Sata power connector on motherboard: Beginner’s Guide To SATA Cables

Beginner’s Guide To SATA Cables

With various uses and applications, SATA cables are quite effective in connecting various drives to your computer’s motherboard.

However, SATA cables have different designs and specifications that are suited for different applications.

The speeds of SATA cables also vary from one generation to another.

And while SATA cables are quite versatile, telling the difference between various types might be challenging, especially if you’re not handling such cables on a daily basis.

Source: UGREEN

In this guide, we’re going to take you through the different types of SATA cables that are out there, making it easier for you to understand how they operate.

Let’s dive in.

What Are SATA Cables?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment cables are special types of cables, which are mainly used to connect multiple types of storage drives (optical drives, hard drives, solid-state drives) to a motherboard.

The technology dates back to the early 2000s. It was introduced to replace the older cables, which are known as PATA cables.

Obviously, SATA cables are faster than the old PATA cables.

Unlike PATA cables, SATA cables can be disconnected or connected to your computer’s motherboard while the computer is still running through a process known as hot-swapping.

SATA Versions

SATA cables are available in different versions; each generation is rated at different speeds and specifications.

The bandwidth throughput and data transfer rate improved with each generation.

  • SATA I is the first generation interface and operates at 1.5Gb/s with a maximum bandwidth throughput of 150MB/s.
  • SATA II is the second generation interface and operates at 3Gb/s. The maximum bandwidth throughput of SATA II is 300MB/s.
  • SATA III is the third generation interface and has a transfer rate of 6Gb/s with a bandwidth throughput of 600MB/s.

The latest generation is compatible with previous generations through backward compatibility.

Note: Gb/s (Gigabit per second) can be easily confused with GB/s (Gigabyte per second). 8 bits equal one byte.

Here’s an overview table for quick comparison of Sata Cable generations and Bandwidth:

Generation Bandwidth Throughput Transfer rate in Gb/s
SATA I 150MB/s 1.5Gb/s
SATA II 300MB/s 3Gb/s
SATA III 600MB/s 6Gb/s

The Two Main Types of SATA Cables

There are two major types of SATA cables:

  • SATA power cables
  • SATA data cables

Source: Cablestogo

SATA Power Cable

A SATA power cable has a connector with 15 pins, which are designed to supply power.

Three different pins on the connector can work hand-in-hand in parallel to conduct power with varying voltages.

Apart from that, a SATA power cable features thin rounded wires, which go straight to the connector.

SATA Data Cable

As the name hints, a data cable facilitates the transfer of data.

It packs a connector with 7 pins and is mainly used to connect a hard disk to a PC’s motherboard. In short, one end should be connected to the port on your hard disk.

The other end should be connected to the SATA connector port, which is found on the motherboard.

In terms of appearance and design, data SATA cables are thinner and smaller than power cables.

Moreover, other data cables might feature an angled connector, making it easier for you to connect them to your storage devices in tight situations.

Other Types of SATA Cables


SATA to USB cables are quite effective in connecting SSD drives to a computer through a USB port.

Source: UGREEN

Such cables can be used to streamline the data transfer process or extend the storage space of your laptop.

They are often used to quickly plug in internal storage devices that do not come with an external storage enclosure. This can be a life-saver for doing backups or moving files off of a PC or Laptop that does not turn on or boot anymore.


e-SATA (external SATA) is a cable, which makes it easier for you to connect an external hard drive to your computer through the e-SATA connector port.

In short, it is designed to connect to the exterior part of a device.

Micro SATA

As the name hints, micro SATA cables are designed to connect mSATA SSDs to a motherboard.

Source: Amazon

Low Profile SATA

Low-profile SATA cables are helpful for PC Builds that have bulky GPUs obstructing the SATA Ports. They fit beneath long GPUs without the need to bend the SATA cable.

Source: Silverstonetek

Using SATA Cables to connect storage devices

The installation process differs, based on the type of SATA cable that you are planning to use.

For example, if you are planning to upgrade your HDD with a new one (or swapping out any SATA device with a different SATA device), you can leave the SATA cable plugged in to the motherboard.

Disconnect the end that connects to the storage device you’re looking to upgrade, then replace the device and plug the ends of the SATA power and data cable back into the new device.

Follow these steps to install addition SATA storage devices on your PC’s motherboard:

  • Turn off your PC and open the case by removing the side panel
  • Place the storage device into an empty storage bay (3,5″ or 2,5″) in your case
  • Depending on your case, the device will either be snapped in automatically or has to be screwed tight
  • Check if the SATA connection ports are easily accessible with the SATA cable length you have available
  • Connect one end of the SATA cable to the hard drive, then connect the other end of the cable to one of the free SATA connectors on your motherboard.
  • Start with a SATA port number first (Check your motherboard manual or the print on the motherboard itself to find out which port to use)
  • Once you finish connecting the SATA cable to the suitable ports, check whether the connection is tight
  • Close your case and power up your PC, boot into your OS to see if it has recognized the drive automatically


Are PATA cables still used?

It’s quite rare to come across a device that uses PATA cables—they were replaced with SATA cables.

SATA cables are faster than PATA cables with the latest generation operating with a 6Gb/s transfer rate.

Which SATA cable generation is used nowadays?

Most devices use the SATA III interface.

Apart from that, there are different versions of the SATA 3 interface—3.1,3.2,3.3.

SATA 3 interface is quite fast and has super transfer speeds.

Can you use a SATA cable on a computer that doesn’t have a SATA connection port?

If a PC doesn’t have an external SATA connection port, you can use a SATA to eSATA adapter cable to make the connection work.

Over to You

Do you have any questions about SATA Cables? Let us know in the comment section down below or head over to our forum and ask away!

CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What Does SATA Cable Look Like?

by Atif Qazi

SATA is one of two primary interfaces through which you connect critical components to your PC (the other one being PCIe).

It is used by storage drives including hard disk drives, optical CD/DVD drives, as well as SATA Solid State Drives.

When you are new to building PC or adding a component, things can get a bit daunting. This is particularly true when you have to identify components using their technical terms.

From major components such as CPUs to seemingly trivialities such as SATA cable, every thing is as important as the other.

It should be noted that the term SATA cable can refer to many different cable types using the SATA interface. In the following text we will look at what does SATA cable look like and its type.


What Requires SATA Cables?

As mentioned earlier, SATA interface is used primarily for storage drives. This includes:

  • Your typical hard disk drives
  • SATA Solid State Drives
  • Optical Drives

Also, you do not confuse SATA SSDs with NVMe SSDs. The former uses the SATA interface and has transfer speeds of only about 550 MB/s on SATA 3 version. The latter uses the PCIe interface and can reach speeds of 5000 MB/s on PCIe v4.0.

Also Read:

  • Which is Faster PCIe or SATA?
  • How to Check PCI Express Version?

What Does SATA Cable Look Like?

Basically, there are two main SATA cables that are needed to run a SATA drive:

  • SATA DATA Cable
  • SATA Power Cable

A SATA hard drive such as this requires a SATA Power Cable and SATA DATA Cable.

Also Read: What Does a SATA Port Look Like?

SATA Data Cable

A Typical SATA connector. Most cables have identical connectors on both ends; some have an angled connector on one end.

SATA Data cables are thin ribbon like cables with small identical 7 pin connectors on each end. The connectors measure no more than 1.5 x 0.4 cm and have distinguishable L-shaped notch for connection.

Some SATA Data cables have a 90 degrees angled connectors. These aren’t essential, but they can help with connecting to certain motherboards.

SATA Data cables are often provided with the motherboard.

An angled SATA connector. Serves the same main purpose as a normal SATA connector.

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with Cables?

SATA Power Cable

A SATA Power connector. The SATA Power cable originates from the Power Supply Unit.

The other part of the equation in running a SATA Drive is the power. SATA drives require a SATA Power connector that originates from the Power Supply Unit.

Other Types of SATA Cables – What Do They Look Like?

There are also other types of SATA Cables used for different purposes that you may find out there. Most are obsolete.

SATA Cable Types Purpose What Does it Look Like?
Micro SATA Used to connect small 1.8″ form factor SSDs, aka, mSATA SSDs. However, it is more or less obsolete now.
e-SATA Used to connect external SATA Drives. Was used to compete against USB interface, but is not more or less obsolete.

Is There a Difference Between SATA 2 and SATA 3 Cables?

No, as far as the cables are concerned, there is no such thing as SATA 2 cable or SATA 3 cables. The cables on both SATA version can be used interchangeably.

However, as far as the interface version itself goes, there is a whole world of difference between the two.

SATA 2 has transfer speed of 3 Gbps where as the SATA 3 has transfer speeds of 6 Gbps. Meaning a SATA SSD used with SATA 2 interface will perform at half the speed as it would on SATA 3.

Again, the cable does not matter!

Also Read: Can You Use a Laptop Hard Drive in a Desktop?

Where Do SATA Cables Go?

SATA cables connect to dedicated SATA ports located on your motherboard. Each motherboard comes with multiple SATA ports. The average number of ports that you can find on your motherboard is 4.

Also, different SATA ports on your motherboard may conform to different SATA version. For instance, in the motherboard above, the white SATA ports conform to version 3.0 whereas the blues ones conform to version 2.0.

Also Read:

  • Does it matter Which Part You Use?
  • How Many SATA Ports Do I Need?

How Do You Install SATA Cables?

Installing SATA DATA cables is fairly straight forward. Since both connectors on either end are identical you can use either either end on hard drive or on the motherboard.

You have to first identify an empty SATA port on your motherboard. If you have SATA ports with different versions, use the port with the latest version.

Install one end of the SATA Cable on the port on the motherboard using the specific notches or key. Plug the other end of the cable into the SATA port on the hard drive.

Make sure to also connect the SATA power cable coming from the power supply unit to the hard drive.

Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do You Need?

SATA and PATA are not the Same

PATA, or IDE, cables are mostly defunct now for commercial PC. They were used in the older PCs with Parallel ATA interface, but they have since been replaced by the more advanced Serial ATA interface.

