3 best SATA power cable for SSD & HDD [2021 Guide]
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All HDD and SSD have a data connector and a power connector. The old PATA drives had a 4 pin power connector that spawned from the power source.
The SATA driver has a different power connector (wafer-type), that looks like the SATA data connector, but it’s much wider. So when you’re buying a power cable for your drive make sure you’re not buying a data cable instead.
The power cable is essential, so we found the best selection of SATA power cables to help you make an informed decision.
What are the best SATA power cables for SSD & HDD?
- Powers two Serial ATA HDD, SSD, optical drives, DVD burners, and PCI cards to a single connection
- Cost-effective 2-pack cable
- 8-inch cable harness
- Stable connection with connector latches
- Can be shorter than 8 inches
Whether you’re installing a new DVD writer, HDD, or SDD, Benfei 15 Pin SATA Power Y-Splitter will be a perfect choice. The connectors have latches to secure the connection and the 8-inch long harness can power 2 drives from the same SATA input.
That’s because it’s a Y splitter perfectly adjusted in length to reach two drive bays with the same cable. With two SATA 15 pin female connectors and one SATA 15 pin male, the cable is constructed with flexible 18 AWG conductors for professional performance. This applies of course when connecting two SATA hard drives to a power supply.
It supports 3.3V, 5V, and 12V power voltages between SATA I, II, and SATA III drives and power supply connections without any degradation of performance.
This is a 2 pack cable so you will be able to power 4 SATA devices while offering compatibility with the most popular SATA equipped devices such as the Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 Extreme Performance SSD Upgrade Kit or the Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive.
- 2 pack connectors
- 6-Inch/ 15cm SATA 15 pin male to 2xSATA 15 pin female extension cable
- Upgrades your PC for faster SATA hard drives/ optical drives
- Extend the length for your SATA power cable
- Can be too short for some setups
If you’re working with a Micro ATX or Mini ATX case, you can’t afford to use long cables, so the Zheino SATA Power Splitter Cable with work as a charm in tight spaces because of the useful 6-inch length.
Moreover, as this is a splitter cable, so a single cable will be able to power two drives at the same time. It’s a sturdy, braided cable that will ensure the best performance possible over an extended period of time.
Also, the Zheino Y cable is splitting the connection right from the male connector so you will be able to power a drive from the front bay and one from the back bay if you need to and if the bays are close enough, of course.
The pack comes with two splitter cables so you will be able to power up to 4 SSDs, HDDs, or optical drives. One cable has one male 15 pin connector and two 15 pin female connectors.
Of course, you can use these cables if you want to extend an existing SATA power cable to have the Y splitter that you needed on your PC.
- Good length - 15.7 in (400 mm)
- 4x SATA power cable splitter
- Eliminates the cost of having to upgrade the power supply
- Easy to use and install
If you’re working in tight spaces and small cases, the Startech.com’s SATA power splitter is just what the IT specialist ordered. It may be used as a stand alone cable to power up to 4 drives or it can be used as an extension for an existing cable.
The SATA power splitter cable extends the limit of the number of SATA devices that can be installed in the system, based on the PSU power connections that you already have. You won’t have to pay a lot more to upgrade the power supply to host additional SATA drives.
PYO4SATA features a SATA male power connector that mates with a single computer power supply connector and breaks out into four SATA female power connectors. And the 15.7 in (400 mm) lenght will allow you to reach any drive in any corner of the PC case.
The cable is very sturdy but it’s also extremely flexible so it’s perfect to work with in tight spaces. The only downside is that none of the connectors have latches to secure them. However, they come as a tight fit so you shouldn’t have problems with that.
We trully hope that you found the best SATA power cable in our list.
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If you have any other suggestions, make sure you leave them in a comment section below this guide.
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One of the most underestimated but crucial parts that PC builders need is the SATA Cable. They would typically use the one in the motherboard’s package without giving any thought to it. That shouldn’t be the case.
You must purchase the best SATA cable for your system if you intend to maximize your equipment. For example, if you’re upgrading from a hard disk drive to a solid-state drive, you must look at your existing wiring. Chances are it is not optimized to take advantage of the greater read/write speed of the upgrade.
Also, getting a lousy cable could destroy either your drive or motherboard. Or both. To help you choose when building or upgrading your system, I’ve compiled some of the best SATA III Cables I could find in the market.
