Modern motherboards have several of SATA ports and they allow you to do a lot especially with expanding the total storage. So if you’re wondering, how many SATA ports do I have, you’re in the right place.
Basically, the actual number will depend on the board itself. An average motherboard has about 4-8 SATA ports. Things such as motherboard size and chipset matter here. Currently the number of SATA ports on motherboards ranges from 0 – 13.
SATA is generally used for storage devices. it is an interface that currently supports a maximum transfer speed of 6 Gb/s with the SATA 3 version. Storage devices have come a long way over the years. Not just because manufacturers have found new ways to build faster devices, but also, because the kinds of interfaces that are used to connect those devices to a motherboard have greatly improved.
Once, a Parallel ATA connection was used. The cables were very wide and even though they allowed you to connect up to two devices to a motherboard, they were rather slow and made proper computer ventilation a nightmare. Then came SATA (Serial AT Attachment). It’s a bus interface used on computers to connect to not only storage devices but also Optical drives.
What are SATA Ports?
The SATA interface was introduced sometime in the year 2000. It was a breakthrough implementation because it was meant to replace the older PATA standard which used ribbon cables.
SATA cables mere much smaller and their physical profile on the motherboard didn’t particularly stand out as much as PATA did.
Many devices use the SATA connection for both power and data and separate cables are used for this.
You may have seen them on the motherboard too. A SATA connector commonly appears as an L-shaped connector.
Since their inception, the SATA implementation has been improved and the current iteration, SATA 3.0 (III) happens to be the fastest with a speed of 6 Gigabits/s (Gb/s). The first two, SATA I and SATA II can each do 1.5 and 3.0 Gb/s respectively.
Also Read: How Many SATA Ports do I Need
How Many SATA Ports Do I have?
You’re probably interested to know how many SATA ports you have because this will go a long way in determining the number of drives you can connect to your computer.
There are several ways to go about finding this number, some may be straightforward while others will require a little bit of digging. Regardless, we will mention some here and you get to decide which one is best for your needs.
Also Read: 10000 Rpm HDD vs SSD
1. Consult the Manufacturer
This is the best way to go about getting information on your motherboard. A reputable manufacturer will be obliged to provide a user with accurate information about a board they have just purchased.
Getting this information should be fairly easy. If you have the board’s packaging, you can try and find the user manual and if one was shipped with it, go ahead and search through it.
If this does not yield the results you need, you can always go to the manufacturer’s website. A quick google search can land you there and once you arrive, head over to a products section and see if your board is listed.
There you will find a lot of information and a detailed breakdown of the board as well as the ports it has. If the board has a certain number of SATA ports, they will be listed, including their performance specification and position on the board.
This will let you plan on how you intend to use them. So, the manufacturer is the best source of insight about your motherboard as they will have more information on it.
Also Read: 5 Best Motherboards for NAS in 2021
2. Consulting an Expert
If you have someone you know to be an expert on computer motherboards, you can consult them to find out about your board.
This can be the retailer who sold you the board, or a friend who seems more knowledgeable. Regardless, for you to get accurate information, the person needs to be well-versed in this.
Determining the number of SATA ports shouldn’t be too hard so don’t let this make you feel like it’s a very complicated endeavor.
A technician you trust can not only tell you how many SATA ports you have. They can also give you guidance on how you can go about using them if you are stuck.
You can accomplish the same by posting to an online forum such as this one where you can run into users with the same board as you and they can help.
The sources of information are limitless once you start looking.
3. The Manual Way
The first two ways are the simpler methods to go about determining how many SATA ports you have on your computer.
You can also accomplish the same if you open up your case and manually count the SATA ports on your motherboard.
This method is great because you can get direct feedback and if you need to assign any of the SATA ports to a device you already have you can just plug the device in right away.
To do this, however, you need to take some precautions. It’s best to first switch off your computer and disconnect it from any power source before you begin dismantling it.
Additionally, if counting the slots involves completely removing the board, be sure to properly handle it. All in all, take the necessary steps to ensure you conduct this process safely.
Once you know exactly what ports to look out for, this method can produce accurate results.
4. Using third-party Software
Another easy way would be to use third-party software that scours your computer for system information.
Some software can read your device’s status and provide you feedback on your SATA ports including whether they are in use or not.
This method can be a good idea when you have been searching for information for a while but to no avail. This is also great because some software will provide you with even more information about other things besides just the SATA ports.
The method is simple and accurate enough.
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5. The Bios
The Bios is a treasure trove of information. If your BIOS supports it, you can use it to see how many SATA ports you have on your computer.
Bios menus may be different for different computers and there are some specific key combinations needed to access it. But once you do, you may be able to tell how many ports you have and even see which ones are active.
With a Port multiplier, your single SATA port can be configured to communicate with multiple SATA devices.
This is great for situations where you have fewer ports than you need on your motherboard. It’s a simple cost-effective way to make upgrades on your computer when you need to. With limited SATA ports and multiple drives, this will be a better solution than to get a whole new motherboard.
When it comes to finding out how many SATA ports do I have, users can choose different methods.
On a new board, you can either count the SATA ports on the board or go ahead and find a user’s manual.
On a board that has already been installed, you can still do the same. But, you can also install some software to help with the process or get the information from the BIOS if your computer supports it.
The key is that there are different ways to go about determining the number of SATA ports you have on your computer.