Beginner’s Guide To SATA Cables
TABLE OF CONTENTS
With various uses and applications, SATA cables are quite effective in connecting various drives to your computer’s motherboard.
However, SATA cables have different designs and specifications that are suited for different applications.
The speeds of SATA cables also vary from one generation to another.
And while SATA cables are quite versatile, telling the difference between various types might be challenging, especially if you’re not handling such cables on a daily basis.
In this guide, we’re going to take you through the different types of SATA cables that are out there, making it easier for you to understand how they operate.
Let’s dive in.
What Are SATA Cables?
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment cables are special types of cables, which are mainly used to connect multiple types of storage drives (optical drives, hard drives, solid-state drives) to a motherboard.
The technology dates back to the early 2000s. It was introduced to replace the older cables, which are known as PATA cables.
Obviously, SATA cables are faster than the old PATA cables.
Unlike PATA cables, SATA cables can be disconnected or connected to your computer’s motherboard while the computer is still running through a process known as hot-swapping.
SATA cables are available in different versions; each generation is rated at different speeds and specifications.
The bandwidth throughput and data transfer rate improved with each generation.
- SATA I is the first generation interface and operates at 1.5Gb/s with a maximum bandwidth throughput of 150MB/s.
- SATA II is the second generation interface and operates at 3Gb/s. The maximum bandwidth throughput of SATA II is 300MB/s.
- SATA III is the third generation interface and has a transfer rate of 6Gb/s with a bandwidth throughput of 600MB/s.
The latest generation is compatible with previous generations through backward compatibility.
Note: Gb/s (Gigabit per second) can be easily confused with GB/s (Gigabyte per second). 8 bits equal one byte.
Here’s an overview table for quick comparison of Sata Cable generations and Bandwidth:
|Generation||Bandwidth Throughput||Transfer rate in Gb/s|
The Two Main Types of SATA Cables
There are two major types of SATA cables:
- SATA power cables
- SATA data cables
SATA Power Cable
A SATA power cable has a connector with 15 pins, which are designed to supply power.
Three different pins on the connector can work hand-in-hand in parallel to conduct power with varying voltages.
Apart from that, a SATA power cable features thin rounded wires, which go straight to the connector.
SATA Data Cable
As the name hints, a data cable facilitates the transfer of data.
It packs a connector with 7 pins and is mainly used to connect a hard disk to a PC’s motherboard. In short, one end should be connected to the port on your hard disk.
The other end should be connected to the SATA connector port, which is found on the motherboard.
In terms of appearance and design, data SATA cables are thinner and smaller than power cables.
Moreover, other data cables might feature an angled connector, making it easier for you to connect them to your storage devices in tight situations.
Other Types of SATA Cables
SATA to USB
SATA to USB cables are quite effective in connecting SSD drives to a computer through a USB port.
Such cables can be used to streamline the data transfer process or extend the storage space of your laptop.
They are often used to quickly plug in internal storage devices that do not come with an external storage enclosure. This can be a life-saver for doing backups or moving files off of a PC or Laptop that does not turn on or boot anymore.
e-SATA (external SATA) is a cable, which makes it easier for you to connect an external hard drive to your computer through the e-SATA connector port.
In short, it is designed to connect to the exterior part of a device.
As the name hints, micro SATA cables are designed to connect mSATA SSDs to a motherboard.
Low Profile SATA
Low-profile SATA cables are helpful for PC Builds that have bulky GPUs obstructing the SATA Ports. They fit beneath long GPUs without the need to bend the SATA cable.
Using SATA Cables to connect storage devices
The installation process differs, based on the type of SATA cable that you are planning to use.
For example, if you are planning to upgrade your HDD with a new one (or swapping out any SATA device with a different SATA device), you can leave the SATA cable plugged in to the motherboard.
Disconnect the end that connects to the storage device you’re looking to upgrade, then replace the device and plug the ends of the SATA power and data cable back into the new device.
Follow these steps to install addition SATA storage devices on your PC’s motherboard:
- Turn off your PC and open the case by removing the side panel
- Place the storage device into an empty storage bay (3,5″ or 2,5″) in your case
- Depending on your case, the device will either be snapped in automatically or has to be screwed tight
- Check if the SATA connection ports are easily accessible with the SATA cable length you have available
- Connect one end of the SATA cable to the hard drive, then connect the other end of the cable to one of the free SATA connectors on your motherboard.
