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IDE & ATA
what is the difference between the different types of IDE & ATA signal cables?
The terms IDE and ATA are interchangeable. They refer to data transfer speed. ATA/66 is 66Mbs, ATA/100 is 100Mbs, and so on. The highest is ATA/133 right now. Drives can also use SCSI, USB, and the newest, Serial ATA. Your cables and drive must match to make it work : ex. If you have a drive that is rated at ATA/133, and the cable is rated ATA/66, the data moves at 66Mbs.
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The differentiation between the old 40-wire ATA cable and the newer 80-wire ATA is that the 80-wire makes use of Ultra DMA, which was initiated with the ATAPI-4 standard.
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Hope that helps.