PATA cables were wide ribbon like cables with a 40 pin connector on each end.

PATA only achieved a max transfer rate of 133 MB/s. Compared to this, SATA 3 has a transfer rate of 750 MB/s (6Gbps).

Also Read: Do Graphics Cards Come with Cables?

Final Words

There are different types of SATA cables. The most common and important ones are the SATA-SATA cables, also known as SATA Data Cables, and the SATA Power cables.

These two are needed to run typical 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drives and optical drives.

So what does SATA cable look like? As far as the data cable goes, this is a very thin ribbon like cable with identical 7 pin connectors on either end and a distinct L-shaped key in the middle.

The SATA power cable, on the other hand, has a larger 15 pin connector and originated from the Power Supply Unit. This also an L shaped key in the center.

It should be noted, however, that SATA data cables can come in many different lengths. For instance, you can find 300mm, 500mm and 1m SATA cables.

Depending upon how large your PC case is and how far the SATA ports on the motherboard from the hard drive are, you may need different sized cables.

A motherboard typically comes with a few SATA cables. However, if you have  more drives to connect than you may have to procure others separately.

Also Read: Are All SATA Cables the Same?

Categories Motherboard, Storage Tags sata


Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

What Are Internal Connectors? | Connector Guide

What are internal connectors?

Internal connectors are found inside a computer case. There are two primary types of connectors found internally: socket connectors and power connectors. Socket connectors are designed for use with flat ribbon cable, and are generally used to transfer data among devices. A socket connector mates with pins arranged into a header. Usually a header is built onto a piece of circuit board, or integrated into an electronic device. Socket connections are held in place by the friction of the pins. Most socket/header interfaces are built to similar dimensions; header pins are 0.025 inches in width and spaced 0.10 inches apart. Power connectors are used to supply and distribute power to internal devices inside the computer. They normally use the friction of the connector bodies to stay in place.

Select the internal connector that you want to learn more about:







4-Pin Power (5.25”)

Serial ATA (SATA)

External Serial ATA (eSATA)

Serial ATA (SATA) Power

32-Pin SAS

29-Pin SAS

More Connectors Available:

4-Pin Power (3. 5”)

ATC 20-Pin Power

ATC 24-Pin Power

3-Pin Fan

4-Pin Fan

6-Pin PCI Express

4-Pin Pentium 4 Power

10-Pin Socket Info

10-Pin Socket Images

10-Pin Socket

This connector has two rows of five pins and is normally used to connect an external port to header pins on a motherboard. This connector is typically used for USB, or Serial (DB9) ports.

26-Pin Socket Info

26-Pin Socket

This connector is typically used to add a DB25 Parallel Port interface. Most of today’s motherboards do not have this type of connection.

34-Pin Socket Info

34-Pin Socket

34-pin sockets are used for floppy drive cables. The floppy controller on a motherboard is a 34-pin header, as are the connections on 3.5 inch floppy drives. «Antique» 5.25 inch floppy drives used a card-edge connection to interface to the floppy cable, so many floppy cables will come with both socket and card-edge connectors. For many of today’s computers, floppy drives are no longer standard equipment.

40-Pin Socket Info

40-Pin Socket Images

40-Pin Socket

This interface is still in wide use. It is found on IDE/ATA hard drives, optical drives, and tape drives. Many motherboards come with a pair of 40-pin controllers (described as primary and secondary). Each controller can handle one or two drives, so most standard PCs can have a maximum of four IDE drives. A few years ago, the IDE/ATA standard for hard drives was improved, and a new cable was specified. This new standard is referenced by many names—Ultra ATA, Ultra-DMA, Ultra-66/100/133, etc. Ultra ATA hard drive cables use an 80-conductor ribbon cable, although the same 40-pin socket/header interface is still used.

50-Pin Socket Info

50-Pin Socket

50-pin socket connectors are used for basic internal SCSI buses. The connector looks identical to a 40-pin IDE interface, only with more pins. The 50-pin interface is used for older, narrow SCSI buses.

68-Pin Socket Info

68-Pin Socket

The 68-pin socket internal connection is the same size and shape as the external MD68 pin interface used for SCSI devices and cables. However, the internal flat ribbon version does not use any thumbscrews or latch clips to hold the connector in place; it is held in solely by the friction of the connector and pins. The 68-pin flat ribbon connector is unique in that the connectors on the cable are male, and the interfaces on SCSI drives and host controllers are female. This connector is very commonly used for wide SCSI buses.

4-Pin Power Info

4-Pin Power Images

4-Pin Power (5. 25 inch)

The common 5.25 inch 4-pin power connector is impossible to miss inside a PC case. A computer’s power supply normally provides several of these connectors, which mate to male interfaces on hard drives, CD/DVD drives, and other internal devices. Because these drives often have a 5.25-inch form factor, the power connector itself became known as a «5.25» connector. The plug is also commonly referenced as a «Molex» connection, after the well-known connector manufacturer. The connector is typically white in color, and made from hard nylon or similar plastic material.


SATA Images

Serial ATA (SATA)

The Serial ATA (SATA) Power connector has 15 pins and is slightly larger than the SATA data connector. One main advantage the SATA power connector provides over the 4-pin power connector is a pin that provides 3.3 V of power. Certain SATA drives have specific power requirements.

External SATA Power Info

External SATA Power Images

External Serial ATA (eSATA)

Similar to the standard SATA connector, the eSATA connector is shielded and designed to connect external mass storage devices or optical drives to an eSATA port. This connector is sometime referred to as the SATA «I» connector due to the shape of the connector.

SATA Power Info

SATA Power Images

Serial ATA (SATA) Power

The Serial ATA (SATA) Power connector has 15 pins and is slightly larger than the SATA data connector. One main advantage the SATA power connector provides over the 4-pin power connector is a pin that provides 3.3 V of power. Certain SATA drives have specific power requirements.

32-Pin SAS Info

32-Pin SAS Images

32-Pin Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)

The 32-pin SAS connector is typically found on SAS controller cards. SAS technology is a replacement for SCSI and is typically used to connect hard disk drives in data center applications. However, this connector can be used to connect a SAS expander. This connector is also referred to as the SFF-8484 connector. In many cases the 32-pin connector is being replaced by the mini-SAS connectors due to mini-SAS’ smaller form factor.

29-Pin SAS Info

29-Pin SAS Images

29-Pin Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)

SFF connectors grew from the effort to make fiber connections smaller. In a rack or closet environment, space for several connections is limited, and thus manufacturers sought a way to increase port density. A standard was developed for smaller connectors called SFF (Small Form Factor). There are many different types of SFF connectors, but they are all smaller than normal ST or SC connections.

4-Pin Power Info

4-Pin Power (3.5 inch)

A less common 4-pin power connector is the 3.5 inch plug. This connector is smaller in size than the 5.25 inch, and it is not as widely used. It can be found mainly on 3.5-inch floppy disk drives.

ATX 20-Pin Power Info

ATX 20-Pin Power

This is a 20-pin interface that supplies power to a computer’s motherboard. It has two rows of 10 pins, with a locking tab that holds it firmly in place after connection.

ATX 24-Pin Power

ATX 24-Pin Power

Newer computers with ATX-form factor motherboards use a 24-pin power connector. The newer, larger connector eliminates the -5V rail, and adds additional +3.3V and +12V rails.

3-Pin Fan Info

3-Pin Fan

The 3-pin Fan power connector is found on power supplies within a computer case. This connector provides power to cooling fans.

4-Pin Fan Info

4-Pin Fan

The 4-pin Fan power connector is found on motherboards within a computer case. This connector provides power to cooling fans and is typically used on the fan that cools the CPU. This connector uses the same power arrangement as the 3-pin connector, therefore, a 3-pin connector can be used on a 4-pin fan. The 4th pin is a sensor that allows the fan to be controlled for speed and may give the ability to turn the fan on or off. If you use a 3-pin connector in a 4-pin slot, you will not be able to control the fan as it will always be powered on.

6-Pin PCI Express Info

6-Pin PCI Express

The 6-pin PCI Express connector is found on some PCI Express graphics cards. This connector is used for auxiliary power.

4-Pin Pentium 4 Power

4-Pin Pentium® 4 Power

The 4-pin Pentium 4 power connector is found on Pentium 4 motherboards. This connector delivers dedicated power to the CPU.

Suggested Links

    Wikipedia — IDE
    Wikipedia — SATA

More Products

    Serial ATA Cables & Supplies

Popular Internal Connector Products

6in 3-pin Fan to 4-pin Pass-Through Power Adapter Cable

CG-27078 | C2G

Convert a 3-pin fan connector to a standard 4-pin power connector with pass-through


10in One 6-pin PCI Express to Two 4-pin Molex Power Adapter Cable

CG-35522 | C2G

Convert two 4-pin power connectors to one 6-pin auxiliary power connector.


DISCONTINUED: 12in. 22-pin SATA Extension Cable

CG-10256 | C2G

For internal SATA Power/Data Backplane Extension

View Details

DISCONTINUED: 11in DB9 Male Serial RS232 Add-A-Port Adapter Cable

CG-02882 | C2G

Compatible with most brands of motherboards and I/O cards.

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6in 15-pin Serial ATA Male to LP4 Female Power Cable

CG-10149 | C2G

Convert a Serial ATA power connection to the LP4 power connection.


0.5ft (0.15m) Serial ATA Power Adapter Cable

CG-10151 | C2G

Convert a 5.25in power connector into a serial ATA power connector.


6in 3-pin Fan to 4-pin Power Adapter Cable

CG-27077 | C2G

Convert a 3-pin fan connector to a standard 4-pin power connector

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10in One 5.25in to Two 3.5in Internal Power Y-Cable

CG-03165 | C2G

Split one 5-1/4in power connector into two 3-1/2in power connectors


5 Things to Consider When You Install a SATA Hard Drive

Ready to upgrade your hard drive and found you’re dealing with a SATA connector? SATA drives are easy to set up, support hot swapping, and the interface is reasonably fast. We’ll show you everything you need to know about installing a SATA drive, and how to connect the power and data cable.

