SATA or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, also known as serial ATA is an interface that transfers data between your computer’s motherboard and storage devices.
In simple terms, it will connect your hard drive to your computer. The number of SATA ports you can have on your computer can vary with the type of motherboard.
If you have a desktop pc at your home, then you must have seen the SATA port in it. It is recognizable because of its special color coding and also its unique L-shaped seven-pin connectors.
The port is specifically designed in this manner so that it strongly clamps the SATA cables and doesn’t let it slip out easily. Your data is too important and you might face performance or speed issues if the cable isn’t attached correctly.
How To Recognize Generation Of SATA Port?
The generation of the SATA port you have in your PC can be identified from the color code it is allotted. These ports are colored differently based on the type of motherboard. The most common color allotted to SATA 3 port is blue.
SATA 2 ports can be allotted red or black color, and SATA 1 will be white. As the technology is advanced, so did the SATA ports. The modern SATA ports provide much faster transfer speeds than older ones. Moreover, motherboards may also label the SATA ports.
Hence, the newer motherboards only come with the latest SATA ports, and hence you won’t need any color-coding identification. However, if you have an older motherboard, the above coloring or the labels on the port can help you recognize it.
The SATA ports offer the following speeds as per their generations:
- SATA 1 offers a speed of 1.5 Gbps.
- SATA 2 offers a speed of 3.0 Gbps.
- SATA 3 offers a speed of 6.0 Gbps.
SATA 3 being the latest is featured in most of the modern motherboards. It is the ideal port, in the case of multiple SATA ports, as it will provide the fastest speed for more efficient and productive results.
What Is SATA?
SATA has been one of the top-performing interfaces for the last 15 years, and even today along with some strong competition, it is still dominating most of the desktop and laptop motherboards.
The SATA HDD and SSD drives come with two connectors, one is the power connector and the other one is for the Data cable connector. The SATA cable connects your drive with the SATA port through the later connector.
The former connector utilizes a SATA power cable to connect your drive with the power supply unit.
The SATA interface and the port have replaced the PATA interface. You might have seen a PATA interface and port in an older computer, a port on one side that contained a 40-pin connector and only delivered a speed of 133 Mbps at max.
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Where Is The SATA Port Located On Your Motherboard?
You can easily find a cluster of connectors on your motherboard. There might be 4 to 6 SATA ports on your motherboard based on the type of motherboard. These connectors are easily recognizable through their unique L-shaped connectors.
If your motherboard is older, you will have different colored SATA ports. That is to help you recognize the fastest one for your most important drive on which you require the fastest speed.
Modern motherboards only come with the latest SATA ports and hence don’t need color coding. For a normal user, even 2 SATA ports are enough. However, full ATX desktop motherboards can feature as many as 8 SATA III ports.
What Are eSATA Ports?
Again, if you have an older PC in your home, you might notice a unique I-shaped port in the back panel with the label of eSATA. In simple words, eSATA ports are external SATA ports that allowed you to connect external SATA drives to your computer.
These ports offered faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0 and hence people used them in older times when USB 3.0 with Thunderbolt wasn’t introduced.
However, you will rarely see this port today, as the invention of USB 3.0 completely eradicated the need for an eSATA port. The USB 3.0 provided much faster speeds and due to thunderbolt support, it also didn’t need an external power supply.
One thing that you must know is that the SATA and eSATA cables and ports are different. You can’t substitute one for the other. So, you need to buy separate cables for SATA and eSATA ports.
Do Laptops Also Have SATA Ports?
Generally, No. you won’t see a SATA port in a laptop. The reason is that laptops are compact and portable devices, and to retain these features most of their hardware components are integrated into the smallest possible form factors.
So, the hard drive bays of laptops have integrated power connectors and SATA connectors that can directly attach HDDs or SSDs into the bay. Hence, you won’t see any SATA cable or port in a laptop.
However, you might see an eSATA port on some older laptops that were featured to enable users to connect external drives to your laptop. In this way, you could expand your storage in older days.
But that too came with a serious drawback as the port only provided a data connector and for powering your drive, you need to use another source or USB cable which took another port of your laptop.
What Has Replaced SATA In The Current World?
Although you will still see a large number of SATA 3 ports, as the ports are continuously advancing to provide you with much faster transfer speeds, there is a new competitor in the market that is replacing the SATA.
The NVMe, also known as Non-Volatile Memory Express is new storage access and transport protocol for next-generation data drives.
An NVMe connection allows a solid-state drive to have its data read straight from the PCI-e slot without needing any cables for power or data transfer. Hence, it saves you from the hassle of wires on one hand.
More importantly, the NVMe provides much faster transfer rates than SATA. Generally, an NVMe can deliver a sustained reading-writing speed of 2000 MB per second, while the SATA only delivers 750 MB per second on an SSD.
Here’s a complete video on Sata Ports Details:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SATA port used for?
The SATA port is used to connect the SATA drive with your motherboard. You can recognize the port by its unique L-shaped 7-pin connector. This port will allow data transfer between your motherboard and the drive, allowing you to access data on the PC.
Why SATA has replaced PATA?
PATA was the older data interface that was huge, bulky, and required a 40-pin connector. The SATA replaced PATA ports because they are smaller, more efficient, and provide much faster transfer speeds.
Which is the fastest SATA port?
The latest and fastest SATA port is SATA III. These ports are present in all modern motherboards. However, if you are using an older motherboard, you can recognize them through their blue color or label on the port.
SATA drives and ports have been in the market for over a decade and a half, and are still present in modern motherboards and laptops. In the above article, we have shared everything you need to know about SATA ports and drives. The SATA ports are only surviving the latest technological competitions because they are continuously advancing themselves with newer generations.