- Start with a SATA port number first (Check your motherboard manual or the print on the motherboard itself to find out which port to use)
- Once you finish connecting the SATA cable to the suitable ports, check whether the connection is tight
- Close your case and power up your PC, boot into your OS to see if it has recognized the drive automatically
Are PATA cables still used?
It’s quite rare to come across a device that uses PATA cables—they were replaced with SATA cables.
SATA cables are faster than PATA cables with the latest generation operating with a 6Gb/s transfer rate.
Which SATA cable generation is used nowadays?
Most devices use the SATA III interface.
Apart from that, there are different versions of the SATA 3 interface—3.1,3.2,3.3.
SATA 3 interface is quite fast and has super transfer speeds.
Can you use a SATA cable on a computer that doesn’t have a SATA connection port?
If a PC doesn’t have an external SATA connection port, you can use a SATA to eSATA adapter cable to make the connection work.
Over to You
Do you have any questions about SATA Cables? Let us know in the comment section down below or head over to our forum and ask away!
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How To Connect SATA Power Cable
When assembling PC parts, have you ever had doubts about connecting power cables to internal devices? Whether an 8-pin or a SATA cable, inserting these cables from the PSU (Power Supply Unit) to the wrong header or ports can have serious consequences.
One specific component users have issues connecting with is the SATA power cable. If inserted incorrectly, you may even damage the devices.
So, to avert any disaster, we have brought you this article to help you connect the SATA power cable correctly.
Table of Contents
Types of Power Connector
Depending on the PSU you use, you will either have a Molex or SATA power connector. Newer and fully modular PSU are generally equipped with SATA, whereas the Molex is an older technology and hence not manufactured in modern PSU.
Molex Power Connector
The Molex power cable has four cables and 4-pins on its end. It supplies 12V and 5V through yellow and red cable, respectively. The other two black cables are ground.
If your power supply uses a Molex power connector, you will need a Molex to SATA converter to connect it with SATA power port device.
SATA Power Connector
SATA power connector 15-pins which can supply 3.3V, 5V or 12V power source. It also provides reduced impedance compared to Molex which in turn provides better ground for the system.
How to Connect a SATA Power Cable
Connecting PC parts can be just as simple as assembling lego pieces. So, you need to locate each cable for that specific port. On the other hand, some ports can look similar, and amateur PC builders can accidentally insert them somewhere they are not supposed to. This can sometimes cause your device to short circuit.
Therefore, please read the instructions mentioned below very carefully before performing them to avoid this crisis.
Locate SATA Power Cable
To locate the SATA power cable, first, we need to see what the SATA port looks like. Analyzing the SATA port, we can easily determine what the SATA cable looks like.
SATA port is an L-shaped port located on most of your storage devices. However, you can see two SATA ports on the device. One is the SATA data port (to data transfer), and the other is the SATA Power port (for power supply).
To differentiate these two ports, simply check their length. SATA power has a longer port length compared to the SATA data port.
Another way you can differentiate the SATA power and SATA data cable is through the number of pins. SATA data port has 7-pins whereas the SATA power supply ports are equipped with 15-pins.
You can also check the number of wires on the cable. SATA power cable generally has 5 wires either colored or plain black, whereas SATA data cable has one flat and thick cable.
Now that you know where we need to insert the SATA power cable, you need to locate the cable from the power supply that can fit in this L-shaped port.
Check cables from the PSU (Power Supply Unit) that can fit into the SATA power port in your storage device.
If you cannot find this L-shaped cable from the power supply, your PSU most likely has a Molex cable. In this case, you will need a Molex-SATA connector to supply power to the storage device.
However, if the device does not have a SATA power port, you can assume it uses a Molex cable.
Insert the Cable
Once you locate the SATA power cable, inserting them into the SATA power port is fairly simple. Aligning the L-shape from the port and the cable, then insert them carefully.
You can only insert these SATA power cables a certain way. So, if you have issues connecting them, invert the cable and try again.