Table of Contents
Best SATA Cable Reviews
1. BENFEI SATA Cable III
Benfei is one of my go-to brands whenever I need any kind of cable, including those for PCs. I recommend this high speed SATA cable because of the locking latch they built-in the connectors. These keep the connections secure, so there’s little to no risk of the internal links loosening during transit.
The Benfei 18-in SATA Cable III is for connecting motherboards and host controllers to various internal and external SATA drives. More than that, since it adheres to the latest SATA standard, it transfers data at a blazingly fast 6 GBPS – two times faster than the previous version.
I cannot claim this as the best SATA 3 cable out there, but it comes close. It’s a 3-pack combo, so it’s perfect when for CPUs with multiple drives. The backward compatibility is also a godsend because I can use it even on older computers that cannot support SATA 3.0.
My only qualm with this package is that it doesn’t come with a power cable. I will have to purchase it separately if I’m building a new system or use the existing connectors if I’m upgrading. Although it is not a serious issue per se, it would’ve been more convenient if they made it a package option.
- Built-in locking latches on both ends keep the connection secure
- Designed to hook up SATA-equipped drives to motherboards and host controllers
- Adheres to the latest SATA III standard for ultra-fast transfer speeds
- A 3-pack combo, perfect for building/upgrading systems with multiple drives
- Backward compatible with previous SATA versions
- No option to purchase with power cables – must be bought separately
If you’re looking to upgrade your computer system with faster drives, this Benfei cable is a good option. It’s not only fast, but it’s also secure and will keep connections intact, even during transport.
2. Cable Matters Right SATA III
If you’re upgrading or building computers with smaller cases, this angled high speed SATA cable is fit for connecting drives to your motherboard – especially if there’s limited space. And since it’s compatible with 2.5” SSDs, 3.5” HDDs, optical drives, and RAID controller host cards, you can use it on just about everything you need.
The right angle on one end of the connector means you can place your drives awfully close to other components. Another option would be to use the angled connector on the motherboard side to quickly run the cable under the board for a clean cable management look.
It has an easy-grip surface, so even if your fingers are a bit slippery, you won’t have difficulty plugging it in or taking it off. And to ensure it stays in place when installed, the manufacturer included latching clips, which lock it in place.
My only concern about this is that its connectors are a bit blocky and oversized. If your connectors are spaced too closely on either the motherboard or the drive, then you can’t use the adjacent plug. It’s going to be an issue if the neighboring connectors are crucial as well.
- Compatible with 2.5” SSDs, 3.5” HDDs, optical drives, and RAID controller cards
- Right-angled connectors allow you to install SATA drives close to other components
- Could also let you run SATA cables under the motherboard much more easily
- Easy-grip surface, letting you easily remove and install the SATA cables
- Stays in place when installed via the latching clips
- Blocky and bulky connectors may block adjacent plugs
This is a highly-recommended option if you’re using smaller cases like the mini-ITX. Just make sure that your plugs are not too close together, so you do not run into issues when assembling your PC.
3. Monoprice 90-Degree SATA III Cable
This wire is one of the high quality SATA cables you could purchase in the market. It’s well-built and comes in a unique blue color – perfect for specialized designs and gaming computers. If you’re following a color motif, then having this color option is excellent for your build.
As a testament to its build quality, the materials Monoprice used for this SATA cable are of higher quality than their other models. They also have tighter tolerances, allowing for higher performance over previous SATA standards. However, they’re still compatible with older SATA 1.0 and SATA 2.0 plugs.
The connectors have metal latches that give audible clicks when secured to ensure correct installation. Aside from all these features, the Monoprice SATA cable is also one of the more affordable options in the market. This item offers excellent value, especially if you need just one line.
It must be noted that it will only work as fast as the slowest device in the system. If you want to maximize its performance, you have to ensure that both your motherboard or RAID connector and your drives are SATA 3.0 rated to enjoy the fastest transfer speeds.
- Comes in a unique blue color – perfect for specialized designs and gaming setups
- Higher quality components and tighter tolerances over previous SATA standards
- Still compatible with older SATA 1.0 and SATA 2.0 plugs
- Comes with metal latches that give audible clicks to ensure correct installation
- Offers excellent value, especially if you need just a single cable
- Will only work as fast as the slowest device in the system
If you’re building a desktop computer and you have a design in mind, this SATA cable could fit well in your setup. Just make sure that all your devices at SATA 3.0 are compatible so that you can maximize it.
