The hard drive acronym SATA stands for “Serial Advanced Technology Attachment” and is really the data transportation device or bus that carries the information between the hard drive and the computer itself. There are many other types of hard drive transport system such as Parallel ATA or “PATA” and Small Computer Systems Interface or SCSI.These days the majority of computers are utilising the more robust and fast data storage devices that are SATA hard drives and although SCSI drives are still in use the PATA hard drive has all but been relegated into obsolescence. One of the main reasons for this advantage of SATA hard drives is that they are fast and this is due to the SATA bus and its super speed capability.There are a group of items that make the SATA hard drive such a fast and reliable storage medium and the main one of these is the actual speed of the SATA bus which with transfer speeds of up to 300MB/sec is more than enough to deal with the demands of today’s modern applications and is far superior to the transfer rates of the more obsolete mediums such as PATA.Of course as we the user make even more demands on our hardware and expect such technology levels to produce super rich media content, providing us with highly complex and realistic video gaming experiences and high definition video then even these high speeds could be pushed to their limits.Whilst most consumers find the primary benefit of SATA hard drives to be the speed and reliability, there are other aspects that are proving useful for the newer types of solid state drives. With more and more modern devices such as laptops and even desktop PC’s now coming with an external SATA or eSATA port built in the options for utilising the larger capacity, faster flash thumb drives become available to us.Alongside this flexibility that becomes available for the eSATA drives another improvement within the SATA specification over the older PATA and SCSI specifications is the positive aspect of the SATA cable and connector designs. The older style flat design cables of PATA and especially SCSI where cumbersome and difficult to handle, the connectors could easily damage the pins that they plugged on to and the size of the cables limited and blocked the airflow efficiency of the PC’s chassis. All of these problems have been eliminated with the new design cables which are slim and the flat style connectors with their L shape make for simple and easy connection of the device. The cables used on SATA hard drives are also cheaper and do not suffer from the length restrictions of the older PATA cables (you could use a SATA cable of up to three feet in length without any degradation of signal).Another real advantage of SATA is they are what is known in the business as “hot swappable”, this effectively means that the hard drive can be removed from and replaced in the system without having to turn off the power, which is a major advantage if you are utilising different data drives for example. (Obviously you would not do this if the drive was the computers boot drive).SATA hard drives are pretty much the de facto standard now in all PC’s and are more than adequate for most users and because of the backward compatibility built into the standard any future upgrades to it will continue to work with the current SATA hard drives.
About Author: Now a freelance writer Harry Spencer spent over 15 years in the industry with a good deal of knowledge in SATA Hard Drives in particular.
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