SATA plugs on motherboards?

SAN expert Greg Schulz discusses SATA and ATA compatible disk drives.

Do most motherboards have SATA drive plugs? Or, are they just basically IDE. And, do I have to buy a PCI card for SATA or ATA compatible disk drives?
Server and PC motherboards are in a state of transition as are popular chipsets like those from Intel. Consequently, some motherboards will have SATA I/O ports for attachment of SATA disk and tape devices while older services may only have an IDE/ATA port.

Some servers are also starting to appear with serial attached SCSI (SAS) ports that can also be used for attachment of SATA storage devices. Some newer servers are sporting PCI-Express native adapter's slots eliminating PCI or PCI-X to PCI-Express bridging enabling better performance.

If your server does not have a SATA I/O port or if you need additional ports, then you could install a PCI or PCI-X SATA port to your system. However, for backwards compatibility with IDE/ATA, you would need an IDE/ATA port.

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