Many PC users get confused about how many SATA cables they need while building or repairing their PC. If you are one of them who is searching for the answer to the same question then you are just in the right place.
Basically, SATA cables come with the motherboard of a PC. You cannot tell exactly how many SATA cables you need because it depends on several things such as the drives, motherboard, and power supply of the PC.
We have discussed in detail about SATA cables that you are going to need to set up your PC in this article. So, let’s go in-depth to explore how many SATA cables you should buy.
How Many Types of SATA Cables Exists?
SATA cables are normally used as a set of a data cable and a power cable.
For example, the hard disk of your PC needs to be connected to your motherboard using the data cable so that you can interact with the device. On the other side, the hard disk also needs to be connected to the power supply unit using the power cable to keep it turned on.
So, there are two types of SATA cables on the market:
1. SATA Data Cable
2-3 SATA data cables come with the motherboard. But if you need more data cables, then you can buy those from the market.
2. SATA Power Cable
SATA power cables come with the Power Supply Unit (PSU) of a PC. One end of a SATA power cable is often connected with the PSU and the other end connects to the other drives. It has a long connector with fifteen pins.
Each SATA drive requires a particular power plug. But this doesn’t mean you need as many cables as you have SATA drives. There is also a SATA power splitter that has a split end. That means you can connect multiple drives with a single SATA power cable.
How Many SATA Cables Do I Need – Total Number of SATA Cables You Need
Generally, a modern PC contains one DVD ROM and one Hard Disk. If you have these two drives, then it is essential to have two sets of SATA cables. Each set contains one SATA data cable and one SATA power cable. It means, you need two SATA data cables and two SATA power cables for these two drives.
However, if your computer has more than two drives similar to the mentioned drives, then you need to get more additional SATA cables. So, it depends on you how many SATA cables you need to connect the drives.
In the simplest term, how many SATA cables you need depends upon how many drives you have. But generally, a motherboard has only 6 SATA ports so you cannot add more than 6 SATA drives to your computer. So, you need less than 6 SATA cables in simple math. However, the number of SATA ports can be increased based on the size of the motherboard.
Now, let’s see which drives are required SATA cables to connect to the PC.
What Types of Drives Require SATA Cables?
There are three types of drives in general that require SATA cables:
1. Optical Drives (CD/DVD Drives)
All the optical drives such as CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray drives require SATA data and SATA power cable.
2. Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
All the SATA hard disks are required SATA data and SATA power cables.
3. SATA Solid State Drive (SSD)
All the SATA SSDs required SATA power and SATA data cable.
We hope that now you’ve understood that you need SATA cables as many as you have these types of drives installed on your motherboard.
Bonus Tip: How to Add More SATA Ports to Your PC
As we already have told you that a motherboard contains a maximum of 6 SATA ports so you can use only 6 SATA drives on your PC. But what if you need to use more than 6 drives?
Well, don’t worry we have some solutions to this problem also. You can choose the following options to use more than 6 SATA drives on your computer:
- SATA PCle Cards
- SATA Hub Port Multiplier
- SAS SATA Expansion Card
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many SATA Cables Do I Need for SSD?
Each SATA drive requires two SATA cables. One is the SATA power cable which is connected to the power supply unit and your drive. The other one is the SATA data cable which connects the drive to the motherboard.
So, you also need these two types of SATA cables for your SATA SSD. However, the NVMe (Nonvolatile Memory Express) SSDs have M.2 slot. So, it doesn’t need any SATA cable to connect to the motherboard. You are suggested to check first whether your SSD is SATA or PCle NVMe.
What Is the Function of SATA Cables?
SATA cables are essential to run the drives that allow SATA. There are two types of SATA cables and both do a different job in their sector. The SATA data cable provides a high-speed connection to the computer and transfers information. While the SATA power cable gives the necessary electricity for the drive to run properly in the first place.
What Is the Best SATA Cable for SSD?
We would recommend you use the SATA-3 cable for your SSD. But you can also use SATA-2 or SATA-1 cable for your SSD. It will work but the speed of your SSD will be reduced. On the other hand, the SATA-3 cable will allow you to experience the maximum speed of your SSD. It can give you up to 6 GB/s speed whereas SATA-2 will give you 3 GB/s which is almost half of the speed.
How Many SATA Hard Drives Can I Use on My PC?
Typically, there are six SATA slots are contained in a PC. If two of them are reserved for Optical Drives such as CD drives or DVD drives and SSD then you can use 4 Hard drives on your PC. But if you don’t want to use any DVD writer or SSD on your computer, then you can use 6 hard disks using the SATA port.
However, you can add more hard drives if you add more SATA ports to your motherboard.
How Many SATA Data Cable and Power Cable Do I Need?
How many SATA cables you need actually depends on the number of SATA drives you are using. You need a separate SATA data cable for each of the drives. On the other side, you don’t need a separate SATA power cable for each of the SATA drives. You can use one SATA power cable and a power splitter to connect all the drives in parallel. But you can’t connect multiple drives with a single SATA data cable.
We hope you have got the answer to how many SATA cables are required for you from this article. It completely depends on the drives you are using on your computer.
But in general, you can use a maximum of 6 drives as your motherboard has 6 SATA ports. In that case, you need 6 SATA data cables and one power cable with a SATA splitter.
SATA cable comes with the new motherboard. But you can buy an extra cable at a cheap price from the market.
If you have any further queries or suggestions, please feel free to share them with us in the comment section.