SATA Drive Cables – CompTIA A+ 220-1001 – 3.1

SATA is one of the most popular drive connection types on today’s computers. In this video, you’ll learn about the SATA standards, SATA power interfaces, and SATA data interfaces.

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SATA is a very common way to connect our storage devices. And in this video, we’ll look at the details of our SATA drive cables. SATA is an abbreviation for Serial AT Attachment. The AT is a model of early microcomputer. An AT attachment was a way to describe how we connected to storage devices in that computer.

There’s a number of different versions of SATA. The version that was original was version 1.0. It ran at 1.5 gigabits per second and had a maximum cable size of about one meter. SATA Revision 2.0 doubled speeds up to 3.0 gigabits per second again over that one-meter cable. SATA Revision 3.0 increased speeds again to 6 gigabits per second over that one-meter cable length. And SATA Revision 3.2 can support speeds up to 16 gigabits per second over that one-meter cable.

This is the back of a SATA drive. And you can see there is a power connection on the back of this drive and a data connection. The power connection is this longer 15-pin connector. And the data for SATA, which would normally connect to your motherboard, is a seven-pin connector.

This particular drive also supports a Molex power connector, which is not something standardized on all set of drives. But this particular drive will allow you to plug into a system that can either connect via SATA power or via a Molex power. The smaller data connection has a cable that runs back to the motherboard. The power connection is usually coming directly from the power supply of your computer, and both of those plug into the back of your storage device.

That smaller SATA data connection allows manufacturers to use a smaller amount of room on their motherboards. This is a very small motherboard. You can see it in relation to the CPU chip, the power supply connection, and the smaller yellow connector in the back are the SATA ports.

Here’s a closer look at the SATA data connectors on a motherboard. This motherboard can support four separate SATA devices. Here’s the back of a SATA drive that has the data connector and that SATA power connector. This particular drive doesn’t support that older style Molex power connector. To connect data, we would simply run a cable from that interface on the motherboard and plug the other in directly into the back of this SATA drive.