4. StarTech Right-Angled SATA Cable
If you’re looking for a short cable that you could use for building in more portable cases, this 12-in SATA is the solution for you. Its optimal length allows you to install it without excess cable that requires additional management.
This is one of the flexible SATA cables in the market with a low profile design, significantly improving the use of space and airflow within the computer case. It also has an available left- or right-angled design, which ensures compatibility with various motherboard and case designs and models.
The high-speed SATA 3.0 cable can be used for both gaming and high-end workstations, ensuring that you get the most out of your latest devices. It also comes as a red color-keyed cable, making it stylish and letting your build stand out from other designs.
What I don’t like about this cable design, though, is that the maker did not include any locking latches in the connectors. Although they fit quite well when installed, the additional peace of mind of having it locked in place would be welcomed. Furthermore, I fear that they might come loose when I transport the computer.
- Optimal 12-in length for more portable cases
- Flexible, low profile design improves the use of space and airflow
- Has left- or right-angled designs, compatible with various motherboards and cases
- High-speed SATA 3.0 cable makes it suitable for high-end gaming and workstations
- Stylish red color-keyed cable lets your build stand out from other designs
- No locking latch on connector ends, which might come loose during transport
Sometimes, a short 12-in SATA cable is more than enough for your needs – and this is the perfect solution for that. Its striking red color is also unique and will let your build stand out from others.
5. BENFEI Right Angle SATA III Cable
If you want to set up drives with a RAID configuration for add-on speed and/or reliability, this option is perfect because it comes as a three-pack set. The number allows you to connect RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5 drives with just a single purchase.
Besides the RAID setup, you can also use these cables to connect hard drives, solid-state drives, DVD drives, Blu-Ray drives, and all other SATA-supported equipment. And since it’s a SATA III cable, it’s four times faster than the original SATA standard – up to 6.0 GBPS.
Beyond that, it is also backward compatible with older versions, so you can use it to replace cables, even on older computers with older SATA drives. It also comes with an 18-month warranty and lifetime customer service, so you can make the most out of your purchase.
However, the cables are quite stiff and difficult to bend. This makes it hard to install in some cases, especially in builds that have small spaces and require tight turns. It could make your cable management complicated, but it won’t be an issue if you have a bigger CPU.
- Three-pack cable perfect for setting-up drives in RAID configurations
- Compatible with hard drives, solid-state drives, DVD drives, Blu-Ray drives
- Four times faster than the original SATA standard – up to 6.0 GBPS
- Backward compatible with older SATA versions
- Comes with an 18-month warranty and lifetime customer service
- Cables are quite stiff and can be difficult to bend
This is the perfect package if you’re looking to build a CPU with multiple SATA drives. As long as you have enough space or are patient enough, you won’t have any problems installing this at all.
6. Cable Matters SATA III
This is one of the good SATA cables you can purchase. It’s compatible with popular brands such as Crucial, Kingston, LG Electronics, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. So if you’re using any of these brands, I’d highly recommend this for you.
It’s designed to be a low-profile cable with a flexible jacket, allowing you to have a clean installation and cable management setup. It also has a built-in stainless steel clip, so you’re guaranteed a secure connection throughout its lifetime.
Performance-wise, it transfers data – both read and write – at breakneck speeds, allowing you to get the most out of your SSDs and markedly increasing your computer’s performance. It’s also solidly built, so you’re guaranteed that it will last for as long as you’re using your computer.
The only problem I encountered with this is that its connector is a bit wide. You might have issues installing this if you’re using smaller motherboards with connectors that are too close together. I recommend that you check your parts first if they’re wide enough before purchasing.
- Compatible with popular brands such as Crucial, Samsung, Seagate, Kingston, etc
- Low profile cable with a flexible jacket for a clean installation and cable management
- Built-in stainless steel clip guarantees a secure connection
- Fast read and write speeds increase computer performance
- Solidly built and will last as long as your computer
- Connector is a bit wide and may not fit plugs if they’re too close together
If you want a SATA cable that’s been known to work with popular brands, then this is the option for you. It’s also a low profile design, so your case will look clean and classy with this cable.
7. Inateck SATA Cable
If you’re looking for the fastest SATA cable and the best SATA power cables in one package, then Inateck’s offering is the deal that you’re looking for. Each pack includes 2 power cables and 2 SATA cables for a complete solution.
