Difference Between Ultra ATA and SATA

A computer’s hard disc is one of its most crucial components. The majority of the data and information on the computer is stored on a hard disc, which is accessed by the user.

When it’s time to upgrade the computer, hard drives are generally a permanent, immovable element that may be changed out for another hard drive.

While ATA is also known as IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics), there are two versions of ATA that are widely used which namely are ultra ATA and SATA.

Ultra ATA vs SATA

The main difference between ultra ATA and SATA is that Ultra ATA, often known as PATA or IDE, is an earlier form of connectivity. It’s a form of connection that employs data transmission channels in parallel. SATA is a recent interface type, therefore it will handle UDMA 167, 133, and 100, which are much newer and greater in bandwidth protocols.

Ultra ATA vs SATA

Ultra ATA is the next version of ATA, with faster transfer speeds and a more modern design.

Ultra ATA-66 enables data transfer rates as fast as 66 MBps, Ultra ATA-100 allows data transfer rates up to 100 MBps, and Ultra ATA-133 supports data transfer rates up to 133 MBps.

Serial ATA, or SATA, is a serial version of the ATA technology, which was initially conceived as a parallel notion. It is claimed that with such a design shift, the boundaries would’ve been pushed farther, dwarfing the capabilities of Ultra ATA standards at least in principle.

It can transport data at a faster rate, with the fastest speed being 16GB/s.

Comparison Table Between Ultra ATA and SATA

Parameters of ComparisonUltra ATA SATA
Transfer speedSlower in comparison to SATA.Provides faster transfer speed.
Power usageUses more power.Uses less power.
Type of interfaceParallel ATA interface.Serial interface.
Type of deviceCan be regarded as an IDE device.Not an IDE device.
VersionOlder version.Recent Version.

What is Ultra ATA?

Ultra ATA is the next iteration of ATA, with faster transfer speeds and a more advanced design. Ultra ATA is still parallel ATA, however, it is a better or more advanced version of previous PATA (Parallel ATA) interfaces.

It also works with older PATA versions. With faster transfer speeds, the architecture is believed to be significantly better. Ultra ATA is a kind of ATA that supports 33.3 Mbps data transfer speeds in burst mode.

To make use of this benefit, the system needs to have UDMA enabled on it (Ultra Direct Memory Access). It’s a procedure that makes it possible for such things to happen.

Ultra ATA is the result of a collaboration between Intel, Quantum, and Seagate. It’s based on a standard that enables a hard disc or drives to transmit data directly to the computer’s system memory without the need for the CPU to do so.

This saves CPU resources while improving speed, hence why it’s also known as Ultra DMA (or UDMA). Most Ultra ATA drives utilize 80-pin connectors, whereas standard ATA uses 40-pin connections.

The ATA hard disc data transmission protocol’s most recent version is Ultra ATA/100. Ultra ATA/100 is a low-cost upgrade of the Ultra ATA/66 hard drive interface that dramatically improves burst data speeds over prior protocol versions.

Ultra ATA/100, also known as UltraDMA/100 or Feature ATA, allows host computers to transmit and receive information at a rate of 100 MB/s, which is significantly faster than UltraATA/66’s 66.6 MB/s.

What is SATA?

SATA, an acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is a data transmission link that connects a computer’s primary electronic circuit to storage systems.

The PATA (parallel ATA) interface was phased out in favor of SATA. Instead of sending data in multiple concurrent streams, serial communication sends data a single bit at a time.

Despite the parallel model’s seeming benefit, serial transmission is less sensitive to interference in practice, allowing SATA to function at substantially faster rates than PATA.

Additionally, the serial model allows for easier and smaller wiring. In the year 2000, SATA was created to replace the PATA ribbon cables, which were becoming obsolete.

SATA was upgraded three times between 2003 and 2008, resulting in version three, sometimes known as SATA III or 3.0.

These standards enhanced speed and added capabilities to allow for quicker and more dependable storage devices, but they did not alter the physical appearance of the SATA connection.

Though there have been five modifications since its inception, namely 3.1 through 3.5, SATA III is still the most widely used SATA interface presently.

Backward and forward compatibility is an objective of the SATA standard. This indicates that if future iterations of the SATA standard are issued, the system will be able to receive input from both those current and previous versions.

Main Differences Between Ultra ATA and SATA

  1. SATA hard drives are significantly more developed and quicker than ultra ATA (or commonly known as PATA) hard drives in terms of transfer speed. While ultra ATA transfers data at a rate of MB/s, the SATA interface transfers data at a rate of GB/s, which is a significant improvement over its predecessor.
  2. SATA connections are smaller and use less power than Ultra ATA connectors.
  3. Ultra ATA is a parallel ATA interface, whereas SATA is a serial interface.
  4. Ultra ATA can be loosely regarded as an IDE device, however, SATA is not an IDE device because it is serial.
  5. SATA is currently seen to be the next step in ATA technology whereas ultra ATA is a primitive ATA technology.
Difference Between Ultra ATA and SATA


There are additional growing grades of the technology, such as Ultra ATA/33, Ultra ATA/66, Ultra ATA/100, and Ultra ATA/133, which are determined by transfer speed ceilings.

The last one is the quickest, with a transfer rate of 133 megabytes per second, which is similar to the first SATA version. It’s worth noting that SATA drives utilize less power than Ultra ATA drives. SATA devices are currently more costly.

While SATA drives have long outperformed Ultra ATA drives in terms of performance, the latter remains a cost-effective option. These drives are common backup and archive drives in addition to being used as system drives.

Unless the user is running a high-end gaming PC, the cheaper ATA or lower-level SATA disc is going to work fine as well. If price is not a parameter of concern then paying a little more for better performance is worth and a SATA drive is the way to go.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=8O-sBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Difference+Between+Ultra+ATA+and+SATA+&ots=izYAlJmtac&sig=hFb-klRCEgDDRSEsuhYB1ESgEAg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Difference%20Between%20Ultra%20ATA%20and%20SATA&f=false
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4593923
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