Introduction to SATA
Seagate UK kindly have supplied us with one of their new Serial ATA hard drives. We take a look at the new SATA format and attempt to determine what the new format means in real life. Will SATA produce any real improvement in performance?
Before we begin looking at the physical drive it is worth reading a little about the SATA format. The following extract from Seagate's web site provides us with an insight into the serial ATA standard and more importantly it's expected development path.
About the Serial ATA (SATA) format
Most desktop storage systems today use a parallel bus interface referred to as Ultra ATA/100. The parallel ATA interface has been in use on desktop systems as the mainstream internal storage inter-connect, since the 1980\'s (over 15 years!). Today\'s PCs demand higher speeds, more robust data integrity and flexibility for innovative smaller designs. Physically and electrically, the current parallel bus has run into limitations that will prevent this bus from providing higher speeds of data transfers. The move to a new technology is inevitable in the eyes of industry leaders such as Intel, Dell, Seagate, Maxtor and APT.
These same leaders formed the SerialATA.org and are highly dedicated to bringing this new technology to the forefront of today\'s PCs. Serial ATA is designed to overcome the limitations of parallel ATA while providing scalability for years to come. Setting the goal to be compatible and at cost parity with current parallel ATA drives when in volume, the SerialATA organization is promoting the adoption of Serial ATA in all systems where ATA drives are being used today.