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ATA vs Serial ATA

  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
February 11, 2003 9:50:21 PM

Is serial ATA the best for hard disks? I'm hearing conflicting information...


More about : ata serial ata

February 11, 2003 11:12:12 PM

Um, not really.

It has a few advantages that aren't really big.

1. It uses smaller cables which can be longer.

2. Serial ATA drives are hot swappable (meaning you can unplug and plug them in while your computer is still on and the electricity is going)

3. Because it is serial it uses alot less conductors (7 pins as opposed to 40) - theoretically its signals are less prone to disruption (something about the frequency and voltage). Basically meaning there could be less risk of data corruption or your system failing if you have unshielded cables in an environment with alot of static radio waves and interference.

However, it has a few disadvantages.

1. Serial drives haven't proven themselves performance wise compared to parallel drives.

2. Only 1 drive per cable. With parallel, you could have 2 drives per cable using master and slave.


Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 12, 2003 12:34:33 AM

in addition
3. serial ata drive's arnt exactly common yet
4. motherboards are still all Pata or a mix of Pata and Sata.
5. I havnt seen any sata optical drives yet either.

<b>Anyone claiming they can see the difference
between 450 and 500 FPS in Quake3 deserves to
be severely beaten with a rock. :smile: </b>
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February 12, 2003 1:06:44 AM

But I think SATA is going to replace PATA sooner or later. Serial connection is trend just like USB or Fiber Optic...
February 12, 2003 1:15:22 AM

I think parallel connectors might remain around unless the industry wants to go to the trouble of converting CD writers and DVD-ROMs to serial too ;-)


Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 12, 2003 10:43:40 PM

oh definately... optical drives have to be at least as common as hard drives....
and what about floppies that are still soldiering on... they use an ata like interface that cant be replaced with Sata.

looking ahead i cant see any major changes until at least the end of this year...
eventually we will get the situation where only Sata dries are released, proly around the time we start seeing lots of Sata only motherboards.

<b>Anyone claiming they can see the difference
between 450 and 500 FPS in Quake3 deserves to
be severely beaten with a rock. :smile: </b>
February 13, 2003 7:07:13 PM

Serial ATA controllers are still on the PCI bus, limiting the transfer rate to 133 Mb/s instead of 150 Mb/s. I'm sure that by the time SATA II (300 Mb/s) and SATA III (600 Mb/s) come out, they will be on their own controller. Until then, there is no real reason to upgrade.
February 13, 2003 11:42:10 PM

ok i have a SATA motherboard.

i can have 8 ata drives and 2 SATA drives.

i do think sata is worth it because of the "hot swapable" nature of it as well as the small easy cables.

now nobody has given me a "disadvantage" of SATA.

it is equal or better currently!!
give me a true disadvantage of it and i will agree with you.

there are no disadvantages but it doesn't exactly stand out as much as expected.
February 14, 2003 8:43:21 PM

A disadvantage is that its not that common yet, so there are less hard drive models to choose from.

Another disadvantage is that you can only use one drive per channel. I currently have 5 hard drives in my PC, most motherboards with SATA ports only allow 2 drives. If you use additional PCI SATA adapters, you will be spending more money, and more important, you will be using additional IRQs, of which I think we have too little these days (I mean too little IRQs, not money!)

A big advantage of SATA that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that SATA drives use less CPU resources than IDE. To me, this is more important than hot swapping or the thinner and longer cables.

It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.
February 15, 2003 2:26:05 AM

i don't see the problem with one drive per channel because when it does finally take over IDE then they will be putting more channels on the mobo's both of my channels take up less space on the mobo than a single IDE socket.

and as for readily available debate.
which comes first the drives or the connections???? (come on that debate is why hydrogen cars are not common yet, nobody supplies the fuel)

p.s. the new 10K rpm drives with 5.2 ms seek time i belive are coming out on SATA (i don't think they are coming out on IDE but i may be wrong)

so looking only at the specifications and no the "avalability" SATA is equal or better in every way!!!!!
February 18, 2003 12:28:56 AM

If you really want Sata now you can get a 'cuda V (Serial) at,,
February 20, 2003 3:30:34 PM

The 10,000 rpm SATA drives are comparable to SCSI drives, and not to IDE drives. They will be a lot faster (5.2 ms !), a lot smaller (only 36 GB) and probably a lot more expensive than IDE drives. This makes them more suited to servers than to PCs.

I would consider a serious disadvantage the fact that SATA is still not common. You may think that they will become the standard in a few months, but you never know for sure what will happen in the future. Remember the Betamax, or more recently the Mini Disc? They were better than the VHS and CDs, but for some reason they never became as popular.

The same is happening to RAMBUS right now, its better than DDR, but will probably never be as popular, and may disappear before DDR. The same happened to IBM's and NCR's Micro Channel PCs. Another example are Apple computers. They had graphical user interface with windows, mouse, and networks when IBM PC clones were using DOS, and today almost nobody uses them.

And even though you can now explain why each of this better products never became popular, when they were new, everyone thought they were better and that they would become the standard in the near future. As I said before, you never know what will happen...

It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by gaviota on 02/20/03 02:31 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 21, 2003 12:02:50 AM

Intel is integrating SATA and SATA RAID onto the southbridge of its new chipsets. This should improve the overall performance of SATA, and is not far away. Current SATA solutions are using the PCI bus which is not the optimal solution for SATA. Samo analysts believe you will see a slight improvement both in throughput and in access times--and it will be especially apparent in RAID configurations, where the PCI bus might actually become stressed.

I want to move to space, so I can overclock processors cooled to absolute zero.
February 21, 2003 12:14:11 PM

This might be a dumb question, but WTF is a "samo analyst"?

It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.
February 22, 2003 7:40:19 AM

LOL. It's a typo. Should have read "some" analysts. Sorry.

I want to move to space, so I can overclock processors cooled to absolute zero.