PCs can generally perform a wide range of tasks for their users. It includes creating presentations, preparing documents, and even engaging in leisure activities like watching movies and listening to music.
The SATA motherboard connector connects the hardware, including SSDs, HDDs, and CD drives. You can think of it as an interface that enables you to connect your computer’s hard disc. SATA ports typically come in various types, each of which is an improved version of the previous one. SATA 2.0 has a transfer speed of 3Gbps, and SATA 3.0, the most recent version, has a transfer speed of 6Gbps, or 750mb/s.
It usually depends on how many storage devices you want to connect to your PC and how many SATA ports you need. It would be sufficient to have two SATA ports, but if you want to connect more hard drives, you’ll need additional SATA ports. Let me guide you on, what does a SATA port look like? Continue reading!
What is the Use of SATA Ports?
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment is known as SATA. It enables you to attach devices to your motherboards, such as hard drives and DVD ROMs. They are built of smaller, better cables and connectors than PATA, enabling you to have a faster computer. Hard drives can plug into and out of SATA ports without turning your computer off.
You may use it to connect your external hard drives to the motherboard in a highly effective and robust manner. What does a SATA port look like? A SATA port hard drive on your computer is easily identifiable since it has a unique L-shaped seven-pin connector. Its compact port ranges between 1.5 and 0.4 cm in size. You may have observed that other ports vary in color. But SATA ports often have the same color even though they are the same in colors but belong to different categories.
I hope you have a clear mind about what does a SATA port look like? Let’s proceed further. All SATA connector versions are similar, and there are no physical distinctions. But the transfer speeds are different: The most recent SATA interface is SATA 3, and various types exist. The transfer speed increases by a factor of two with each next version/type.
- The first version of the SATA interface operating at 1.5 Gb/s is called SATA I interface. The maximum throughput speed for SATA 1 is 1.5 Gbps or 187.5 MB/s.
- The SATA II interface is a second-generation SATA interface that operates at 3.0 Gb/s. The interface has a throughput of up to 300MB/s for bandwidth.
- SATA 3 interface running at 6.0Gb/s is the SATA III interface. The maximum throughput speed for SATA 3 is 6.0 Gbps or 750 MB/s.
The SATA specification supports both backward and forward compatibility. It implies that all motherboards that support SATA will function with all SATA devices. The hardware will scale back to the fastest generally supported standard and run at that speed.
A SATA III hard drive will operate at SATA II speed when attached to a motherboard that supports SATA II. SATA III devices linked to SATA I hard drives will run on SATA I speed.
Most SATA port SSDs must work with the SATA 3 interface. These SATA SSDs can operate at roughly 550 MB/s when attached to a SATA 3 connector. However, a 3rd Gen SATA SSD can connect to a SATA 2 or even SATA 1 port because SATA SSDs are backward compatible.
Now let’s examine the most general SATA plug motherboard Types.
1) SATA (Data)
SATA-type data cables are frequently distinguished by being relatively flat and tolerating significant twisting. Although some cables feature connectors at a 90-degree angle, you can still discover cables with straight connectors at both points. To connect to storage or optical discs, use these connectors.
2) SATA (Power)
All storage devices and optical drives require power, and SATA power cables are available. The power cables include one to four power connectors, allowing them to control several devices from a single cable.
Multiple wires designed to power SATA discs are often present on modern power supplies. Specialized adapters turn this one into other connectors in case you need more. Both the MOLEX and 6-pin PCIe to SATA adapters are available.
3) SATA Low Profile
Special connector made for tiny systems with little available space. This cable has relatively small cables and builds around a primary connector. They also lack the plastic covering on regular SATA connectors and rely solely on one or two fragile cables.
4) SATA IDE Adaptor
This adapter is suitable to work with IDE-type hard drives found on contemporary motherboards. It can also use to recover data from an IDE drive.
5) Micro-SATA (mSATA)
The power and data connectors mix with one connector, which is how it is distinguished. Embedded systems with small form factors and laptop computers frequently use this cable. These cables are also employed in hot-swap systems, enabling hard drives’ rapid removal.
Special cables link external storage units with more robust connectors and durable systems. These are not in use because the USB 3.0 port provides faster transmission rates.
Long 7-pin cables exist in SATA. Both ends are thin and flat, and one is frequently angled at a 90-degree angle to aid with wire management. The curved end of the cable can be plugged into the back of a storage device like a SATA hard drive, while the other end (often the SATA end) plugs into a socket on the motherboard.
How Many SATA Ports Do I Have?
After knowing what does a SATA port look like? Knowing how many SATA ports your computer has can help you determine what you can achieve with them. A typical motherboard has four to eight SATA connections. However, the precise figure depends on the motherboard’s size and the type of chipset it employs. Let’s look at how to check SATA ports on motherboard?
1) Count Manually
The first method that comes to mind when determining the number of SATA ports is to open the computer case, find the SATA ports, and manually count them. Remember that you must turn off the computer and unplug it from all power sources before you may open the casing.
- If you remove the complete motherboard, take the necessary safety measures.
- Once the board removes, use the preceding instructions to identify the SATA ports correctly.
- Depending on the generation or the type of board, these ports typically appear in various colors.
- They are easy to recognize because they have labels underneath them as well.
2) Visit the Manufacturer’s Website.
Knowing the name and number of the board’s model makes finding information about your SATA ports relatively simple.
- Find the manufacturer’s website and perform a model search.
- This page provides a thorough overview of the board, including information on its many ports. Additionally, there is information about each port’s location and operations.
- ASUS, HP, and Gigabyte produce the most modern motherboards.
- These businesses have motherboard-specific sections on their websites where you can download the newest software and learn about upgrades.
- You can consult the motherboard’s user manual if the packing is still around.
- On Windows 10, click the Windows icon to open the search bar and enter the motherboard model.
- Enter system information into the box.
- Find the System Model row once the information window opens.
- To determine your motherboard model, run Command Prompt on Windows and type the command “wmic baseboard get the product, Manufacturer.”
3) Use Tools from Third Parties
Some third-party tools can read your device’s state and inform you of the status of the SATA slots on your motherboard. This strategy benefits if you have a laptop, don’t have to open your case by hand, or can’t locate the solution by Googling the board model. One drawback of these programs is that they provide scant information about your machine’s hardware.
However, various free applications still offer helpful information regarding your driving state and speed (e.g., HWiNFO or CPU-z). The issue with these tools is that they frequently have cluttered user interfaces and are frightening to the typical user.
4) Know Through the BIOS
The processor program that starts your PC when you turn it on is called the BIOS, or Basic Input/ Output System. How can you access the BIOS of your device now? According to the manufacturer, obviously. Users can access the BIOS by using one of the many hotkeys various manufacturers offer.
- Press the key after searching your computer.
- Find the SATA port information under the drive area once you’re on the BIOS screen.
- The SATA information must be present there.
5) Consult a Professional
Ask a professional you know if they can answer your query. Professionals readily identify the SATA ports and can tell you how many you have, so you may either bring your computer to them or just submit a picture of your motherboard. If you don’t know anyone, you can email images of your computer to technicians for advice online on question-and-answer forums.
The motherboard’s lower right side is where the SATA ports exist.
The data cable is skinny, like a ribbon, with identical 7-pin connectors on both ends and a recognizable L-shaped key in the center.
The SATA power cable originates from the Power Supply Unit and has a larger 15-pin connector.