Where Do We Use a SATA Power Cable?
The SATA power cable supplies power to the storage device such as the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), the Solid State Drive (SSD), or CD/DVD drive. Besides this, we can also use a SATA power cable to connect to a controller which manages the RGB.
How to Insert SATA Data Cable?
SATA data cable connects the storage device to the motherboard. To locate the SATA port on the motherboard, search for writings such as SATA_1, SATA_2, or look for an L-shaped port.
Insert one end of the SATA data cable on the motherboard and another one to the SATA data port on your device. The SATA data port on the device is relatively shorter than the SATA power port.
If you have issues connecting these two ports, invert the cables and try again.
What’s the difference Between SATA Power and Molex Power?
Molex is an old technology that powers most of your internal components. Molex power has four pins on the connector and four wires.
Talking about SATA power cables, these are L-shaped cables with 15-pins on the connector. However, we can only see five cables in the SATA wire.
DIY Sata cable In this article I will talk about
sata cable . As you know, all manufacturers of computer technology have long switched to sata power .
This article will describe all the nuances of creating a sata cable or else it is called sata adapter , with your own hands. And so we begin the process.
- Sata cable or sata adapter
- Sata cable disassembly
- Molex disassembly
- 2 Sata cable or sata adapter
First we need a non-working unit pc power supply. And from the power supply you need to pull out the longest sata cable .
The longest cable is desirable, but if this is not available, of course, a short one is also possible.
In most cases, it happens that some other connector is attached to the sata cable. You can leave it on and take it off if you don’t need it or if it gets in the way for some reason.
In my case, two wires on the additional connector were cut off and in order to get rid of the unnecessary molex connector, I had to disassemble the sata adapter.
Sata Cable Disassembly
This connector is very easy to disassemble. All wires on the sate sit on plastic latches that need to be lifted with the tip of a pair of scissors.
Without releasing, pull the wire back, without effort and without damage, the wire is carefully removed from the connector.
To cut the extra wires from the molex I use the pliers from the ladies manicure set. You can also use small electrical wiring pliers.
As soon as all the extra wires are cut off, insert the wires into their places. Attention when removing the wires, do not remove them all at once, otherwise you will get confused.
Remove one wire, cut off the excess and insert it back. And we clean the cut ends of the wires for soldering.
Parsing the molex
We will connect the cable made on sata to our computer power supply via the molex connector
To do this, you will have to disassemble the molex connector itself. We take a free molex connector on the power supply and disassemble it. Tips on wires in molex have lugs or eyelets that hold them in the connector itself. To remove the four wires, we need to find these ears and bend them inside the tip. Use a bright flashlight to find this ear.
If the lug is not located, we pass a thin screwdriver or scissors around the tip. Solder each wire by color. If for some reason it was not possible to understand, you can do the following. We take the wires of the sata cable, clean their ends by about 1.5 cm and wind them onto the tip of the molex and twist them so that they do not slip.
As we said above, the lugs of the molex wires are held on the ears in the connector and therefore, before putting the wires in place, you need to bend the tab on each wire
We assemble the molex connector and connect sata power. It remains only to check sata adapter . In my case, everything works to this day.
How to quickly make a sata cable
There is another option to make a sata adapter. To do this, as usual, take a sata cable, clean the ends by about 1. 5 cm, twist the ends of the wires so that
form approximately a braid. Next, we stick each wire into the molex connector to match the color. It remains only to wrap it with tape or hot glue.
Caution This method is not safe, because at any time the wire can jump out of the plug and short out.
Do not use conventional adhesives otherwise it will be very difficult to disassemble the connector.
For what reason the article was written
There were times when my power supply did not have enough sata cable for power supply due to hard drives.
It would be an option to throw a cable from one hard drive or go to the store and buy a sata adapter.
But since I like to create something with my own hands, I decided to make this cable myself. And step by step went through the process.
SATA Cable Guide – Everything You Need to Know
SATA cables are very effective for connecting drives to your computer motherboard in a variety of uses and applications.
However, SATA cables come in different designs and specifications to suit different applications. SATA cable speeds also vary from generation to generation.
While SATA cables are quite versatile, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the different types, especially if you don’t work with these cables on a daily basis.
