SATA vs. regular ATA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DrRock, May 6, 2006.

  1. DrRock macrumors regular

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    #1
    I want to add a HD to my G5, and I found a Seagate 400GB 7200 rpm Ultra ATA drive for $159. They also have the SATA version for $90 more. Is it worth it? My understanding is that transfer rates will be quicker with SATA, and it's somewhat easier to install, but are there any other advantages that would sway me?
     
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #2
    a g5 won't take an ATA drive internally. you'll need SATA. $159 is a damn good deal for that ATA drive though, so you might consider getting that + an firewire enclosure and just using it externally.
     
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #3
    SATA and ATA are not compatible. They are two different technologies.
     
  4. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

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    #4
    What kind of G5 do you have?

    In order to use an SATA drive, your computer will need an SATA controller. Also, you cannot use a regular ATA drive with an SATA controller. (There are adapter kits available, but they are kind of silly in most cases.)

    You might notice a slight increase in performance with an SATA drive, but you might not.
     
  5. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    ^

    Oh, so I CAN'T use ATA with my setup. Ok, that helps. I have a dual 2.3 processor with 512 ram (I will be getting more), 1.15 ghz bus speed, the stock maxtor 250 gig drive that comes from apple.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    Ummm.. theres no kind of G5 that uses Parallel ATA hard drives, every G5 has a SATA controller, so that point is moot.
     
  7. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #7
    every g5 does have an ATA controller, however it's connected to the optical drive, theoretically you should be able to use a standard ATA cable to it and run it to the HD and the optical drive.
     
  8. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

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    #8
    Ummm, you can always plug an ATA controller card into a PowerMac G5.
     
  9. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #9
    I belive there are simple adapters aren't there?

    Thats what Sonnet claims on it's web site for it's Tempo SATA card.
     
  10. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #10
    I think there are adapters. But someone who orders an ATA drive for a Power Mac G5 might be pretty pissed when the drive doesn't work because they don't have an adapter. They surely wouldn't call ATA and SATA compatible.

    Maybe I should have said they aren't naturally compatible? Or they aren't compatible right out of the box? Either way, IMO it would be foolish to purchase an ATA drive for a Power Mac G5.
     
  11. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #11
    "SATA is backwards compatible with ATA using adapters."

    Agreed. I'm even considering SATA for my 8600 running Mac OS 7. ATA is so 1983.
     
  12. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #12
    Yes, you already said that. But is "compatible" and "compatible using adapters" the same thing? Sorry to sound like I'm splitting hairs, but this is important for to know for people purchasing hard drives.

    Example using USB and Firewire:

    To me, USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 are compatible. Transfer speeds may be slowed down, but you can always plug in one to the other and it will work.

    To me, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 are compatible with adapters. Yes, they can work together but you need extra hardware.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #13
    Yes, because there are only two options; "compatible" and "incompatible." Incompatible means there is no way to use different technologies together. PC100 chips are incompatible with PC3200 slots. Compatible means you can use them somehow. ATA devices are compatible with SATA systems (by use of adapters). There are not degrees of compatibility. There are no PC100 adapters for PC3200 motherboards. It either is or it isn't.
     
  14. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #14
    I'll have to disagree when it comes to people making decisions of what to purchase. If someone with a PM G5 purchases a ATA hard drive (and no adapter) because it was cheaper and you said it was compatible, you'll have a guy really pissed at you.
     
  15. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #15

    Hence the "with an adapter" addendum. You can't say they're incompatible, because that would indicate there is no possible way to use them, which appears to be false. Any intelligent salesperson would mention that it needs an adapter, and would also probably "recommend" that they get a SATA drive instead. Any stupid salesman would probably say it isn't compatible in the first place.

    EDIT: Only a complete jerk salesperson would say "yeah its compatible" and not mention the with adapters part.
     
  16. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #16
    I changed my wording after my first post and I have not said they are incompatible since. I'm saying that they are not compatible right out of the box. They are only compatible with an adapter. I actually think the correct term is that they are software-compatible (because you don't need extra software or drivers to get them to work), but they are not hardware-compatible because the hardware does work together without an adapter.

    Note: I'm not saying that what you are saying is wrong. This post is in the buying section of the forums. People use these posts to attempt to make informed buying decisions because they don't want to deal with stupid salespeople. It has to be perfectly clear to people that you can't just plug in an ATA hard drive to Power Mac G5 and expect it to work.
     
  17. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #17
    Well I think we all already agreed that this person should buy a SATA drive anyway. I have nothing further to say about this.
     
  18. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #18
    The nice thing about the web is that this thread will be up for a long time. Even future readers should get a clear understanding about the situation.
     
  19. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #19
    Heh you want to edit your quote of me to reflect the edit that I made to my post? I thought "the end" sounded too harsh.
     
  20. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #20
    LOL. "The End" was not too harsh. We are both just trying to make sure people get all relevant information, and I think we did a good job. The info may be meshed up over a bunch of posts, but it is certainly there.
     
  21. Bobino macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Sata & Ata

    A Powermac G5 can natively support two SATA drives on its own internal bus. Installation is extremely easy. The current price of a 400GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3400633AS 400GB 7200 RPM (16MB Cache) drive is $204.99 at Newegg.com. Newegg's prices change frequently so check there a couple of times.
     
  22. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #22
    It's almost as if you read nothing but the title of the thread(???).
     
  23. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #23
    I was wondering about that, since I haven't seen any SATA opticals yet. Good to know; and yes, I would highly doubt that the onboard ATA driver wouldn't be able to handle a master/slave setup on that line...

    Another valid point. They are pretty cheap, too (ones that aren't capable of RAID can cost around $30).
     
  24. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #24
    They are not to common and they are on the expensive side, but they do exist.
     
  25. Bobino macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Thanks for your kind and helpful commentary.:)
     

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