The SATA cable itself is colored red, making it perfect for builders who want a sporty design. The included power cables come either in 4-pin to dual 15-pin SATA power plug or 15-pin to dual 15-pin SATA power plug, making it compatible with most motherboards, both new and old.
You also have connector options as the package has one straight SATA connector and one right-angled SATA connector, giving you installation flexibility. You also don’t have to worry about build quality and longevity as each plug is custom-fitted, making sure that it won’t come loose over time.
My only qualm about the plugs is that since it’s molded to the company’s custom-fit design, maintenance and cleaning can be difficult. You cannot visually inspect the plugs without disassembling and unplugging the whole unit.
- Complete solution pack contains two SATA cables and two power cables
- Red SATA cable makes it perfect for builders with a specific sporty design in mind
- Comes in both 4-pin to dual 15-pin and 15-pin to dual 15-pin SATA power plugs
- Straight and right-angled connectors are both available in the package
- Excellent build quality and longevity due to molded, custom-fit plugs
- Molded plugs can be difficult to clean and maintain
The Inateck SATA Data and Power Splitter Cable is perfect if you’re looking for a complete setup. This package is all that you need to ensure your new SATA drive will work upon installation.
8. Relper-LinesoRight SATA III Cable
If you’re setting up workstations or servers that require multiple drives or even RAID configurations, then this six-pack is what you need. You can install up to six physical drives with just this package, saving you time.
These right-angled SATA cables take up less space than straight wires, allowing you to use them in more compact cases and workstations. Furthermore, each connector has a built-in latch that makes an audible click to confirm proper seating and connection
The SATA cables have gold-plated phosphor copper connectors to ensure that you will have a reliable connection to your memory drives. It even comes with a limited lifetime warranty and product support, so you’re confident that these cables will last as long as your computer.
My only gripe about these cables is that they’re quite different from what is described. They’re more dark blue instead of bright blue, so if you’re buying this because of its color, you might be a bit surprised when it’s darker than described.
- 6-pack set, perfect for multiple drive installations or RAID configurations
- Right-angled connectors take up less space, suitable for more compact cases
- Built-in latch makes audible click to confirm proper seating and connection
- Gold-plated phosphor copper connectors ensure reliable data transfer
- Lifetime warranty and product support included
- Cable color is darker than expected
This six-pack is perfect for those who wish to set up servers with RAID configurations requiring multiple drives. It’s also right-angled, so it would fit in more compact and portable cases.
9. StarTech USB3S2SAT3CB SATA III
This conversion cable was recommended on Reddit when I needed to back up one of my computers to an internal drive in a different PC. This allows any internal 2.5” drive to be attached externally, just like a USB thumb drive.
It’s absolutely perfect for my purpose, as it allows me to easily swap drives without having to assemble and disassemble an enclosure or the CPU tower case. It’s convenient for me, especially when I do my monthly backups to the internal SSDs I keep in stock at my home office.
This cable’s 5 GBPS transfer speed is perfect, allowing me to back up my 1 TB drives in less than 5 minutes. It also doesn’t require any external power, so even if I lose electricity during the backup procedure, I’m sure that my data won’t be corrupted because it’s being powered by my laptop.
The main downside of this cable is that it’s not meant for long-term connections. The entire drive could be corrupted if the line is inadvertently removed during use. It’s designed for temporary use only – like backing up entire computers or restoring data from a backup drive.
- Allows any 2.5” internal drive to be connected to any external USB port
- Easily swap drives without assembling and disassembling an enclosure
- Perfect for connecting backup internal drives to computer systems
- Transfers data up to 5 GBPS, allowing 1 TB backups in less than 5 minutes
- Doesn’t require an external power source
- For temporary connections only – drive corruption is possible if removed during use
This is the perfect cable if you need to back up whole computers on internal drives. It’s easy to use, and you won’t need any complicated disassembly process to attach a drive – albeit temporarily.
10. Cable Creation SATA III Cable
The 5-pack Cable Creation 8-inch SATA III cables are perfect for building high-end workstations and advanced gaming computers that require multiple drives. You can also use them for servers, especially those that utilize advanced RAID setups that use as many as four drives.
This compact cable is perfect for micro PCs, Mini ITX cases, and other small builds. You won’t have any problems hiding the extra cable length as it’s just enough for what you need. The connectors on both ends also click into place when installed, ensuring a solid contact with their locking latches.
