Difference between PATA and SATA hard disk

SATA and PATA are standard types of interfaces used to connect storage devices to computers. Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) is sometimes called Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE). It is an old attachment technology that used to have a 40 or 80-wire cable. It transmits data in parallel, which means data move in all the wire simultaneously. 

Serial ATA (SATA) replaced PATA and it transmits data serially which means data move one bit at a time. They are the most common connection found in modern computers.

The PATA hard disk connection is old and was used to transmit data in parallel while the SATA is the latest technology. In SATA data is transmitted one bit at a time. SATA is faster smaller and more flexible to work with.

Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)

This is an old drive connection that used to have 40 pin connection and it transmits data in parallel. The cable was capable of supporting 2 disk drives at the same time.

PATA connected Hard disk

IDE was the name that was used before the SATA standard. When SATA was introduced the name PATA was introduced to differentiate between the old technology and the new. This means IDE and PATA represent the same technology and interface of hard disk connection.

The PATA/IDE are obsolete and they are not common in today’s computers

Advantages of PATA Connections

  1. It can support more than one device on the same cable.

Disadvantages PATA

  1. Bulky and not flexible to work with.
  2. It had a limited length size.
  3. Compared to the SATA it is slow. The fastest PATA can be compared with the slowest SATA.

Serial ATA connection (SATA)

Serial ATA is the latest cable connection used to connect storage devices within modern computers. It transmits data one bit after another but at a faster rate. Due to the size they allow for more than one port to be fixed on the motherboard for more connection.

Advantages of SATA

  1. They are smaller and more flexible to work with.
  2. SATA cables have a high data rate.
  3. Due to their size, they allow more airflow within the computer hence reducing overheating.

Disadvantages of SATA connection

  1. They can support only one device per cable.

Difference between PATA/IDE and SATA

Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment.Serial Advanced Technology Attachment.
Data is transmitted in parallel. Many bits are moved simultaneously.Data is transmitted in serial, one bit at a time.
It is bulky and wide.They are slim, flexible, and simple to work with.
They can support more than one device connection.One cable can only be used for one device.
They have a low data rate.SATA has a high data rate.
PATA fills the computer casing space reducing airflow for the system.They are thinner and smaller which means more space within the computer casing hence more airflow.
PATA has a limited length of around 18 inches.SATA cable can be almost 1 meter long.
Doesn’t support hot drive plugging.It supports hot plugging. This means the drive can be connected when the computer is already powered on.
It uses a jumper to set the drive configuration as either master/slave. This is applicable if two drives are connected on the same PATA cable.SATA cable support only one drive per cable hence no need for master/slave configuration.

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