from an IDE drive.

Micro-SATA (mSATA)

It is distinguished by combining the power and data connectors into a single connector. Embedded systems with small form factors and notebook computers typically use this kind of cable. These cables are also employed in “hot swap” systems, which enable the rapid removal of hard drives.


Extra cables with a stronger connector and a more robust system are used to connect external storage units. Because the USB 3.0 port offers faster transfer rates, these are currently out of favor.


Computer towers’ PCI slots can accommodate an ESATA ports socket. On the other end of these unique cables is a SATA connector that mounts directly to the motherboard.


It is an adapter that converts SATA to USB; it is not a cable in and of itself. This hard disk USB adapter makes it easy to connect a storage device without having to turn your computer on.

What is the Difference Between SATA 1, 2 and 3

Since all connectors are identical, there are no physical differences. The difference is in the transfer speeds:

  • HOUR 1: It is the first generation of this data transfer interface and offers a bandwidth of up to 150MB / s
  • HOUR 2: Second generation of this data transfer interface and offers 300MB / s bandwidth
  • HOUR 3: The current data transfer interface is the third generation. Offers 600MB / s bandwidth

SATA in Modern Applications

There are many other cutting-edge serial storage technologies available today, including SAS and NVMe. Nevertheless, SATA is still the best option for many applications, particularly in the automotive sector where smart cars with sensors linking operational and informational data to a cloud system are concerned.

SSD or HDD technologies that are used in making a vehicle essentially “SMART” are driven mainly by connectors for SATA 3G and 6G. These are also preferred in large part because they are more affordable than other comparable technologies.

Conclusion on SATA Connector

Despite being the most popular hard drive connection standard, the SATA port is starting to lose ground. M.2 ports based on PCI-Express 3.0 can provide 5-7 times the transfer speed. Compared to SATA 3, those based on PCI-Express 4.0 can offer transfer speeds that are 10–15 times faster.

The most recent standard, which was highlighted at the beginning, was created in 2008; consequently, it has not changed in 12 years. The demands for data transfer speed have dramatically increased during this time. We might say that this port needs to be reconverted because of its characteristics, which make it quite out of date.

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What is SATA Port Used For?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, also known as Serial ATA or SATA, enables mass storage devices, such as hard drives and optical drives, to communicate with the motherboard using a high-speed serial cable over two pairs of conductors.

Is a SATA Drive the Same as a SSD?

Compared to SSDs, SATA drives are more accessible and less expensive. SATA drives, however, take longer to boot up and to retrieve data than SSDs. A SATA drive might be right for you if you need a hard drive with a lot of storage space because they frequently hold terabytes of information.

Do I Need a SATA to USB Cable?

SATA to USB cable is used to connect to an SSD or HDD, thereby adding drive space to the laptop. It can be connected to an external drive so you can add storage, make backups, create disk images, recover data, and transfer files to a laptop.