PATA vs SATA refers to the data interface between the drive and the computers main board drive controller. The primary difference is SATA is capable of higher transfer speeds. If you look at the cables side by side you see the physical differences. PATA cables are 20 pins wide in two layers giving 40 pins, whereas the SATA connector is a only 7 pins wide in a single layer. One advantage of this is the ease with which SATA cables can be run through your case. PATA cables are also length limited by signal attenuation making the maximum usable length of the cable around 45cm. SATA cables can be up to a meter long before the signal degrades. The major advantage that SATA has over PATA is the way in which data is transferred. PATA cables use bidirectional channels for data, the channels able to transmit data both to and from the controller, SATA uses a different method with a pair of separate channels for data lines with this method reducing crosstalk and other types of impedance.For me the advantage of SATA is smaller connector means less restriction in case air flow. SATA drives are hot swappable and have no jumpers.


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