Posted On 2008-10-24 by FortyPoundHead
Tags: General Hardware 
Views: 1520

The last few years have witnessed some exhilarating developments in the manufacturing of hard drives with the introduction of larger caches, quicker spindle speeds, greater data transmission speeds, and better reliability.

ATA hard drives (generally known an IDE drives) are the hard drive type mainly used by most end user computers. Introduced in 1986, the ATA standard has seen many modifications to improve the size and speed of the hard drive which it can support. ATA-7, unleashed in 2001, can maintain data transfer rates up 133MB/sec.ATA-7 is thought to be the last model for the parallel ATA standard.

In the year 2000, hard drive manufacturers came up with a new hard drive standard called Serial ATA, most popularly SATA. The SATA hard drives overcame all the limitation of ATA such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), signal timing, and other data integrity issues. Within no time, SATA has become the basic standard for most computer users.

The following description elaborates on the differences between ATA and SATA.

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) is based on a 16 bit parallel interface and is generally used to control computer hard drives. Whereas, Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) is a single bit serial advancement of the Parallel ATA. SATA hard drives can easily be distinguished from ATA hard drives by the unique power and data connections used on the back of the hard drives.

When comparing ATA against SATA, SATA hard drives have performance benefits which set them apart from ATA hard drives. SATA drives are more suitable to install and draws less power. Another noted characteristic of SATA is the higher bandwidth that is possible. The latest models of ATA hard drives offer the highest data transfer rate of 133 MB/second. While the current SATA standard can provide data transfer of up to 150 MB/second.

According to Seagate, the performance of SATA drives over ATA drives can currently be expected to be about 5%. The developments in SATA technology will surely improve on that. The future of SATA bears great interest in computer users, the 600 MB/second SATA hard drives are expected around the year 2007, which will provide outstanding speed and performance.

When making a comparison of ATA hard drives and SATA hard drives, you may find SATA drives to cost more, but when considering the overall benefits of SATA drives over ATAs, it is worth spending a few extra dollars for SATA hard drives.

In short, the latest SATA hard drives provide noteworthy benefits over ATA hard drives when considering power consumption, convenience, and performance. Experts are in the process of creating more powerful SATA hard drives which will surely help hard drive developments to keep pace with other key system products to improve the overall performance of a computer system.

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