SATA (Serial ATA) and IDE Hard Drive Connectors
SATA vs. IDE (aka ATA or PATA)
There have been various connectors for hard drives developed over the years. The two you are probably most familiar with are IDE (ATA) and SATA. But first, lets take a quick look at the history of these connectors.
IDE's main innovation that seperated it from past disk was that it integrated the HDD controller, and the Hard Drive Disk itself, and this helped to standardize the IDE connector for different brands of hard disks. The integration also made hard drives less complex. The combination of standardizing the interface and simplifying the structure allowed many different manufacturers to begin making hard drives, driving the cost of hard drives down. This in turn made PCs less expensive for everyone as well, starting a new age where typically you'll see a PC of some kind in almost every home.
IDE's shortcomings and the birth of SATA (or Serial ATA)
IDE was a landmark innovation, but it could still be improved. IDE's name changed briefly to ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) and then again to PATA (the P standing for Parallel). Parallel connections, as opposed to Serial connections are slower, mainly because its architecture does not support multi-tasking very well when transferring data. They changed the connection to support serial connections which does support multiple transfers simultaneously (up and down).
Today, SATA is the most common type of HDD found in new computers. It can acheive screaming speeds up to 6 Gbit/s
Converting SATA to IDE
Although SATA and IDE connections are very different, you can still use IDE devices with SATA devices if you have the right adapter. Perhaps the best converter for this is this SATA to IDE adapter. If you are trying to get both of your SATA and/or IDE drives to work on your computer, we'd recommend theUSB to SATA and IDE, which features simultaneous transfer.