need a lesson on ATA terminology


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
trying to pick out my new drive here...

my interface options are ata-6 and serial ata150. some say "warning: sata interface only"

no idea what that means. i have a 12" 1ghz g4....

After G

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2003
ATA-6 for you. SATA is a different connector.

And usually higher model numbers are better, barring faulty manufacturing or vendor stupidity.


Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
Basically, there are two types of hard drive connectors, ATA (or PATA) and SATA. ATA is used in the iBooks and PowerBooks, while SATA is used in the MacBooks and MacBook Pros. So you'll be looking for an ATA drive.

Seagate's new 5400.3 line utilizes their new perpendicular recording technology for higher densities, enabling them to reach 160 GB (and higher as the technology continues to progress). But if you're not looking to go up to the full 160 GB level, I'm not sure what other benefits the 5400.3 drives have over the standard 5400.2 drives at lower capacities.


macrumors 68000
May 26, 2006
Gainesville, FL
We have three groups here to think about in terms of existing HD technology:

Parallel ATA
Serial ATA

SCSI was old, but has seen a resurgence of late, with SCSI Ultra320 and Ultra 640, plus SAS (serially attached SCSI) moving into ultra high end markets. SAS is included in the new XServes.

Parallel ATA encompasses "Plain ATA" (ATA 100, 133), which is also known as IDE/EIDE, basically. Transfer speeds topping out more or less at 133MB/s Generally still known as IDE, PATA was applied retroactively after the introduction of....

Serial ATA, or SATA. The current standard. Uses a serial transfer interface. Smaller cables than IDE, and faster transfer speeds. SATA150 is 1.5Gb/s (150MB/s) transfer, SATA 300/SATA 3Gbps transfers at up to twice the speed of SATA 150 in theory.
SATA 3Gbps is often incorrectly referred to as SATA II despite the SATA organization officially requesting that it not be.
SATA 3Gb/s is backwards compatible to SATA 150.

A variant of the SATA interface is eSATA, or external SATA. Special shielded connectors for outside the case connections.

SATA is developing a 6Gb/s standard at this time as well.

All this is fine and dandy, but which one do you need to worry about?

Well, according to your specs, you have the Powerbook G4 12" (DVI) 1.0GHz Sept. 2003-April 2004.
That computer shipped with an Ultra ATA/100 (ATA-6) connection, so anything in This NewEgg link should work.