What Are SATA Drives

Image credit: Arkadiusz Sikorski/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Serial ATA (SATA) connectors remain a common interface between the drive and the motherboard. The image above shows a 2.5″ SATA hard drive from Fujitsu with the data port on the left and the power port on the right. On older SATA drives, you might also see a 4-pin Molex power connector. You’ll find SATA interfaces in both hard drisk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs).

SATA drives were introduced to replace IDE and Enhanced IDE (Parallel ATA) drives. SATA removes the master-slave relationship between parallel hard drives, with each drive connecting to the motherboard using its own SATA adapter.

As well as a specific port, SATA offers substantial improvements in data transfer rates. The original SATA specification transfers data at speeds up to 150 MB/s. The latest revision, SATA 3.5, transfers data at speeds up to 1,969 MB/s (1.969 GB/s), enables active drive temperature monitoring, and better integrates with industry I/O standards. While the latest SATA iteration isn’t in use for consumer drives, the technology does eventually filter into those products.

Should You Get a SATA or PCI Express SSD?

Solid State Drives sales have rapidly increased throughout the past few years, from around 39 million units in 2012 to an estimated 360 million in 2021. With SSDs, you can choose between two types of connectors: SATA and PCI Express (PCIe). Wondering which one is right for you? And do you need an SSD at all?

Consider your use case: If you need a large amount of storage at an affordable price and don’t plan on using it as an everyday drive running your operating system, i.e. it doesn’t need to be ultra-fast, then a regular HDD drive is the right choice. In that case, you’ll want a connection compatible with your motherboard, most likely SATA. If you’re looking for the fastest possible drive and neither price nor storage capacity are an issue, consider an SSD and check whether your computer has a PCIe slot.

Note that SATA SSDs are only available in the smaller 2.5″ form factor. In addition to non-ultrabook laptops, that also makes them ideal as external drives.

1. Hard Drive Installation Safety Guidelines

Before installing a new hard drive, take the following precautions to prevent damaging your hardware.

Turn the Power Off

Before you open the case and begin fiddling with the hardware, shut your system down. Then turn off the mains power switch. You’ll find the switch at the back of your case. Once turned off, hold the power button down for a few seconds to discharge any remaining power.

Ground Yourself

Electrostatic shock can wreck your drive as soon as you take it out of its packaging. An electrostatic shock comes from a static energy build-up in your body. As you touch the metallic case of the drive, you transfer that energy, which can then fry vital components. Luckily, most new hardware arrives in an anti-static bag and should come with a handling warning, too. Moreover, some modern components have integrated anti-shock technology that should prevent hardware damage from an unexpected static shock.

But just because your drive has shock protection, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of affecting other hardware components. The easiest way to protect your hardware is to ground yourself. Touch a metal table leg or the case of your computer (do this after discharging your motherboard, as described above).

Alternatively, buy an anti-static wristband.

2. SATA DATA and Power Connectors

This article assumes you have a modern motherboard that no longer has IDE connectors. IDE drives haven’t featured in consumer computers for some time. The overwhelming majority of computers and motherboards sold in recent years will focus solely on SATA drives (with a few exceptions, of course). Let’s familiarize ourselves with the SATA connector and port.

Both HDDs and SSDs use SATA connectors, so there is nothing to distinguish between the two drive inputs. Your SATA cable will have two connectors, like so:

Image credit: CyberVam/Shutterstock

The left connector is for data (typically a red cable), while the second powers your drive. It is possible to buy an all-in-one, 22-pin SATA cable that combines both connectors (but is less flexible).

Your motherboard will have ports like these available:

Image credit: culture_blue/Shutterstock

Should you find that you don’t have a Serial ATA connector available, you can upgrade your motherboard with a SATA PCIe card. Make sure you have a PCIe slot available on your motherboard. PCIe slots come in different variants, such as PCIEX16 or PCI2. You should find the exact name printed next to the slot on your motherboard.

Image credit: Forrestal_PL/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

It isn’t a case of forcing two SATA connectors into one SATA slot via an adapter. It just doesn’t work that way. In those cases, a PCIe SATA adapter is the best option to immediately grant extra SATA slots (followed by upgrading your motherboard or PC).

3. SATA Data and Power Cables

Your new HDD or SSD probably arrived with at least its interface cable (the red cable in our example images above and below). But your drive also needs power. That power usually comes in the form of a 4-pin Molex power connector with a SATA drive specific connector. The below image is a 4-pin Molex SATA power cable:

Image credit: Pavel Skopets/Shutterstock

A SATA HDD can arrive with a range of input connectors, allowing you to choose between a SATA power connector (the empty port to the left of the red interface cable, below) or 4-pin Molex connector (the cable on the far right, below). You can choose either one but not both at the same time!

Image credit: Dino Osmic/Shutterstock

A reader notes that you should «never use the Molex (4-pin) to SATA power adapter» because «most hard drives and solid state drives require the orange 3.3V wire to supply power for the drive electronics.» This may cause the drives to fail at spinning up or registering in the computer’s BIOS, Device Manager, or Disk Management. Thank you for the heads-up, Doc!

Consequently, some modern HDDs have done away with 4-pin Molex power inputs and now offer just a SATA power input. A SATA SSD will arrive with only a SATA power connector and a data transmission cable.

4. Installation Procedure

Installing a SATA drive is an easy procedure. The following video details the installation process for a desktop PC.

Changing the drive on your laptop is also an easy process. As there are numerous laptop makes and models, I would suggest heading to YouTube and searching for «[your laptop make and model] drive install. «

5. Configuring Your Drive

Your existing setup might recognize the new drive if you’re simply adding it for extra storage. But there is a chance it won’t. If you install your drive and it doesn’t recognize it, right-click the Windows Start button and select disk management to use the Disk Management panel to bring your new drive to life.

Your unallocated drive should be visible on a separate row. If it is an entirely new drive, it will appear as Unknown and Not Initialized. Initialize the drive using the following steps.

  1. Right-click the uninitialized drive and select Initialize disk.
  2. Select MBR (Master Boot Record) for a drive smaller than 2TB, and GPT (GUID Partition Table) for a drive larger than 2TB.
  3. Once initialized, right-click the newly Unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
  4. Choose the Volume Size. If you’re using the whole drive, leave the default allocation. If you’re planning more than one partition, allocate the volume size as you see fit. Hit Next.
  5. Assign a drive letter using the drop-down. Your existing drives will not be listed. Hit Next.
  6. Select a file system. It is recommended to use NTFS with Windows 10. Add a Volume label, and make sure Perform a quick format is unchecked. Hit Next.
  7. Hit Finish.

Windows 10 will promptly create a new partition and format the drive ready for use. If you’re wondering why I specified unchecking the quick format option, here’s why: a quick format doesn’t check the drive for errors or damage. It is preferable to uncover any errors or damage at this stage, rather than when you’re trying to upload data or install an operating system.

Configuring Your BIOS

You might not have to make any changes to your PC or laptop BIOS. However, if your computer doesn’t detect the new drive by default certain BIOS settings will require a tweak. Since BIOS options aren’t standardized, I can only offer vague guidelines here.

To launch the BIOS, you have to press a hardware specific key before the computer boots into Windows. The key is usually DEL, ESC, or F1, but it does vary by manufacturer. However, most systems display the correct button during the boot process, before Windows begins to load. Alternatively, consult our guide to entering the BIOS, including a list of commonly used keys by manufacturers.

Once you’re in the BIOS, be careful not to change any unfamiliar options. You may need to toggle an option to «auto-detect new hardware,» or specifically turn on the unused SATA port on the motherboard. Carefully check that each cable is well seated in its port at each end and that you haven’t accidentally knocked other cables during the process.

Ready SATA Go

If you follow our guide, you should have your new drive up and running in no time and with ease.

Now what are you going to do with the old drive? Don’t throw it out. Instead, find things to do with your old disk and get a great chunk of good use out of it, even if it’s dead.

Image credit: Marco Verch/Flickr

What are SATA power cables used for and what are their types?

SATA is an abbreviation for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment which is an IDE standard. It is a data access standard interface in modern computers used to transfer data at high rates via compact cables. In this guide, we are going to discuss what are SATA cables, their uses, and what are their types?

As we mentioned above, SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and is pronounced as say-da. It is an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) standard that is used for connecting devices, e. g., storage devices. One of its common use is for connecting the hard drive, optical drive, or solid-state memory drive to the computer’s motherboard. In general terms, SATA refers to cables and connections following this standard.

It has different versions which vary in speed. With version 1 of the SATA cable, the transfer speed is 1.5 Gbps. SATA cable’s version 2 can transfer 3 GB of data per second. The fastest one is version 3 that has a speed of 6 Gbps.

What are the types of SATA cables?

SATA cables are of multiple types. Here are the types of SATA:

  • Micro SATA: The micro SATA connector is primarily used for 1.8-inch (46 mm) hard disk drives.
  • eSATA: This SATA type was standardized in 2004 and is intended to be used for external (e is used for external) connectivity.
  • SATA Bracket: You can make your computer outputs compatible with eSATA drives with the help of dual-port eSATA expansion brackets.
  • Low Profile SATA: It is an ultra-thin SATA cable that has low-profile connectors that you can use with extended GPU cards.
  • SATA Power: These are SATA interface power cables and are used to connect power adaptors, extensions, and splitters for SATA power and data cables.
  • SATA Bridge: It is basically the SATA interface that acts as a bridge between devices. It can be used to connect ATA devices to SATA motherboards or PCI cards.
  • SATA-SATA: It is the standard SATA cable and comes in different lengths.
  • SATA EXPRESS: It is a new specification that supports both SATA and PCI Express (PCIe) storage devices.

SATA cables have replaced the PATA (Parallel ATA) cables and have now become the IDE standard of choice to connect storage devices in a computer system. This is due to the fact that SATA is much more faster and reliable than a similar PATA device. Let us discuss the difference between the two.

