5. What are the different types of hard drive?


Abbreviation for Intelligent Drive Electronics, or Integrated Drive Electronics. One technology with two names.

An IDE interface is an interface for mass storage devices. These devices have the controller integrated into the device. Devices such as Hard drives, LS120 floppy drives, CD ROM drive or DVD ROM devices.

Although it refers to a general technology, many use the term to refer the ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment), or Parallel ATA specification, which uses this technology.[14]


ATA-2 is also know as ATAPI (AT Attachment Packet Interface), that enables the interface to support CD-ROM players and tape drives.[17]

Serial ATA (SATA or S-ATA)

A development of the ATA storage interface. Serial ATA is a serial link, one cable with a minimum of four wires creates a point-to-point connection between devices. Transfer rates for Serial ATA embark on 150MBps. One of the main design rewards of Serial ATA is that the thinner serial cables make possible more efficient airflow inside a form factor and allow for smaller chassis designs. This is opposed to IDE cables used in parallel ATA systems that are bulkier than Serial ATA cables and can only extend to 0.4m in length, whereas Serial ATA cables can extend up to one meter.

Serial ATA also support all ATA and ATAPI devices.[16]

SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)

SCSI is a parallel interface. A standard used by Apple Macintosh computers, PCs, as well as many UNIX systems for attaching peripheral devices to computers. Almost all Apple Macs, excluding both the earliest Macs and the more recent iMac, have a SCSI port for attaching devices such as disk drives, printers and scanners.

SCSI interfaces can provide fast data transmission rates, up to 80 megabytes per second, which are significantly faster than standard serial and parallel ports. Moreover, you can attach many devices to a single SCSI port, so that SCSI is basically an I/O bus rather than a simple interface.

Although SCSI is an ANSI standard, there are many variations of it, so two SCSI interfaces may be incompatible with SCSI supporting many different types of connectors.[13]

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Gregg Williams, 294805, CS_134 Web Report