Its bright red color is also perfect for gaming and themed PC builds, ensuring that it will blend in with the builder’s chosen design. More than that, it also comes with a two-year warranty and lifetime tech support, so you’re sure that this cable will last as long as you need it to.
My only concern is that the SATA connectors can be a bit too large. It sometimes causes interference with the power port on some drives and can even block access to some other plugs on smaller motherboards. Just make sure that there’s ample space on both the drive and the board, and you can use this.
- 5-pack is perfect for RAID setups, high-end workstations, and gaming computers
- Compact 8-in length is perfect for micro PCs, Mini ITX cases, and other small builds
- Connectors click into place securely when installed
- Bright red color perfect for gaming and themed PC builds
- Comes with a two-year warranty and lifetime tech support
- SATA connectors can be a bit too large and sometimes block nearby plugs
If you need a large pack when building a computer or server with multiple drives in a small case, then this compact pack is an ideal pick.
11. Neeyer SATA III Cable
If you have a computer with multiple components, like dual-graphics cards and water cooling, that requires a lot of twists and turns, then this is the cable for you. It’s a flexible SATA cable that can be bent at any angle as necessary, making it easier for you to install.
It comes in the standard black color to be easily hidden in the dark spaces of your cases. Its connectors also have metal latches that ensure that they won’t loosen over time or fall-out during transport. These make sure that you’ll have a clean and secure build that you can safely move around.
For data integrity, the SATA cable itself is separated into shielded dual-channel upload and download pathways so that your drives will operate efficiently. It’s also backward compatible with both SATA 1.0 and SATA 2.0 so that you can use this cable even on older PCs.
The only downside with this cable is that its external build quality is not as stylish as the others. If you’re looking to build a showcase computer, I would suggest that you go for a different cable or just run this SATA cable under the case and motherboard, where it cannot be seen.
- Flexible cable that can be bent at any necessary angle, making it easier to install
- Comes in standard black color for easy hiding
- Connectors have metal latches that ensure secure connections over time
- Separate dual-channel upload and download pathways to ensure efficiency
- Backward compatible with both SATA 1.0 and SATA 2.0
- External build quality is not as high as other SATA cables
If you need something more functional than aesthetic, then this is the cable for you. It’s also black and flexible, so you could easily run it in the nooks and crannies of your case to hide it.
12. QIVYNSRY SATA III Cable
This SATA cable’s 18-inch length is perfect for most builds. It’s the standard length for most cables and will let you quickly run data cables in and around your computer as you see fit. If you have some extra unneeded length, you can simply tie it off and hide it underneath your motherboard.
The cable is designed to connect motherboards and host controllers to internal SATA-equipped drives. This allows the computer to transfer data at extremely high speeds – it takes only 5 seconds to move a 1 GB file.
The best thing that I like about this cable is its PVC jacketed and nylon braided cable. It adds extra protection to the wire while also looking good. It also comes in either black, blue, or red, allowing you to choose the best color that will go with your build.
However, having such a thick outer layer means that the SATA cable is a bit stiff. It can be difficult to wedge into a computer case’s tight spaces, more so if it’s small and compact – like the Mini ITX tower. Nevertheless, it looks good, so I believe the effort will be worth it.
- 18-inch length is perfect for most CPU builds
- Connect motherboards and host controllers to internal SATA-equipped drives
- Transfers data at extremely high speeds – takes only 5 seconds to transfer a 1 GB file
- PVC jacketed and nylon braided cables add extra protection while adding style
- Comes in either black, blue, or red for optimum customization
- Can be quite stiff and difficult to wedge into tight spaces in the PC case
If you want something that looks good, has excellent protection, and has multiple color options, then this is the choice for you. Just be mindful that it can be a bit challenging to install.
What to Look for When Buying SATA Cables
The number one thing that I look for when buying a SATA cable is the length – it must fit in the case I’m working on. If it’s too long, I might have a problem putting the extra wiring length, while a cable too short will just not do.
In my experience, the average length needed is 18-inches, which gives you just enough slack so that you can have options where you can run your SATA cable in your computer case.
Another thing that I look for is the left- or right-angled SATA connectors. I prefer these connectors when I’m working on smaller builds, but I also have to be mindful – do I want it left-angled or right-angled? It depends on a case-by-case basis, so you have to be sure of what you need before making a purchase.