Read: How to speed up SATA hard drives in Windows?

SATA cable VS PATA cable

PATA stands for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment and is a bus interface standard for connecting hard drives into a computer system. However, it has been completely replaced by SATA as SATA has many more benefits than PATA.

The first difference between both cables is the data transfer speed. SATA cable has a faster data transfer speed than PATA that enables applications, images, and larger files to load speedily. This is due to the fact that PATA supports multitasking during data transfer that makes it slower than SATA cable.

PATA is a 40 pin connector, while SATA data cable typically features a 7 pin connector. SATA is less costly in comparison to PATA. Additionally, SATA consumes less power than PATA.

SATA cables are easier to manage as they are smaller in size in comparison to PATA cables. Additionally, SATA allows multiple hard drives to be connected at the same time.

Due to all these differences between the two standards, PATA has been replaced by SATA.

See: Hybrid Drive vs SSD vs HDD: Which is the Best?

Which SATA Cable to Use?

The different types of SATA cables are used for different purposes. Let us discuss which SATA cable you can use for what:

  • SATA Power Cable Connectors: SATA power cable connectors feature 15 pins and three pins within the connector are used to supply different voltages in a parallel manner.
  • SATA Data Cable Connectors: The SATA data cable connector has seven conductors and has one plugged into the end port on the motherboard and the other end plugged into the back of a storage device e.g., SATA hard drive.

SATA Connections and Power Requirements:

Make sure that the PSU can supply the power that your computer requires when trying to connect the drives using the SATA power cables. The power range lies between 200-1800 Watts for modern PSU models. While a hard drive uses 15 to 30 watts, an optical drive consumes around 20 to 30 Watts of power.

Usually, it is not a concern. However, if you have a large number of connected drives, it is a concern. You can easily check the power consumption of your PC parts using online calculators, e.g., Power Supply Calculator.

What types of drives need SATA power and data cables?

There are primarily three kinds of drives that need the SATA interface:

  1. Hard Disk Drives– primary storage for any computer.
  2. Optical Drives– CD, Blu Ray drives, etc., require a SATA interface.
  3. Solid State Drive– SATA SSDs also need SATA power cables and data cables. SATA SSDs can have an average speed of about 550 Mbps, while a standard hard disk drive has a speed of 200 Mbps.

See: How to check what Hard Drive you have on Windows?

How many SATA cables do you need?

As far as power is concerned, you can connect a SATA power cable to a drive using the 15-pin connector. You might require one or more power cables with SATA connectors, that depends upon if you have a split power cable or not

As for SATA data cables are concerned, you required a SATA cable for each drive. And, data cables don’t have split ends, unlike the SATA Power cables. Additionally, the number of SATA data cables you require depends on the number of SATA ports you have. For example, if you have 6 SATA ports, you can’t attach 7 drives to a computer.

Read: What is a Hybrid Drive? Is SSHD better than HDD or SSD?

How to add additional SATA ports to your system?

In case your motherboards don’t have enough SATA ports to attach more drives to your system, you can use a SATA Hub Port Multiplier or SATA PCIe Cards to increase the number of ports. You can also use a SAS SATA Expansion Card.

SATA Hub Port Multiplier is cheaper but you might face performance and compatibility issues with it. SATA PCIe Expansion card is the most recommended option for adding more ports to your system. On the other hand, a SATA Expansion card is recommended for professionals for excellent upstream and downstream bandwidth.

See: Do I really need an SSD or Solid State Drive?

How to attach more SATA power connectors to a system?

You may need more power connectors for attaching more drives to your system. Now, there can be two ways to do that which are as follow:

  • You can do that using a SATA power splitter cable.
  • You can also use a Molex to SATA adaptor cable for the same.

What are SATA cables used for power supply?

As discussed above, SATA power cables are used for the power supply. These SATA cables are used to supply power to multiple internal storage devices.

Does SATA cable come with SSD?

In usual cases, the HDD/SSDs don’t come with SATA cables. The SATA cables come with a new motherboard.

Hope this guide helps you learn about SATA cables.

Now read: What is SATA or NVMe SSD? How to tell if my SSD is SATA or NVMe?

✅ SATA connector — What is it and what are the different between them


Robert Sole Follow on Twitter Send an email 28 June, 2020

1 13. 925 5 reading minutes

The speed of data transfer of hard drives has been gaining importance. Modern equipment, more specifically motherboards, have different connection ports for hard drives. The most widely used port for hard drives, whether mechanical or solid state, is the SATA port. In this article we will explain what a SATA cable is and the different types that exist.

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Brief history of the SATA port

This connector was developed as a replacement for the PATA connector, also known as the IDE port. The SATA port first version it was introduced in 2000, and after that it was revised in 2003, 2004 and the last one in 2008. This latest version is known as SATA III, SATA 3.0 or SATA 6Gbps. Each standard improves data transfer speed and additional functions are added to improve reliability.

Over time, alternatives to this connector have been introduced, such as the mSATA that was introduced in 2011. Its most recent evolution is the M.2 port that is based on PCI-Express lines, offering very high speeds. 

The evolution of technology and miniaturization is causing some displacement of the SATA port. In smartphones, tablets and ultra-compact laptops, they are usually installed by installing flash memories soldered on the motherboard. Some manufacturers of very small notebooks or PCs only use the M.2 port. 

One of the reasons is that the data transfer speeds are higher, but it is also because of the size, which is smaller, allowing more compact systems.

What is SATA

A computer data bus interface that enables data transfer between the motherboard and storage drives and optical disc drives.  

Who is in charge of maintenance and the standard is the International Serial ATA Organization. Its function is to develop, manage and facilitate the adoption of this connector as a standard.

This SATA connector offers us higher data transfer speeds than the old IDE connectors that they replaced. SATA cables are also characterized by being simpler than their predecessors and support longer cable lengths. We can find cables up to 2 meters in length, but normally the ‘standard’ length is 50 centimeters.

Possibly one of the main features of the SATA port is that it can be hot-stripped. This port supports removing a storage drive or optical drive even while it is being used.


What is the difference between SATA 1, 2 and 3

Physically there are no differences, since all connectors are the same. The difference is in the transfer speeds:

  • SATA 1: It is the first generation of this data transfer interface and offers a bandwidth of up to 150MB / s
  • SATA 2: Second generation of this data transfer interface and offers 300MB / s bandwidth
  • SATA 3: Third generation of this data transfer interface and the one used today. Offers 600MB / s bandwidth

What types of SATA cables are there

The first distinction that we must make when it comes to SATA cables is the distinction between data cable and power cable. Interestingly, the data and power cables are given the same name. For any hard drive or optical drive, both cables are required. The data cable connects directly to the motherboard and the power cable connects to the power supply.

An interesting aspect of SATA power cables is that they have a 90º angle and a boss so that they can only be connected one way. Although only four cables reach the connector, internally it has a total of 15 connection pins.

Let’s see now the most common types of SATA cables in PC

SATA (data)

SATA-type data cables are often characterized by being fairly flat and withstanding a lot of twisting. We can find cables with straight connectors at both points, although some cables have connectors at a 90º angle. These connectors are intended to connect to storage or optical drives.

SATA (power)

All storage drives and optical drives need power and for them we have SATA power cables. The power cables can have between one and four power connectors, allowing to power several units with the same cable.

Modern power supplies typically have multiple cables intended to power SATA drives. In case we need more, there are special adapters that convert this one into other connectors. We have the MOLEX to SATA adapters and the 6 pin PCIe to SATA adapters.

Low Profile SATA

Special connector designed for very compact systems with a very limited amount of physical space. This cable is based on a very simple connector and has quite thin cables. They are also based on one or two very thin cables, completely lacking the plastic sheath of ‘normal’ SATA connectors.

IDE SATA adapter

This adapter is designed to be able to take advantage of IDE-type hard drives on modern motherboards. We can also use it to rescue information on an IDE drive.

Micro-SATA (mSATA)

It is characterized by combining the power and data connector in the same connector. This type of cable is typically used for notebooks and compact form factor embedded systems. These cables are also used for ‘hot swap’ systems, systems that allow you to remove hard drives hot.


Special cables to connect external storage units whose connector is stronger and the system is more resistant. Currently these are in disuse due to the fact that the USB 3.0 port offers higher transfer speeds.


ESATA ports socket that installs in the PCI slots of computer towers. These special cables have a SATA connector on the other end that installs directly on the motherboard.


It is not a cable itself, it is an adapter that converts from SATA to USB. This USB adapter for hard disk allows you to connect a storage unit in a simple way without opening your computer.


Does the twist affect the cables?

What is

This is a combination of PCI Express and SATA technology. On the motherboard, it looks like two side by side SATA ports, which allows you to connect both devices using past interfaces and a newer one. Bandwidth 8 Gb / s when connecting one connector and 16 Gb / s when connecting two connectors at once.

Sata Express connectors

Sata Express cable

Differences and compatibility

All versions are backward compatible. Those. with Serial ATA 3, the user can easily connect a device using version 2. And so with all versions.

The throughput of version 3 is twice that of version 2 and is 6 Gb / s . Compared to the previous , the power management of the has been improved.


Pinout power cable Serial ATA:

Pinout connection cable :

For owners of stationary PCs, the first method will be the most relevant.

You need to remove the side cover of the system unit to get to the motherboard. If you have a laptop, you will have to completely disassemble it. It is not recommended for an inexperienced user to do this. After we got to the motherboard, you should find the connector with the inscription SATA , or you can simply track the cable that goes from the HDD to the motherboard. Near this connector on the motherboard, SATA will be written. 6 Gb / s is the third revision, and 3 Gb / s is the second.

If there is no way to disassemble it, but you need to find out the Serial ATA connector, you can use the programs. You need to download the HWiNFO program, install it and open it.

In the main window, select Bus Pci Bus and see in the right part of the window which Serial ATA ports are present on the motherboard.

