While building their first PC, many beginners are confused about how to install SSDs into their system and what SATA cables they require to install SSDs in their systems.
SATA interfaces have three revisions- SATA 1, SATA 2, and SATA 3. All these revisions are backward & forward-compatible. But, using different revisions will give you speed differences.
So, Can You Use Any SATA Cables For SSDs?
Usually, SATA (2.5″) SSDs need two SATA cables: a SATA data cable and a SATA power cable. You can use any SATA data cable for installing the SATA SSDs because the data cables have no impact on the speed.
The speed will be impacted if you use a SATA 1 or SATA 2 port on your motherboard & connect that with SATA 3 SSD; in this scenario, you will get the speed of SATA 1(1.5Gb/s) & SATA 2(3Gb/s), not SATA 3(6Gb/s).
Another thing you have to know is that all SSDs don’t need SATA cables; only 2.5-inch form factor SATA SSDs need SATA cables.
All SSDs Don’t Need SATA Cables
There are different types of SSDs available on the market, such as the SATA 2.5-inch SSDs, M.2 SATA SSDs, mSATA SSDs, and M.2 NVMe SSDs.
Among all the SSDs mentioned above, only the SATA 2.5-inch SSDs require SATA cables. The other SSDs directly attached to the motherboard’s m.2 slots and don’t require the cables. You might be wondering how these SSDs take power without cables; actually, these SSDs take power directly from the motherboard sockets.
Modern motherboards come with at least one M.2 slot, but if you are running such an old motherboard or buy such a cheap one, then there won’t be any M.2 slots.
In such a situation, if you want to install any SSDs to your system, that would be the SATA 2.5-inch SSD.
What SATA Cables are Needed For SATA SSDs?
There are 2 SATA cables; one is a SATA data cable, and another one is a SATA power cable; both cables are required to install SATA 2.5-inch SSDs in your systems.
SATA Data Cable
The SATA data cable has seven pins on it, and these cables are used to transfer the data. The SATA data cables usually come with your motherboard. If you don’t have any SATA cables left, then you can buy the SATA data cables separately.
You need to connect one end to the motherboard SATA port and another end to the SSDs 7 pins connector.
SATA Power Cable
Besides the SATA data cable, you also need to plug the SATA power cable from your Power Supply to provide the required power to the SSD.
The SATA power cable coming from the Power Supply has 15 pins on it, and you have to connect this to your SSDs 15-pin connector located just aside the 7-pin connector.
Usually, a standard Power Supply comes with at least 3 to 4 SATA power connectors, so you can comfortably connect two hard disks and 1 SSD to your system.
However, if you are using such an old PSU and don’t have any power connectors left, then you can use SATA power splitter cables or Molex to SATA cables. Read this article to learn how to Add more SATA power cables.
Can You Connect SSD to SATA 3 Port?
Yes! You can connect any SATA 2.5-inch SSD to your motherboard SATA 3 port via a SATA data cable. In modern times, most SATA SSDs belong to SATA 3 (6GB/s) compatibility.
But motherboards have all the ports SATA 1, SATA 2, and SATA 3. So, if you connect different SATA SSD to different SATA ports, then you won’t get the 6GB/s speed.
Let’s understand this- If you are using a SATA 6gb/s SSD to a SATA 2 port, then you will only get the 3gb/s speed. Similarly, if you are using a SATA 3gb/s SSD to a SATA 3 port, you will also get the speed of 3gb/s.
To get the higher speed, you have to connect the same SATA SSD to the same motherboard connector.
Using HDD SATA Cables For SSD (Is It Ok?)
Yes! It is absolutely okay to use your hard disk’s SATA cables for installing SATA SSDs in your system. The cables don’t have different revisions; therefore, all the cables are the same & their data transfer rate is also the same.
Usually, we use one SATA data cable and one SATA power cable for installing hard disks, and both cables are also required to install 2.5-inch SSDs in the system.
In summary, I want to say that you can use any SATA data & power cable for installing SSDs to your system. But you have to check which motherboard port you use & which SATA SSD revision you bought.
I hope this article is helpful for you and if you want to know more about SATA cables, SSDs, Hard Disks, motherboards, and other PC parts, then follow this blog regularly.