Lastly, I prefer SATA cables with latches on both ends so that I’m sure that they wouldn’t come loose over time or during transport.
We also have a list of the most affordable VGA to DVI adapter for your reference. Furthermore, check our reviews about fiber optic cable if you need
Are all SATA Cables the Same
Both yes and no. The more affordable cables are typically the same across different brands, varying only in the finish quality. However, branded wires are different from the rest. You can see this with better build quality and extra features like latches and wiring covers.
What are the Best SATA Cable Brands
The brands that I trust the most Benfei, Cable Matters, and QIVYNSRY. You can add more brands there; just make sure that you read their reviews, so you know that they’re providing good items. You can also check out the brands that major stores, like Best Buy, carry. Those are typically reliable as well.
Is it OK to Bend SATA Cables
Yes, you can bend them a couple of times. Don’t do it repeatedly at a single location, though, as you run the risk of metal fatigue and breaking the wire inside.
What Kind of SATA Cable Do I Need for SSD
The best SATA cable for SSD would be the latest SATA III-standard cables. These offer the fastest transmission rates, up to 6 GBPS. If you want to maximize your SSDs, make sure that you choose the latest standard.
I’ve previously worked with all the cables I’ve reviewed above, so I’m confident of their quality. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re the only good cables on the market. You can make choices of your own, just make sure that it’s the best for you.
Remember, the best SATA cable you could use should fit your needs. Consider the length you need, as well as the space you have – both on the motherboard or host controller and the drive. Once you know your requirements, browse through your options and choose the SATA cable with the best reviews.
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Whether you opt for a cheaper solid-state drive (SSD) with lower capacity or a more expensive one with 1-2 terabytes (TB) of storage, installing one is a relatively simple task. SSDs are invaluable for those who need fast load times on their computer(s). Although these particular devices are costly compared to hard disk drives (HDDs), the performance boost you receive makes up for it.
Regardless of whether you’re performing an upgrade and trying to breathe some new life into a PC or you’re looking to build a custom computer, this article shows you how to install an SSD in your system correctly.
Things to Know Before Installing an SSD
If you’re new to replacing/upgrading computer storage devices, there are a few things you should know before opening your computer’s case and tinkering around.
You should have two goals in mind; one is to get your computer running the way you want, and two should be preventing damage. There are precautions you can take to make the replacement process a smooth transaction.
- Unplug the power source: This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy thing to forget to do when you’re excited about your new SSD. Prevent electric shock to yourself or your hardware and unplug the power.
- Be cautious with your clothing: Bracelets, rings, or baggy sleeves can cause problems and get in the way. You may not have that problem in particular, but beware of static in your clothing.
- Beware of static: There is some debate on how likely you are to ruin computer hardware with static electricity. To err on the side of caution, use an ESD bracelet or static mat to prevent electrical damage to your computer’s micro components and parts.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions: While this article is an excellent tutorial, some manufacturers have particular instructions to help you along.
- Keep Organized: There’s no greater joy than opening a computer case and seeing all of the connectors and hardware neatly tucked away and secured in place. Plan where to put your new SSD and its accompanying cables, then get your tools ready and get to work.
Understanding SSD/HDD Cables
Before you jump into installing your new SSD, let’s cover the cables used for connecting the new drive to your PC or laptop.
About SATA Cables
The SATA (Serial Advanced Technology) cables are accessories used for newer PCs to connect SSDs, HDDs, and Optical drives to the motherboard. It’s important to know that a SATA port or cable may be rated for 3/6+ GB/second transfer rates, but that doesn’t mean you’ll actually obtain those speeds.
The problem with HDDs, even those that are 7200+ RPM speeds, is that they’re still just a spinning platter, and you can only read/write the data as fast as the drive is capable. This scenario is where SSDs come into play. Since SSDs are flash storage devices, they read/write data faster because they are strictly electronic rather than mechanical and electronic. Furthermore, SSDs write in blocks rather than sectors.
About SATA Power Connectors
SATA power connectors deliver actual power to the device and are attached to the power supply unit (PSU). Generally speaking, SATA power connectors reside at the end of the wires from the PSU and are usually black.
How to Install the SSD
TIP #1: Ensure that your SSD is plugged into the lowest-numbered SATA port on your motherboard when used as the default boot drive. This suggestion ensures better compatibility for reliable booting, and it also ensures it fits within the typical default boot process.