Serial ata power connector

most modern hard drives
and all SSDs are equipped with a SATA power connector.
So what if a few years ago
the SATA connectors on the PSU were kind of nice
option, then on new power supplies they
are mandatory.
SATA (Serial ATA) power connector — special
15-pin connector that uses
there are only five wires, which means that
Three are connected to one wire
connector contact. general power
power supply on such a connector exactly
the same as the normal connector for
peripherals, but the SATA cable is noticeably thinner.

from the peripheral connector

SATA power connector each wire
connected to three contacts, and
wire numbers do not match
contact numbers. If your block
power supply is not equipped with power connectors
SATA, you can use an adapter with
conventional connector for peripherals
devices. However, such adapters
provide a voltage along the +3.3 V line.
Fortunately this is not a problem.
for most SATA devices, since
they don’t use the +3.3V line and use
+12 V and +5 V voltages only.

additional power supply for video cards

ATX12V 2.x implies the use
new 24-pin power connector
motherboard that provides
more energy to power various
on-board controllers and PCI-E cards.
The specification is for additional
power 75 W directly to the slot
PCI-E x16 and such power, in principle,
enough for many video cards with an average
performance. But productive
graphics cards usually need
in a higher level of nutrition. By this
reason, the PCI-SIG development team
(Special Interest Group) introduced two standards
to provide additional power
PCI-E video cards that require
using the following connectors:

Express x16 Graphics 150 W-ATX — specification published
in October 2004. used
additional 6-pin (2×3) connector,
which provides additional
power 75 watts. Total power per slot
PCI-E x16 reaches 150W.

Express 225 W/300 W High Power Card Electromechanical — specification
published in March 2008. Assumes
using 8-pin (2×4)
additional power socket
providing extra power
150 W. The total power is 225W
(75+150) or 300 W (75+150+75).

graphics cards requiring even more
energy, you can connect several

additional power connectors PCI-E

power Configuration add. supply

W Not used

W 1 x 6-pin

W 2 x 6-pin or 1 x 8-pin

Tue 1
8-pin + 1 x 6-pin

Tue 2
x 8-pin

W 2 x 8-pin + 1 x 6-pin

PCI Express cards are powered by
using 6-pin (2×3) or 8-pin connectors
(2×4) Molex Mini-Fit fitted with plug type
«mom» who connects
directly to the video card. For
reference, these connectors are similar to Molex
39-01-2060 (6-pin) and 39-01-2080 (8-pin),
but both use different keys,
to prevent their
erroneous installation in the +12 V connector on
motherboard. In the following diagram
the layout of the connectors is shown, in
including the fork side. Pay
attention to the «sense» signal on the contact
pin 5 — it allows the graphic card
determine if the connector is connected. Without
proper power level card can
turn off or operate
limited functionality. Also
note that pin 2
designated in the table as N/C (No Connection)
according to the standard specification, but
in most power supplies, judging by
everything, voltage is also applied to it
+12 V.

6 pin connector to 8 pin socket on
graphics card

contacts are arranged in such a way
that the video card itself recognizes which
type connector is connected to the socket and thus
how much power is available to her.
For example, if a video card is required
full 300 W and it is equipped with two sockets
8 pin (or 8 pin + 6 pin), but you use two
six-wire connector, the card will determine
which can only use 225W and,
depending on the design and firmware,
can either turn off or
work in limited

special key on the plug, 8-pin
The connector cannot be installed in the 6 pin socket.
For this reason, many manufacturers
power supplies equip their products
plugs of type «6+2», which allow
disconnect the additional two when
necessary, resulting in the usual
6-pin connector instead of 8-pin.
Such a connector, of course, without problems
will be installed in the socket 6 pin on the board.

8-pin auxiliary connector
PCI-E card power supply and 8-pin connector
CPU power supply standard EPS12V use
closely related Molex Mini-Fit forks
Jr. These plugs have different keys, but with
with some effort it can be
connect the EPS12V connector to the socket on
video card, or vice versa, connect
PCI-E power connector to the motherboard socket
EPS12V board. In any of these scenarios
+12V pin will be connected directly
to ground, which may result in
failure of the motherboard, video card
or power supply.

6 pin
connector uses two +12V pins for
providing power up to 75 W, while
how does an 8 pin connector use three pins
+12V, providing up to 150W. But according to
specifications for Molex connectors, such
a set of contacts allows you to provide
great power. Each contact on
PCI Express power connector can hold
current up to 8 A when using standard
contacts — or more if applicable
HCS or Plus HCS contacts. If multiply
contact power limits according to specifications
by their number, it is possible to determine
the ability of the connector to hold current
certain power:

current power at the additional connector
PCI-E card power supply

connector Number of contacts +12V
using contact contacts When
using HCS contacts
using Plus contacts HCS

6-pin 2 192
W 264 W 288 W

8-pin 3 288
W 396 W 432 W

6-wire connector, the current is rated for two
contact +12 V, although most PSUs have
three such contacts.

Molex contacts are rated for 8 A.

Molex HCS are rated at 11A.

Molex Plus HCS are rated at 12A.

values ​​are for a bundle of 4-6 pins
Mini Fit Jr. when using wires of the 18th
caliber and standard temperature.

like this
way, although according to the specification the connectors
designed for power 75 (6 pin) and 150 W (8
pin), when using standard
contacts power can reach,
respectively, 192 and 288 watts. Using
HCS and Plus HCS contacts you can get
even more power.

additional power connector
in question may appear
in the documentation under the names PCI Express
Graphics (PEG), Scalable Link Interface (SLI), or CrossFire Power
Connectors as they are used
performance graphics cards
with PCI-E x16 interface, which can
work in conjunction with SLI or CrossFire. SLI and
CrossFire — these are the modes of using maps
nVidia and AMD allowing cards to be combined
in conjunction using computing
resources of each of them to increase
graphics performance
subsystems. Each card can consume
hundreds of watts, so many graphics cards
hi-end class have two or three connectors
extra power. It means,
that most powerful power supplies,
involving the use of modes
SLI and CrossFire must have at least two
connector 6 pin or 8 pin for card power supply

you are using two video cards requiring
300 W each, then even with a power supply
power of 750 W, to power the motherboard
board, processor and all disk
drives will be only 150 watts. it
may not be enough if you
you are using a processor with a TDP of 130W or
above. For this reason, «heavy»
configurations that use
multiple high performance graphics cards
and CPU of the corresponding level, must
equipped with power supplies
for a load of at least 1000 watts.

patented the term SLI (Scalable Link
Interface), but AMD, which produces the cards
Radeon, uses a similar technology,
which is called CrossFire and allows
achieve a comparable level of performance.

your current power supply is not equipped with
power connectors for PCI-E cards, you can
use a Y-splitter,
allowing you to turn several
connectors for peripheral devices
(usually used to feed
disk drives) to the power connector
PCI-E 6-pin or 8-pin. But such adapters are not
will save you if the power of the block
nutrition is insufficient to provide
performance graphics card needs
and other components in the system.

Thermaltake released a simple and fast
computer power tester +3,3, +5 and
+12 V, which will allow
operational power control
your computers. This small
box can be connected to
any computer power socket
and check his health.

supports both standard power supplies
ATX 12V 2.0 or earlier. Are checked
connectors Molex, P4, Floppy, S-ATA (+5/+12 V), as well as
20- and 24-pin connectors for connection
power supply to PC motherboards.

the power supply is normal, then the green light turns on
LED and Dr.Power beeps.
If any power connector is not
works, you will not hear any sound.
Such a device, although it does not allow measuring
specific value of output voltages
from the power supply, but gives the user
the answer is whether its PSU works in accordance
with the standard or not.

within the framework of this article, we first of all
interesting requirements of the ATX12V standard for
unit output voltages and currents
nutrition. For voltages negotiated
their maximum deviations from the nominal
— up to 5% for positive voltages and
up to 10% — for negative for all
permissible operating conditions. For
tires +12 V at peak load allowed
deviation up to 10%.

How to connect a hard disk to a power supply

The ability to connect additional hard disks will be very useful to you if there is not enough free disk space on the already installed ones. You can connect the HDD to a personal computer:

  1. By installing it in the system unit using standard SATA connectors on the motherboard.
  2. Installed in the system unit using the SAS connectors of the RAID controller.
  3. Using a USB-to-SATA adapter.

This is interesting! The predecessor of SATA was the ATA interface (other name — IDE). The difference lies in the method of data transfer — serial transmission for SATA, parallel for ATA. It is generally accepted that serial transmission is faster, however, for the average user, the difference is imperceptible.

Connecting a hard drive inside the case to connectors SATA

Step 1. Remove your system case cover.

Step 2. Connect the data cable to the connector on the motherboard.

Note! Connector number is not important. The definition of a bootable hard drive is based on the software installed on it.

Step 3. Connect the data cable to the connector on the hard drive.

Step 4. Connect the power cable to the hard drive connector.

Important! The computer must be powered off when connecting the cable. When connecting a cable with voltage applied to it, there is a high risk of damage to the hard disk controller, or the SATA controller of the motherboard! In the event that your power supply has power connectors only for IDE hard drives, use a special adapter.

Step 5. Attach the hard drive to the chassis with screws.

Important! Make sure that the cables do not come into contact with the fan blades of the system unit.

If you are using a 2.5-inch drive, use a special slide to secure the hard drive inside the system unit more tightly.

Connecting a hard drive inside the case to connectors SAS

These connectors are backward compatible, i.e. SATA can be connected to SAS, but SAS cannot be connected to SATA.

Step 1. Install the hard drive in the correct size carrier.

Note! The constructs are designed for certain form factors, that is, inserting a 2.5-inch drive into the controller basket of 3.5-inch hard drives will not work.

Step 2. Insert the sled into the controller basket and slide in until the sled handle locks into position.

Important! Don’t forget to check the connection of the RAID cable to the motherboard and change the settings of your controller.

Connecting a 3.5″ Hard Drive Using an Externally Powered Adapter

Step 1. Attach the adapter to the hard drive.

