IDE, EIDE, ATA, and now SATA

  Diemmess 18:12 29 Jun 2005

I asking this question I claim not to be an absolute beginner except that I might as well be -for all I know about this terminology!

Have 2 HDs of (to me) normal characteristics - IDE?

I intend eventually to build a faster machine which may have a motherboard using SATA, Can I mount my "old" HDs within, or will this force me to use new HDs of a SATA disposition?

Allied to that question, briefly searching Google gives me the feeling that IDE, EIDE, and even ATA, will all connect with the primary and secondary IDE sockets on my present mobo, and maximum data transfer speeds are the only difference between these three?

I understand that the 'S' of SATA means serial ATA rather than parallel ATA....EIDE or IDE?

  sunny staines 19:29 29 Jun 2005

go for SATA II its faster if your mobo has a controller for it. Plus no longer need to set master/slave settings

  Completealias 19:31 29 Jun 2005

SATA uses a different connector on the drives think its like a four pin plug so yes you will need to buy a SATA drive to connect to that I think that most motherboards still have the IDE connectors as well thou so you could use your old drive in the meantime

Transfer speeds are one difference and I think maximum drive capacity was also another which is why EIDE was brought in

  Danoh 19:50 29 Jun 2005

"if you are completely new to computing
- so new you don't know your CD ROM from your RAM, and you wouldn't dream of opening the computer's case?"

Clearly, you’re not a beginner! :-)

IDE, EIDE, ATA (P-ATA) can be connected to new and older motherboards (mobo). S-ATA's have different connectors and cables and needs a corresponding connector on new mobos, which will also have the older type of connectors.

So, yes, you can connect a max of 2 older HD (Hard Drives) on one of the older channel connectors on new mobos. Typically there will also be 2 new S-ATA connectors, but these can be daisy chained so you can have more than 2 per channel, unlike the older channel which can only support 2 devices (e.g. IDE/EIDE/P-ATA HDs or a DVD-Writer and DVD optical drive).

ATA is actually parallel ATA or P-ATA but as there were no other type, it was just referred to as ATA. SATA is Serial-ATA as you have said.

S-ATA HDs can also be used for a variety of RAID configurations.

  Diemmess 21:11 29 Jun 2005

"I claim NOT to be an absolute beginner"...... was more or less how I started this thread, and justify using this forum because the constant change in HD name/type could be very confusing to a beginner, and certainly was to me!

Thank you particularly for the info. that for the present at least there is the probability to be able to connect any of these types of HD to a new motherboard.

The difference with SATA will be the actual cable connection and the increased data speed from a much faster HD,

  dan11 00:17 30 Jun 2005

All new Serial ATA motherboards, I have come across, have the IDE connectors.

So you can use either the older IDE hard drives or the new SATA hard drives. You can even have a combination of both.

It just requires a simple change in the bios, to use either as your boot drive ( operating system ).

  Danoh 22:02 05 Jul 2005

Diemmess, my apologies if it came across that I was having a dig.

On re-reading my post above, it would certainly read that way if my smiley :-) is not understood.

You are probably aware of emoticons such as smileys but in case other readers are not;

Emails and text postings like these are reknown for not conveying the correct emotion or sentiment. click here

Hard drive/SATA accessories
click here

Scan have (Abit Serillel2) SATA-150 to IDE (133MB/s)
converters available, so you can use the SATA controller on the motherboard to link your ordinary IDE hdds. In practice though, I find them very hit and miss as to whether they will pick up the drive or not and they're quite expensive for what they are. I believe the convertor blocks could be used with cd rom etc devices though I've not tried this out.

SATA mobos have both IDE and SATA controllers as people still use the ordinary ATA device standard for CD Roms etc (though Plextor now do a SATA DVD burner). The biggest advantage to SATA AFAIAC is the neater cabling. Typically, a SATA mainboard will have 2 IDE ports (for 4 devices) and 2 SATA ports (again for 4 I think if you have the correct cables). Often, the SATA controller will be RAID enabled so it might be worth getting say 2x 160GB SATA drives as this capacity appears to be where the price sweet spot currently is.

You will likely require SATA power convertor cables also so bear this in mind - the link I gave earlier will show you what you need if your PSU only supports the molex (4 pin) type connector. Apparently Seagate are meant to be ahead in the hard disk drive technology stakes though I don't know this for fact.

  Chegs ® 22:38 22 Jul 2005

As a user of a SATA + IDE system,I was expecting the speed difference between the two to be much greater than it is.I would compare it to the differences between 8X and 12X CD burning,as in,not really worth the expenses.The thinner cabling is useful,as SATA drives run much hotter than the IDE so anything to assist airflow(and therefore cooling)is beneficial.

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