What Cable do I need for SSD?

Cables are necessary for your solid-state drive, if you need to know what cables are right for your SSD keep reading.

SSDs have always been easier to use than traditional hard drives. However, they’re still more complicated than the average person would like them to be. For instance, you must know which type of cable or connector will work with your SSD.

There are two distinct interfaces available for storage devices: SATA and PATA (also known as IDE). SATA is the modern interface, which has replaced PATA in new systems. Both SATA and PATA storage devices will work with PCs, but they require different cables to connect to the motherboard. Most consumer-grade solid-state drives are designed for SATA.

SATA Connectors

SATA connectors were introduced by the Serial ATA International Organization, a collaboration between major computer and electronics companies to introduce a new standard of high-speed data storage. Prior to SATA, IDE was the interface used for most PATA storage devices. There are several types of SATA cables available, which provide varying levels of data transfer speeds.

Solid-state drives are not backward compatible with different types of SATA cables. You should always use the proper cable for your SSD to ensure data integrity and maximum throughput. There are several factors that affect the speed of a SATA link, including cabling, interface type, device driver support, and hardware configuration. The user will see the best performance when the SSD hardware is configured to take advantage of SATA 6 Gbit/s.

SATA-III interface

Today most new generation SSD use the SATA-III interface for data transfer, which has six gigabit per second lanes that are backward compatible with earlier generation SATA standards. It provides a throughput two times faster than the older SATA standard.

The older versions of SATA available today include SATA I (1.5 Gbps Data Transfer Rate), SATA II (3 Gbps Data Transfer Rate) and the latest one is Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The NCQ feature of SATA III solid state drives enables the SSDs to handle multiple requests at once with command queuing features in order to speed up the I/O process.

  • Besides this, you will find three different types of SATA cables:
  • Standard SATA cable with no special features.
  • A single connector version for devices such as optical drives and mini computers.
  • Provides up to 3 Gbit/s throughput in each direction simultaneously. This is backward compatible with the older version of SATA-I and SATA-II.
  • Provides up to 6 Gbit/s throughput in each direction simultaneously. This is backward compatible with SATA-III interface.

SATA HDD data transfer through the standard cable without a specific feature,

If you have a large number of PATA devices in your computer system, then switch to SATA drives is easy. You can use an adapter or a converter to change the connection of your PATA drive over to SATA. This moves all of your existing data from the old hard drive over to the new one.

For transferring older IDE devices that contain important data, you may wish to consider using a docking station or a special cable with a converter for connecting to your SATA drive. This connects the storage device through a special cable, which is then connected to the computer’s power supply via a secondary cable.

The SATA-III standard comes with more favorable transfer rates and bandwidths of up to 6 Gbit/s per second [300 MB/s]. It surpasses all earlier standards with its improvements.

Also, the SATA-III standard supports more advanced power management (PM) features which allow for reduced power consumption and new methods of managing performance levels. It is backward compatible with SATA II devices and controllers by supporting legacy NCQ commands. The SATA-III specification also includes mandatory support for the now obsolete Native Command Queuing (NCQ).


Not all SSDs or SATA cables support 3 Gbit/s transfer speeds. You should check the user manual of the computer to see if it supports this feature, as not all operating systems support 3 Gbit/s transfers.