Step 2. Connect the adapter to the desired port on your computer using the USB cable.

Step 3. Connect the power cable to the adapter.

Step 4. Apply power to the adapter by toggling the toggle switch to the operating position.

Step 5: Install the drivers for the connected equipment, if necessary.

Connecting a 2.5″ hard drive using a 3.5″ adapter

2.5″ drives are commonly used in laptops. The connectors are no different from the 3. 5 disk connectors, but the laptop hard drive is attached to the case using a special basket (sled).

Step 1. Remove the sled or other structure from your hard drive.

Step 2. Follow the instructions for connecting a 3.5 hard drive with an adapter.

Connecting a 2.5″ HDD using an appropriate adapter

When using a special adapter for hard drives 2.5, it is not necessary to remove the sled. As a rule, such adapters do not have an external power supply, and receive voltage from the computer’s USB port.

Step 1. Connect the adapter to the hard drive.

Step 2: Connect both ends of the USB adapter cable to the computer ports.

Important! Two ends of the cable are needed because information is transmitted through one of them, and the adapter is powered through the second.

Video — How to connect a hard drive


We looked at three different ways to connect hard drives with SATA connectors to a personal computer. Each of them requires the purchase of additional equipment, at least loops. In the event that you decide to use a SATA drive as an external one (connected via a USB adapter), it is recommended to purchase a reliable protective case for the drive. When using the device, the cover should be removed to avoid overheating. Some parameters of hard disks working with different technologies are presented in the summary table.

Name Data transfer rate, Mb/s

Your computer used to work so well and fast, but now it freezes even when executing simple commands? Not enough free disk space for all your games, movies and photos? Of course there is a way out! When a computer runs out of storage space, the first thing to lose is performance. The solution to the problem is simple — connect another additional hard drive to the computer.

These are heavy drives and are standard on desktop computers. You can find them in the pictures below. Sometimes there can also be some combinations — the old way of powering with a new connector on the motherboard may come up. Identifying your drive is key here as we need to buy the right bay for your size and drive slots.

When purchasing an enclosure, take the above message and find the right model that is compatible with your drive’s power supply and connector. Below you will find samples, randomly selected cabinets for each drive type for comparison purposes. Mounting the housing and using the drive.

  • If your new hard drive is SATA type, you only need to connect the SATA cable and the red cable to the hard drive at one end and to the motherboard at the other.
  • Turn on the computer. Open CMOS (BIOS) by pressing the F2 button at boot, or the «Delete» button (if you do not have Intel). If these buttons don’t work, try F8 as well. Select your old hard drive as the first device when you boot your computer (higher prior device). Save changes and exit. After the system boots up, right-click on the icon «My Computer» or My Computer, click on the «Manage» tab Management or Manager, then on the tab Disk Management or «Disk Management». You will see unallocated disk space. Select it with the right mouse button. Select the option to create a new partition (Create new partition) and follow the instructions. Select a quick format mode.

The chassis has device bays (usually located at the front of the chassis). The upper compartments of the case are designed, as a rule, for installing optical drives CD / DVD, Blu-Ray. And the lower bays shown in the photo are designed to install hard drives.

Installation is very simple — it may vary slightly from model to model, but usually takes no more than a minute. Just place the drive in the case and then connect it to the existing cables inside the case to each connector. Depending on the case, interface and drive type, we may have one or two cables.

These computers have been linked for no more than three years. It’s inexpensive and assembly is easy — the only tool you need is a Phillips screwdriver. Turn off the computer, disconnect all wires from the back of the case, and open the case.

From the available bays, we choose any and put a hard drive there. It is necessary to position it so that the connectors (see image) of the disk look inside the case.

Then, take the hard drive and insert it along the guides that prevent it from falling down.

We look for free space on the pedestal in the case and remove its cover — unscrew the fixing screw and pull the cover. In some cases, the cap is not secured with a screw that is permanently attached to the body. In this case, use a screwdriver to break the plate on the back of the free slot, carefully move the cover back and forth to break the anchor points and remove it.

Connector and plug are designed in such a way that it is impossible to connect incorrectly. Then close the case and reconnect the wires. The device will be recognized automatically. Sometimes a newly purchased device cannot be connected to the computer because the connector does not fit into any of the sockets. In such situations, appropriate adapters are used. We will show you how to choose the right one.

Everything. The disk is inserted, now it needs to be fixed with screws. As you can see, there are corresponding mounting holes on the case.

Make sure that the threaded holes on the disc line up with the holes on the body. Now we will tighten the screws in them.

As computer technology advances, connection interfaces change. It often happens that you cannot connect old legacy components to a new computer, or slightly newer peripherals to an older computer. Fortunately, there are products in stores that make the connection incompatible with the device port.

It also happens that ports such as keyboards and mice are damaged. Another solution is to donate a repair disk or buy a new motherboard. All of these options tend to be quite expensive. Below we provide descriptions of individual ports and connectors and their respective adapters. We will also describe in which situations these adapters can be useful.

It is desirable to have four screws, two on one side and two on the other. Having screwed the hard drive on one side, unfold the case and fasten the other side.

We fixed the hard drive. Check that it does not stagger, if the disk moves, then tighten the screws harder.

Power adapters and splitters. We start with the internal connections of the computer through connectors, adapters and splitters. Here often there are problems with the compatibility of power connectors with internal power connectors. In addition, there are often no free connectors for a newly purchased drive or windmill. The same goes for situations where you find that your AC adapter doesn’t have a suitable connector, such as a new hard drive. No need to buy a new power supply for such trips.

Just use the appropriate adapter or spacer. Of course, there is no need to replace the power supply with a more modern one. Just use a power splitter. As a general rule, the hard drive usually receives little power, so using a splitter should not stress the power supply.

The installation of the hard drive is complete, now it can be connected to the motherboard. First of all, it should be noted that hard drives of different generations have different connectors, different cables («flexes») for connection.
We will consider connecting a hard drive with the most common interfaces IDE (obsolete, but still used) and SATA.

However, a contraindication to the use of a splitter is a very low power supply — less than 300 watts. In many cases, you can connect an old power supply to a new motherboard using an adapter with one side of 20 pins and one side of 24 on the other.

Simply connect one end of the adapter to the power supply kit and the other end to the main board. To do this, use a jumper that has a mox-plug on one side and a molex-molex on the other, and a 3-pin fan power connector.

Molex adapter is not locked and can be used to connect another device such as a hard drive. That is why manufacturers have started using power connectors on video cards. In this case, just use the appropriate power adapter.

SATA hard drive connection

SATA hard drive is connected using the narrow data cable shown in the figure.

We connect one end of this cable to the connector on the disk, and the other to the motherboard.

It is worth noting that for the most demanding graphics adapters, this adapter is added as a standard. Grandparents will see what a plunger, a processor, a hard drive are, and the most curious thing will see how a computer is assembled from components in boxes.

A practical guide for all ages. Explanations for grandparents: — The processor is the «brain» of the computer. he thinks, collects, compares, multiplies, and so on. He tells the rest of the components he needs to do. During operation, the processor gets very hot, so a cooler is needed to cool it — a hard drive. this is where all the information on the computer is stored. is a non-volatile memory, so the information remains saved even after the computer is turned off.

After connecting the data cable, connect the power cable (from the power supply) to the appropriate connector of the SATA drive

If your power supply does not have connectors for SATA devices, use the IDE/SATA power adapter. If the hard drive has two types of power connectors SATA and MOLEX, it is enough to connect one of them.

Slow write speed — write speed is quite slow. It is often referred to as a «hard drive» and is mistaken for a hard drive. Okay, enough theory, let’s look at the motherboard. Before we collect anything, the important thing. All sockets on a computer are designed in such a way that they have only one correct entry position. No «I got him back», he doesn’t exist upside down. If you install the wrong plug, it won’t go in at all. So don’t force anything if it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be mounted!

Drag the safety from the bottom plate to the left and stand up. Also lift the cover that secures the processor and remove the plastic that protects the slot. The processor has two pinches on the edges to prevent it from being misplaced. The same is a slot on the motherboard. Be careful not to bend the pin. Once the processor is in place, secure the cover and close it securely. The cooler should have conductive paste on the side that will contact the CPU. If it doesn’t have a «ready made» then it has a paste tube that needs to be used for the processor.

Everything. We have a hard drive with a SATA interface connected.

How to connect a hard drive via SATA video:

Connecting an IDE hard drive

When connecting an IDE drive, you first need to set its operation mode: MASTER (master) or SLAVE (slave). Since we are installing one hard drive, it is necessary to set the MASTER mode. The mode is determined by the position of the jumper (jumper) on the back of the drive.

A little attention to the cable must be placed so that it cannot get into the fan. For grandparents, the explanation of the «double channel». Dual-channel mode allows you to simultaneously write to both memory, theoretically duplicating the speed of writing and reading.

You will find a screwdriver in the box with the motherboard. A little explanation of what each one is. Another type of screw is to secure the shroud and covers of the hard caps, older models. In figure 2, from left to right, there was an elevator. the motherboard does not go directly into the case. but comes to these feet. Picture 3 is the plastic clip that secures the motherboard to the case and prevents it from being «counterfeited».

On top of the hard drive, the figure shows which position to set the jumper to make it work as MASTER.

This is what the IDE connectors on the motherboard look like for connecting IDE drives and other IDE devices.

How to install the motherboard in the case. First, mount the lifts and plastics that fix the plate, as in the picture above. After that, remove the plaque from the back of the case where the connectors come out and replace the model that the motherboard came with. Be extremely careful not to cut your metal pieces, they are very sharp. The new face is mounted inside the case by pressing. if you don’t have much care, it will stay when you install the motherboard. Install the base plate and tighten the screws.

Next step: Connect the cables from the chassis to the motherboard. Figure 2 is a sketch of the motherboard, the pins, and each of them. The hard drive connector will be on the first two pins in the first row, and the next two pins will be occupied by the reset button connector.

Devices are connected using an IDE-cable (cable).