TIP #2: For best read/write performance, a “SATA3” or higher cable and drive are best. Note that this does not mean “port three” on your motherboard; it means the type of SATA connection, similar to USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
TIP#3: Some manufacturers include a set of instructions specific to that particular drive, so be mindful to review any information that comes with the product.
Note: You will most likely need a drive bay adapter that converts 2.5-inch SSDs to a 3.5-inch width to fit in the drive bay slot. However, some PC cases may include 2.5-inch bays for use. Check your case or manual before purchasing a new SSD.
Now that you’ve seen the basics of safety and know-how, it’s time to get started with the actual SSD installation.
Step 1: Fit the SSD into the Bay
Most SSDs fit in a 2.5-inch laptop drive bay, which may not work in a desktop PC. Some solid-state drives include mounting brackets to hold them in the drive bay correctly, so attach the drive to the adapter before you start.
Next, find a 3.5-inch drive bay if you don’t have a 2.5-inch one. Be careful not to use an exposed bay that has a cutout on the front of the case, as these are for memory card readers and DVD/Blu-Ray drives that fill the open gap.
If your PC case has drive rails or screw-less fittings, read the case’s manual for instructions on fitting your new SSD. For other case types, slide the hard disk into a spare drive bay until the screw holes in the side of the drive line up with the holes in the drive bay. The disk gets secured with four screws, two on both sides of the case.
Step 2: Plug the SATA Power Cable into the SSD
Locate the correct connector from your power supply and plug it into the back of your SSD. It only goes in one way, and it usually clicks when it’s connected.
Note: Be extremely careful when plugging the SATA connector into the SSD, as downwards pressure can break the clip, and without it, the power plug won’t stay in place.
Step 3: Plug the SATA Data Cable into the SSD
Unlike IDE, SATA uses a simple, thin connector to carry data. This cable is smaller than the SATA power cable. Motherboards will usually ship with several SATA cables, so take one of them from the box. Insert the SATA data plug into the rear of the SSD gently. Like the motherboard’s SATA jack, it will only plug in one way and click when it’s properly connected.
Once again, be careful when you plug the SATA cable connector in the socket, as downwards pressure can break the connector and prevent the SATA cable from plugging in.
Step 4: Connect the SATA Data Cable into the Motherboard
Find an available SATA port on your motherboard. The SATA connectors are usually located at the bottom-right of the board and should have numbers. The lower the SATA port number, the earlier that input is in the boot chain on your PC. For instance, “SATA1” or “SATA 1” usually becomes the first boot device, followed by “SATA2” or “SATA 2.”
If installing more than one drive, ensure that the “booting” drive gets plugged into the lowest-numbered port. Check the motherboard’s manual to ensure that all the ports do the same thing. Some SATA ports often get reserved for Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) setups.
When connecting the SATA cable to the motherboard, it will only plug in one way. You should hear a click when the cable is connected correctly.
How to Transfer Data from the Old Drive to the New One
Whether you’re using the SSD in addition to your existing drive, or you’ve made a complete swap, you’ll need to move your games and software over to the new one. Here are the options.
Method 1: Move Files from Drive to Drive in Windows
Windows makes moving files simple. Under ‘Settings’ and ‘My Computer,’ you will find a list of folders containing the files on your system.
Once your SSD gets installed correctly, as explained above, the new drive appears in Windows. You can access the properties of each folder and move it to the new SSD.
Method Two: Use Third-Party Software to Transfer Files
Several third-party programs offer disk cloning or disk copy functionality if you need to move your entire drive, including Windows. Some SSDs come with the software already, but if not, you can search online for one that’ll help meet your specific needs.
How to Install Windows onto the SSD
Arguably, one of the most useful ways to utilize an SSD is by installing your operating system on the solid-state drive. Doing so will drastically improve boot times and generally improve all other data read/write speeds.
Installing Windows onto a New Machine with an SSD
- The first step in installing Windows onto an SSD on a new machine is to ensure that the drive is large enough to hold the entire operating system. Typically, 120GB will be enough, and 250GB is plenty of space for all current operating systems.
- The next step is to install the drive, following the instructions given in the previous section. If you plan on dual-booting (using both an SSD and an HDD,) it is wise to install only the SSD as to avoid any mix ups when installing your operating system.