In this guide, we will introduce you to the different types of SATA cables that exist, so that you can more easily understand how they work.
Let’s dive in.
What are SATA cables
S cables serial A dvanced T echnology A tt are special types of cables that are used to connect multiple types of drives (optical drives, hard drives, solid state drives) to the motherboard.
The technology dates back to the early 2000s. It was introduced to replace older cables known as PATA cables.
Obviously SATA cables are faster than the old PATA cables.
Unlike PATA cables, SATA cables can be disconnected or connected to the computer motherboard while a process is still running on the computer – known as hot swap .
SATA cables available in different versions; each generation is designed for different speeds and characteristics.
Bandwidth and data transfer speed have improved with each generation.
- SATA I is a first generation interface that runs at 1.5Gbps with a maximum throughput of 150MB/s.
- SATA II is a second generation interface that operates at 3 Gbps. The maximum throughput of SATA II is 300 MB/s.
- SATA III is a third generation interface with 6 Gb/s transfer rate and 600 MB/s bandwidth.
The latest generation is backward compatible with previous generations.
Note . Gbps (Gigabits per second) can be easily confused with GB/s (Gigabytes per second). 8 bits equals one byte.
Two main types of SATA cables
There are two main types of SATA cables:
- SATA power cables
- SATA data cables
SATA power cable
The SATA power cable has a 15-pin connector that the provides power to the .
The three different pins on the connector can work hand in hand in parallel to carry AC power.
In addition, the SATA power cable has thin, rounded strands that go straight to the connector.
SATA 9 data cable0049
As the name suggests, a data cable facilitates data transfer.
It has a 7 pin connector and is mainly used to connect a hard drive to a PC motherboard.
One end must be connected to a port on your hard drive. The other end must be connected to the SATA connector port found on the motherboard.
In terms of appearance and design, SATA data cables are thinner and smaller than power cables.
In addition, some data cables may be angled to make it easier to connect to storage devices in tight spaces.
Other types of SATA cables
SATA to USB
SATA to USB cables are very effective when connecting SSDs to a computer via USB.
These cables can be used to optimize data transfer or increase the memory capacity of your laptop.
These are often used to quickly connect internal storage devices that do not come with an external storage case. This can be a life saver when backing up or moving files from a PC or laptop that no longer turns on or boots up.
e-SATA (external SATA) is a cable that makes it easy to connect an external hard drive to a computer via the e-SATA connector port.
In short, it is designed to connect to external devices.
As the name suggests, micro SATA cables are designed to connect mSATA SSDs to the motherboard.
Low Profile SATA
Low profile SATA cables are useful for PC builds with bulky GPUs that interfere with SATA ports. They fit under long GPUs without having to bend the SATA cable.
Using SATA cables to connect storage devices
The installation process differs depending on the type of SATA cable you plan to use.
For example, if you plan to replace the HDD with a new one (or replace any SATA device with another SATA device), you can leave the SATA cable connected to the motherboard.
Disconnect the end that connects to the storage device, then replace the device and plug the ends of the SATA power and data cable back into the new device.
Follow these steps to install additional SATA storage devices on your PC motherboard:
- Turn off your computer and open the case by removing the side panel.
- Place the drive in an empty storage bay in your chassis.
- Depending on your case, the device will either click into place automatically or you will need to screw it in tightly.
- Make sure the SATA connection ports are easily accessible with the length of SATA cable you have.
- Connect one end of the SATA cable to the hard drive, then connect the other end of the cable to one of the available SATA connectors on the motherboard.
- Start according to the SATA port numbers (check your motherboard manual or printout on the motherboard itself to see which port is recommended)
- After you have finished connecting the SATA cable to the appropriate ports, check the connection for leaks.
- Close the case and turn on the computer, boot into your OS to see if the computer recognizes the drive automatically.
Are PATA cables still in use?
It is quite rare to find a device using PATA cables – they have been replaced by SATA cables. SATA cables are faster than PATA cables as the latest generation operates at 6Gb/s transfer rates.
What generation of SATA cable is currently in use?
Most devices use the SATA III interface. In addition, there are different versions of the SATA 3 interface – 3.