We take the end of a longer section of the cable and connect it to the connector on the motherboard. Since we have one hard drive, the cable should be connected to the first IDE channel (there is usually a designation on the motherboard — IDE 0 Primary (Primary) and IDE 1 Secondary (Secondary).0003

Same as the hard drive, but mounted on the bottom of the case, trying not to be in the blue slot extension where the graphics card will appear. For each of them there should be 2 wires, one for power and one for sending information. The figure shows 3 types of power cables.

Rule of thumb, connectors have only one position in which they can be connected. The package also includes a cable for connecting to a floppy disk. In the picture, we have checked the security measures to ensure that you cannot place the wrong plug. Remove the metal piece from the back of the case. The graphics card is pressed until it disappears and then the screw that holds it does not fall off. Pay attention to the length of the video card, which can damage the hard drive cables if they were installed in line.

Now we connect the cable to the hard drive. The connector located at the end of a short section of the cable is always connected to the MASTER.

That’s it. We have examined step by step how to properly connect a new hard drive via SATA, as well as a hard drive with an old IDE connector. By following these instructions, you can also optionally connect a second hard drive to your computer. If the hard drive is new or transferred from another computer, then all the necessary procedures for setting it up will be performed during.

The three circles on the right show the faces of the faces, and the two on the left are on the dust filter clips. is on the same system as the door and it is recommended that you have one to prevent PC dusting. Of course, there are other storage options, but the classic version remains on the hard drive installed inside the burner.

You will recognize it after the data and power connectors. With patience and unplug each screw and replace it securely. You will need to return the cover at the end. Flutter screws only. Insert the data connectors and power supply into the motherboard. The team is at your disposal if you have any questions or concerns.

Installing a hard drive on a computer is not a difficult task and there is nothing to be afraid of if you have to do it yourself, even if you have never seen your computer in open form. Now I will explain everything to you, and everything will work out for you.

Installing a hard drive on your computer is required if you are going to upgrade your device, build a computer from scratch or want a second HDD. This guide will help you in the first two cases. But in the case of replacing the HDD, I will not tell you how to remove the old one, I think there will be no problems with this, but I will only show you how to install the new one correctly. But I’ll tell you about connecting the second hard some other time.

Screw the hard drive to the system unit

Installing a new hard drive begins by screwing it to the case. This is done with bolts. There are threaded holes in the hard case, there are grooves in the computer case. It is screwed through them.

Make sure that the installed device does not interfere with the ventilation inside the system unit, and that all wires and cables can easily reach it without stretching.

Only on the service for a limited period of time there are discounts on the sale of views on Instagram. Hurry up to have time to purchase a resource with the most convenient speed mode for video or broadcasting, and experienced managers will help you sort out any issue.

Connecting the hard drive to the motherboard

The bolts are fixed, and go to the wires and cables. Connect the cables to the motherboard, with the help of which the HDD will communicate with it.

Depending on the type of HDD, they will differ — ATA (IDE) and SATA. The first is older, the second is new, but both types are still on sale.

An IDE hard drive is connected to the motherboard using a cable, which is distinguished by a large number of pins, pins, and therefore it is wide. The cable has a lock that prevents it from being connected incorrectly. Therefore, it is impossible to make a mistake. Connect the HDD and the motherboard using an IDE cable.

The SATA hard drive is connected using a narrow cable. It will be impossible to mix up the connection sockets on the motherboard, since SATA will only fit into the correct connector. Using a SATA cable, connect the HDD to the motherboard.

Connecting the Hard Drive to Power

IDE and SATA hard drives have different power cables. Most power supplies are equipped with connectors for one and the other type, or there are special adapters.

A 4-pin Peripheral Power Connector is used to connect IDE hard drives. SATA hard drives require a SATA Power Connector. In both cases, you can’t mix up the connections, so don’t worry about doing something wrong.

Differences between connecting IDE and SATA hard drives

It would seem that the connection procedure is the same, but in fact IDE is slightly different from SATA in that it requires setting the jumper position, the so-called jumper.

The motherboard is usually equipped with a pair of connectors for IDE devices, and two devices can be connected to each. Each pair can have one master and one slave device, and two cannot be the same. The hard drive must be in the master position if Windows is booted from it. The second device in the same connection branch must be a slave.

If all this is difficult to understand, then just put a jumper on master if your computer has only one hard drive.

You can find the jumper connection card on the hard disk case itself.

There are no such problems with SATA. The master and slave positions are set via the BIOS. When connecting a SATA hard drive, you will need to configure it as bootable if it has an operating system installed.

5 Things to Consider When Installing a SATA Hard Drive

Updated by Gavin Phillips 10/28/2017

Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives were introduced to replace IDE and Enhanced IDE (Parallel ATA) drives. SATA eliminates master-slave communication between parallel hard drives, with each drive connected to the motherboard using its own SATA adapter.

Along with a specific port, SATA offers significant improvements in data transfer speed. The original SATA specification transfers data at up to 150MB/s. The latest version of SATA 3.2 transfers data at speeds up to 1969 MB/s (1.969 GB/s). While the latter is not being used for consumer drives, the technology does end up filtering those products.

SSD sales have grown rapidly over the past five years, from about 39 million units in 2012 to about 190 million in 2017. If you’re ready to upgrade your drive to a faster, higher capacity model, there are a few things to consider.

1. Safety Instructions

Installing new equipment is not rocket science, but it can be intimidating. However, by following the steps below before installation, you won’t damage your hardware before you even start.

Ground yourself

Electrostatic shock can destroy your drive even when you take it out of its packaging. Electrostatic shock comes from the accumulation of static energy. It is transferred to the metal body of the drive and can fry vital components. Fortunately, most new equipment comes in an anti-static bag and should be accompanied by a handling warning. However, some modern components have built-in anti-shock technology that is 99% effective in preventing any equipment damage from unexpected static shock.

But just because your drive has shock protection, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about impacting other hardware components. The easiest way to protect your equipment is to ground yourself. Touch the metal leg of the table or your computer case (do this after discharging the motherboard by holding down the power button for a few seconds after shutdown ).

Also buy an anti-static wrist strap.

Shut Down

As just mentioned, after shutting down your system, you need to discharge the remaining charge. Turn off the power switch before you open the case and start fiddling with the equipment. You will find the switch at the back of your case. After turning off, hold down the power button for a few seconds to drain the remaining power.

2. Connectors

This article assumes you have a modern motherboard, for example no more IDE slots. IDE drives have not been used in consumer computers for some time. The vast majority of computers and motherboards sold in recent years will focus exclusively on SATA drives (with a few exceptions, of course). Let’s get familiar with the SATA connector and port.

Both HDDs and SSDs use SATA connectors, so there is nothing to distinguish between the two drive inputs. Your SATA cable will have two connectors. , like this:

Image Credit: timbrk / Depositphotos

The top connector is for data transfer and the second one is for drive. It is possible to buy a 22-pin SATA all-in-one cable that combines both connectors (but is less flexible).

The following ports will be available on your motherboard:

If you find that you don’t have a Serial ATA connector available, you can upgrade your motherboard with a SATA PCIe card Make sure your motherboard has a PCIe slot. A PCIe slot looks like this (this illustrates the x4, x1, and x16 slot options, as well as the standard gray PCI slot):

This is not the case when two SATA connectors are connected to one SATA connector via an adapter. It just doesn’t work that way. In these cases, a PCIe adapter is the best option to provide additional SATA slots immediately (after a motherboard or PC upgrade).

3. Cables

Your new hard drive or solid state drive probably came with at least its interface cable (the top cable in our sample image above). But your drive also needs power. This power typically comes in the form of a 4-pin Molex power connector with a SATA drive-specific connector. The figure below shows a 4-pin Molex SATA power cable:

The SATA hard drive is available with a variety of input connectors, allowing you to choose between a SATA power connector or a 4-pin Molex connector (numbered 1 and 3 respectively in the following figure). You can choose one, but not both at the same time!

A reader notes that you «should never use a Molex (4-pin) to SATA power adapter» because «most HDDs and SSDs require an orange 3. 3V wire to power the drive electronics.» This can cause drives to fail when spinning up or registering in the BIOS, Device Manager, or Disk Management of the computer. Thanks for the heads-up, Doc!

Consequently, some modern hard drives have done away with 4-pin Molex power inputs and now only offer a SATA power input.

SATA SSD only comes with SATA power connector and data cable, respectively 1. and 2. in the following figure:

The following video details the desktop installation process.

Changing the drive on your laptop is also a simple process. Since there are many makes and models of laptops, I would suggest going to YouTube and searching for «[installation and model of your laptop]».

5. Setting up your drive

Your existing installation may recognize the new drive if you simply add it for additional storage. But there is a chance it won’t. If you installed a drive and it didn’t recognize it, enter disk management in the search bar in the start menu. Choose the first option. We’ll use the Disk Management panel to spice up your new drive.

Your unallocated drive should be visible in a separate row. If it’s a brand new drive, it will show up as Unknown and Uninitialized . We initialize the disk before use using the following steps.

  1. Right-click the uninitialized drive and select Initialize disk.
  2. Select MBR (Master Boot Record) for a drive smaller than 2 TB and GPT (GUID Partition Table) for a drive larger than 2 TB.
  3. After initialization, right-click on the new Unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
  4. Select volume size . If you’re using the entire drive, leave the default selection. If you are planning more than one partition, allocate the volume size as you see fit. Press Next .
  5. Assign a drive letter, using the dropdown list. Your existing drives will not be listed. Press Next .
  6. Select a file system. It is recommended to use NTFS with Windows 10. Add volume label and make sure Run Quick Format not is marked . Press Next .
  7. Click Finish .

Windows 10 will quickly create a new partition and format the drive, ready to use. If you’re wondering why I unchecked the quick format option, here’s why: quick format doesn’t check the drive for errors or corruption format At this point, it’s preferable to detect any errors or corruption than when you’re trying to load data or install an operating system.