- The following step is to power on the computer and insert your installation media of choice, usually a disc or a USB-drive. Allow the operating system to install and update before turning the computer back off if you are also planning on installing an HDD.
- Finally, boot your computer and press the key to enter the advanced settings boot (for most motherboards this is an F key, such as F2 or F10.) Find the boot order screen, and ensure that the SSD on which your OS is installed boots first.
Transferring Windows from an HDD to an SSD on an Existing Computer
- The first steps to installing Windows onto an SSD with an existing machine is the same as on a new machine. Ensure that the drive is large enough to hold the entire operating system, and connect the SSD to the computer.
- The next step is to create a system image of your current machine, this can be done by going into your Control Panel, selecting Backup and Restore, and then selecting Create a system image.
- Then, you will select the partitions that you would like to be copied onto the system image. Make sure that you have selected the Windows Drive (typically this will be the C: drive.) It should take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to create the system image.
- The next step is to install a fresh copy of Windows onto the SSD. This is done by using the Windows Media Creation Tool (which can be found on Microsoft’s website) to create an installation media on another device. Simply select the SSD as the device for which Windows to be installed on.
- Replace your HDD with the new SSD and boot your computer. Enter the advanced boot settings and boot the system from the SSD. When setup is ready, you will be given the option to enter repair settings. Do so, and then select Advanced Options, and choose System Image Recovery.
- Simply click through the remaining set up instructions, and your computer will boot your operating system from the SSD.
As you can see, installing and setting up an SSD for your computer isn’t all that difficult. Just double-check your connections and remember to ground yourself before handling potentially sensitive electronics. Use caution when connecting any cables and determine your data restoration approach before starting the installation.
Increase the overall speed of your PC, the time it takes to boot and load programs by following our simple guide to installing a solid state drive. Having successfully helped thousands of people of all ages, backgrounds, and computer-skill levels install SSDs, we’re confident that you too, will be able to expertly install an SSD in your desktop PC. Installing an SSD requires little more than a screwdriver and your system’s owner’s manual, so let’s install an SSD in your desktop computer.
If you are replacing your existing drive, we recommend the use of data migration (cloning) software to move all the files from your existing drive onto your new hard drive. Data migration software is available here at Crucial.com.
To install an SSD in a Mac® system, the process is different – follow our Mac-specific SSD install steps here.
Warning! — Static electricity can damage the components in your system. To protect your system’s components from static damage during the installation process, touch any of the unpainted metal surfaces on your computer’s frame or wear an ESD wrist strap before touching or handling internal components. Either method will safely discharge static electricity that’s naturally present in your body.
- To protect your new SSD, do not touch the connectors on the drive.
- Do not open the SSD. Doing so will void your warranty.
1. Make sure you’re working in a static-safe environment
Remove any plastic bags or papers from your work space.
2. Gather supplies
- 2.5-inch Crucial® SSD
- Your computer’s owner’s manual (which will specify the type of screwdriver you need)
3. Shut down your system
When your system has been powered off, unplug the power cable.
4. Hold down the power button for 5 seconds to discharge residual electricity
5. Open your desktop’s case
Refer to your system’s owner’s manual for how to do this.
6. Ground yourself by touching an unpainted metal surface
This is an extra safeguard that protects your drive and components from static damage during the installation process.
7. Locate the storage bay
Refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location and note the size of the bays.
Some storage bays and existing hard drives are significantly larger than a standard size SSD. If this is the case in your system, you’ll need a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch converter to make the SSD fit snugly. Remove your old drive and disconnect any cables and brackets attached to it.
8. Plug the SSD into your system
Don’t force the connection – it should plug in easily and fit snugly.
To install the SSD as a secondary drive (not your primary or boot drive), use a SATA cable and attach one end of the cable to the SATA connector on your motherboard. Attach the other end of the SATA cable to your Crucial SSD. Then, use an available SATA power cable coming from your system’s power supply and connect the cable to your Crucial SSD. For either type of install, consult your owner’s manual for how to remove an existing drive (if necessary), and how to handle the cables.
9. Reassemble your desktop
10. Power on your computer
Have some fun and see how much faster your desktop boots up and apps load! You can make your SSD even faster by downloading our Crucial Storage Executive1 software and enabling the Momentum Cache feature. Click here to download Storage Executive.
Ssd cable for
.SSD to USB 3.0 cable adapter- PiBox India
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