External Hard Drive - IDE or SATA

  Sara K 17:35 12 Jan 09

I'm sure there have already been queries about this.

I want to buy a new external drive. Do I need to bother if it is IDE or SATA? Does this make any difference to me in using the drive?


  MAT ALAN 17:40 12 Jan 09

Hard drives are available in two basic flavors: SATA (serial advanced technology attachment) and IDE (integrated drive electronics). IDE drives use a 40-pin connection (look for the wide, flat cable). They are the more common drive format and tend to be cheaper. In the past few years, drives using a faster, simpler SATA connection have come to market. SATA drives tend toward higher capacities and transfer data at six times the speed of IDE drives.

Remember that data transfer is only as fast as the slowest connection, so the higher speed of a SATA drive is wasted if the data is handed off to a USB 2.0 cable that moves bits at one-sixth the speed.

  Sara K 17:54 12 Jan 09

I was thinking about a Buffalo Drivestation 1TB drive. This is described as SATA but says 2.0 USB also.

Does this mean I may be able to connect it in another way and get a faster connection?

  MCE2K5 18:07 12 Jan 09

"Buffalo Drivestation 1TB drive" Nice choice, Very fast.

SATA is the drive typy conection inside the box, USB 2.0 is how the drive is conected to your Laptop or Desktop PC.

I've got 2 500gig Drivestations and they are a lot quicker than standard USB2 drives.

There is also Software on the Drive to make it go even faster, Not needed to use it yet as they are blindingly quick drives anyway.

  Sara K 11:06 13 Jan 09

Thanks for this help. Very useful information.

I think I will go for the Buffalo drive.

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