Customizing your BIOS

You may not need to make any changes to the BIOS of your PC or laptop. However, if your computer does not detect the new drive by default, some BIOS settings require tweaking. Because BIOS settings are not standardized, I can only offer vague recommendations here.

To start the BIOS, you must press a hardware key before the computer boots into Windows. The key is usually DEL, ESC, or F1, but varies by manufacturer. However, most systems display the correct button during the boot process before Windows starts loading. Also, refer to our BIOS entry guide. , including a list of commonly used manufacturer keys.

Once in the BIOS, be careful not to change any unfamiliar options. You may need to enable the «auto-detect new hardware» option, or specifically enable an unused SATA port on your motherboard. Check carefully that each cable is well seated in its port at each end, and that you don’t accidentally damage other cables during the process.

Ready to use

At this point, your new drive should be installed on your laptop or desktop computer. Following these steps is easy and guarantees (almost) nothing can go wrong. If you want to learn more about your system’s hardware, check out our detailed guide to each part of your PC.

When you’re done, don’t throw away your old disc. There are many ways to use this disc. even if he is dead.

What are the connectors on the motherboard, the names — a guide in 4 sections

The basis of any PC is the motherboard. All other internal elements are placed in it. Thanks to her, they function as a single organism. Knowing what each of the slots on the board is for, you can easily put components into it if they are out of order, you need a system upgrade, or you want to assemble a computer yourself.

Motherboard connectors

Motherboard is a platform with many slots for PC hardware. What they are and what the main ports are called — in this section.


This is the main element of the assembly, which is responsible for its performance. It is installed in a connector called a socket. The port is located almost in the center of the board. It looks like a large square with many holes or «legs».

The compatibility with the motherboard socket depends on the manufacturer and generation of the processor. This should be taken into account, otherwise it will simply not work to put a “stone” in the board. However, it is easy to find out if the components fit together: the names of the connectors are indicated in the characteristics of both devices.

To the topic: What is a motherboard in a computer and what does it affect: 5 explanatory sections

Hard drive

You can’t do without a drive to store user and system files. Classic hard drives, like most solid state drives, are connected with a SATA 3 cable to the appropriate port. However, among SSD drives, there are models that are inserted into a different slot on the motherboard. It’s called M2.

Note : In addition to storage, an optical drive can be connected to the SATA input.

Video card

A discrete video adapter is installed in most assemblies, because without it you will not be able to run cool games or professional programs for working with 3D graphics. In addition, there are processors where there is simply no integrated graphics core.

Connects the GPU to a slot called «PCI e x16» or «PCI express x16».

When choosing a card, remember: some discs occupy two slots.

The GPU socket is located at the bottom of the board. It happens that there are several of them in the motherboard. This allows multiple graphics adapters to be connected to the system in parallel to improve gaming performance.

Useful: Which motherboard to choose — 8 key criteria


These ports are located in two places:

  1. next to the RAM port;
  2. just above the socket is the main power connector.

The number of pins (contacts) on different models may vary: from 24 to 28.


Special sockets are allocated for RAM on the system board, the number of which on different models depends on how much RAM the motherboard supports. The slots are oblong and located just to the right of the CPU.

Advice : When choosing, it is worth considering what type of memory the «mother» is compatible with.

See also: How to find out the motherboard chipset — 3 ways

Cooling system

To maintain an optimal climate inside the case, fans are installed in it. In addition to the auxiliary fans, which are located in the front / rear and work for blowing / blowing, respectively, there is also a main cooling system. It’s called a CPU cooler.

Boxed versions of the CPU come with a fan. If you do not plan to overclock the processor in the future, then the basic option can be completely dispensed with. It is installed directly above the CPU.

There are special connectors on the board to power the cooling system. They differ in the number of contacts.

The CPU fan is just connected to the last four-pin input. Other ports are used to connect case cooling.


All devices, such as audio interfaces, TV tuners and other «minor» components, can be inserted into a standard PCI slot. The CMOS battery connector should also be included in this category.

Thanks to it, the BIOS settings, as well as the system time, are saved even if the computer is restarted or turned off.

Front panel of the system unit

There are inputs where peripheral devices are connected. Their number depends on the board model:

  • USB;
  • headphone input;
  • microphone output.

It’s easy to connect everything correctly: the ports are signed.

Also on the front of the system unit there are on / off buttons — Power switch, restart — Reset switch, and LED indicators: Power Led — power, HDD Led — loading the hard drive. An area with contacts is allocated for their connection. There is no single standard here, because their appearance and location on each motherboard may differ.

Rear panel of the system unit

There are a large number of connectors, and some of them are the same as on the front. The port connections are the same. The only difference is that, as a rule, there are more of them on the back than on the front.

USB ports

Used for additional devices that do not need to be constantly disconnected: Wi-Fi adapter, video capture cards, speakers, MFP and other equipment.

COM port

In the past it was used to connect printers. But on modern boards, the connector is extremely rare, because it is already outdated: most modern technology is synchronized with a computer via USB.

Network and Internet

«Ethernet», which is also called «RJ 45», is a one-of-a-kind port and is therefore difficult to confuse with others. The slot has small, almost invisible windows. They show if the network is working.

Useful: Compatibility of the processor and motherboard — how to choose components: a guide in 3 sections The second one is the most requested. It is able to provide the best picture quality. The third one is still used, but is no longer relevant.


Most often there are 3-6 inputs for connecting acoustics and a microphone.

Laptop connectors

For the most part, the ports on desktop and laptop motherboards are the same, but there are still interfaces that are not in stationary PCs. There are only two of them:

1. PCMCIA — ExpressCard — a narrow slot that is covered by a flap. An expansion card is placed in it, where there may be additional ports. You can, for example, use it to create a USB hub.

2. Kensington Lock — protects the laptop from thieves. A special wire equipped with a lock is inserted into the connector and tied to any object by analogy with bicycle anti-theft locks.

Note : Kensington lock is also available in some desktop versions, but less often than in laptops.

Instructions: Installing the processor on the motherboard: 3 steps

Knowing what kind of slots there are on motherboards, it becomes easier to choose the right device. Also, this information is useful when you need to correctly connect all the components during assembly, do-it-yourself PC upgrade.

How to install multiple hard drives in a computer

Not all PC users purchase a device for productive video games, video rendering or processing 3D models. Quite a lot of people use PCs exclusively for watching videos, storing photos and surfing the Internet.

For such users, the main parameter in the computer will be the amount of internal memory. The more disk space, the more data you can store, which is especially true if you watch videos in 1080p resolution and listen to uncompressed music. Thus, the average size of a movie can be about 20 gigabytes, and the size of one music file, at least 15 megabytes. What can we say about video games that can reach 60 gigabytes uninstalled and more than 100 installed.

  • What options should the motherboard support?
  • Hard disk selection
  • Installing hard drives
  • More on the topic:

A modern computer simply must have at least one terabyte of memory, otherwise, a person will constantly experience inconvenience associated with a lack of memory. Let’s see how to install multiple hard drives in a computer.

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What parameters should the motherboard support

Of course, no one will buy a new motherboard (MP) for the sake of a hard drive, however, if the MP is significantly outdated, then you still have to change it.

Previously, hard drives were connected to the MP using the so-called IDE connector.

It’s quite easy to distinguish an IDE connector from a modern SATA one. The outdated connector is connected using a loop of many wires, while 2 thin wires are connected to the SATA connector, one for power and the other for data transfer. If the motherboard does not have a SATA connector, the person will have to replace the motherboard.

When purchasing a motherboard, the buyer should pay attention to the availability of SATA 3 standard and the number of SATA connectors. In addition, a person should pay attention to ensure that the power supply has enough connectors to power the SATA components.

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Choosing a hard drive

Depending on how many SATA connectors are on the motherboard, a person can purchase so many hard drives. There are motherboards with 12 slots for connecting hard drives, but for such a computer, you will have to purchase the appropriate power supply. Firstly, it must have enough power connectors, and secondly, the power supply must have enough power to run so many components.

If the computer motherboard supports only SATA 2 type, then the SATA 3 hard drive connected to this interface will operate at a slightly lower speed, limited by the SATA 2 data transfer rate.

if the MP is limited to 2 — 3 SATA connectors. However, if the buyer is not limited in funds, he can purchase the maximum capacity hard drive available on the market. Although, of course, it is better not to store all the data on one drive.

As a manufacturer, it is best to purchase hard drives from well-known companies such as Toshiba, WD, and Seagate.

When the computer is running, it makes quite audible noise from the cooling fans and the hard drive. The hard drive is especially noisy when reading or writing. Naturally, the more hard drives, the stronger the noise emitted by the computer. Less noisy hard drives with a lower rotation speed of 5400 — 5700 rpm. Unfortunately, the reduced rotation speed negatively affects the overall speed. In addition, if the computer is assembled to order or independently, then you should choose a high-quality case with anti-resonant properties. In order to completely get rid of noise, it is necessary to purchase SSD drives, but their cost is much higher than the cost of classic drives with a lower capacity.

A 250 GB SSD hard drive will cost the same as a 1 TB hard drive, but its data transfer speed is many times higher than ordinary hard drives. The material “What is a kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte” explains about the units of measurement of information.

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Installing hard drives

Before installing a new component, you must turn off the computer and remove both covers of the system unit. You can access the motherboard from the left side of the case. In front of the case are several compartments «pockets» in which hard drives are installed. The number of «pockets» depends on the form factor of the case. A standard form factor ATX case has an average of about four hard drive bays.

Placed in the hard drive bay, it is fixed with bolts on both sides of the system unit. Usually, the bolts come with the hard drive.

A securely fixed hard drive makes significantly less noise. In addition, the hard disk has a movable mechanism, due to which, a poorly fixed part, due to constant vibrations, may be damaged.

After installing the hard drive in the case, it must be connected to the motherboard and power. Both connectors are similar, but it is simply impossible to connect power to the data connector.

Thus, a special SATA cable is connected to the hard drive, the other end of which is connected to the motherboard.

Wires for hard drive power, connected directly from the power supply.