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SATA 2 and SATA 3 what is the difference

In modern personal computers, the use of the SATA 3 interface is a generally accepted standard. High speed (up to 600 megabytes per second), low power consumption and convenient power management model inspired motherboard developers to choose this interface. At the same time, progress does not stand still, and even faster specifications are replacing conventional SATA 3, promising significant improvements in the speed of receiving and transmitting data. In this article, I will explain in detail what SATA is, explain what the difference is between SATA 2 and SATA 3, and what comes to replace the popular SATA 3.

Иллюстрация интерфейса SATA
SATA Interface Illustration

The content of the article:

What is SATA

This SATA term is an abbreviation for the phrase “ Serial ATA ” and means a serial interface for exchanging data with any storage device.

If the reader is not familiar with the abbreviation "ATA", then it is derived from the abbreviation of the words "Advanced Technology Attachment" (translated as "advanced technology connection" ).

SATA is the next step in the development of the well-known (and outdated) parallel interface of IDE, which is now known as PATA (Parallel ATA). Further in the article, I will tell the difference SATA two from SATA three.

The main advantage of SATA over PATA is the use of the serial bus compared to the parallel one, which has significantly increased the bandwidth of the interface. This was facilitated by the use of higher frequencies and good noise immunity of the cable used in the connection.

For its work, SATA uses a 7-pin data connector and a 15-pin power connector.

Контактный разъём SATA
SATA pin connector

At the same time, SATA cables have a smaller area compared to PATA cables, they have lower air resistance, are resistant to multiple connections, are compact and convenient in operation. In their implementation, it was decided to abandon the practice of connecting two devices to one loop (the well-known IDE practice), which made it possible to get rid of various delays associated with the impossibility of simultaneous operation of connected devices.

Шлейф с возможностью подключения двух устройств (IDE)
Flex with the ability to connect two devices (IDE)

The advantages of SATA also include the fact that this interface produces significantly less heat than IDE.

Typically, the SATA interface is used to connect hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SDDs) to the computer, as well as CD-ROM readers (CDs, DVDs, etc.).

Разъёмы под SATA у жёсткого диска
SATA connectors for hard disk

SATA Development History

The SATA interface replaced the IDE in 2003, having experienced a number of significant improvements in the course of its development. The very first version of SATA allowed receiving data at a bandwidth of 150 megabytes per second (for comparison, the IDE interface provided only about 130 MB / s). At the same time, the introduction of SATA made it possible to abandon the practice of switching jumpers (jumpers) on the hard disk, which is well remembered by experienced users. Soon you will understand the fundamental differences between SATA 3 and SATA 2.

The next step in the development of the SATA interface was the SATA 2 interface (SATA revision 2.0), released in April 2004. Its bandwidth compared to the first specification has doubled - up to 300 MB / s . A feature of the second version of Serial ATA was the inclusion in it of a special technology to increase speed (NCQ), which made it possible to raise the speed and quantity of processing simultaneous requests.

Modern (and dominant today) is the CATA 3 specification (SATA revision 3.0), which provides speeds of up to 600 megabytes per second . This version of the interface appeared in 2008, and now, in fact, is dominant in the market. At the same time, the specified interface is backward compatible with the SATA 2 interface (devices that worked with CATA 2 and vice versa can be connected to SATA 3).

Разница в скорости передачи SATA 2 и SATA 3
SATA 2 and SATA 3 transfer rate difference

What is the difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3?

So what is the difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3? Their main difference is in throughput speed, the CATA3 interface is twice as fast as SATA 2 (6 Gbit / s and 3 Gbit / s, respectively).

At the same time, rapidly growing popularity of solid-state drives (SSD) work only with the CATA 3 interface, connecting them to CATA 2 reduces the speed of work with the device twice (but even in this state, the SSD is faster than the HDD).

Твердотельный накопитель (SSD)
Solid State Drive (SSD)

In addition, SATA 3 operates at a higher than SATA 2 frequency, while providing lower power consumption and a more advanced power management system.

Further development of SATA

When analyzing questions about what SATA is and what is the difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3, it is impossible to ignore the further development of CATA 3 standard under the name SATA revision 3.1 (2011), SATA revision 3.2 (2013). ) and “SATA revision 3.3” (2016), which made it possible to increase the data transfer rate to 8–16 Gbps , further reduce power consumption, and also contribute to improving the performance of SSD drives. At the same time as the carrier interface is used here PCI Express.

SATA revision 3.1
SATA revision 3.1


When analyzing the topic of differences between SATA 2 and SATA 3, it is important, first of all, to mention the difference in data transfer speed, because it differs more than twice. At the same time, the more modern SATA 3 standard provides less power consumption and an improved power management model, and further development of Serial ATA 3 (3.1, 3.2 and 3.3) significantly raises the bar for data transfer speeds, while using PCI Express (or its variations) as a carrier interface .

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” 12 Comments “ SATA 2 and SATA 3 what is the difference

  1. Hello) advise, please do not pick at all. . Found on reviews WD 3.5 SATA 3.0 1TB 7200rpm 64MB Cache Caviar Blue (WD10EZEX) worth taking? was a master, his advice is SEAGATE SATA 1TB 7200RPM 6GB / S / 64MB .. but according to reviews, like WD is leading. .thanks for the answer

  2. Western Digital bought a Hitachi- unit; this is already one manufacturer. And now they are the best. The percentage of marriage is the smallest. Seagate- shit, piss, especially Barracuda. They are kosyachyat from the middle of the 200's still. Most recently, the iMac-ov review was due to seagate shoals. Gnusmash-shit and always it was (maybe because of its purchase, the seagey began to bullshit;)). In his direction it is better not to look at all, and not only in the screws.

      1. Dmitry, and I have 2 screws - one WD-scorpion, another Hitachi Travelstar. And nothing. It happens.
        Didn't the Green-series accidentally fly? If so, then he himself is to blame - either not to take this series (in all reviews always and everywhere there is this reservation) or to take, but to disable permanent parking of heads. In the name of energy saving, they slow down the screw and wear out the mechanisms with permanent start / stop. Because of this, the green flowability series can surpass anything.

        1. Soaring, here's my story: 3 westerns flew at different times and different series (not green). After that, I decided not to take the products of this brand. Now there are only sigates, of which a couple of barracudas, which you so mindlessly call gavn. So, they have been working for 10 years as a watch for at least 12 hours a day with such a normal load (graphics). And before that, too, a 60 MB sigate worked for 5-7 years without any complaints. So you're wrong.

    1. Not always, how lucky ... I have been plowing for 10 years, processing 10,000 hours of 500GB and there are still no problems.

  3. Tried different, but barracuda is something for vitality and work! Already the 13th year of work went, as I bought, installed and did not look at all. They work as a watch, and everyone there: Toshiba, Haytachi, Westerns, etc., did not last even 2 years!

  4. I can speak only about the Western Digital and Seagate Barracuda. I had a WD160 somewhere from 2005 to 2016, then I just started to turn off, well, I’ve probably done my job. And already after 2 years, the Seagate 500 began to act up - 2 times the Windows went flying, I found 148 broken sectors on the cheshke. Now he reanimated, let's see what happens next.

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