Thu. May 30th, 2024

Comparing the SATA hard drive vs external hard drive could be a life-changer for your computer experience. Hard drives are a vital component of any PC; without this hardware, nothing would work.

The same can be said about many other parts, but the hard drive stores all the critical information you will need to access. It would be wise to check out a few things to understand better what works best.

SATA hard drives (short for Serial ATA) and external hard drives are popular storage devices for storing your documents, photos, videos, and other media files. Both storage devices allow you to retrieve data quickly when you’re ready to use it, but there are some critical differences between them.

If you want to know the outcome of the SATA hard drive vs external hard drive comparison, you should check out these tips below.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive


The SATA Hard Drive

SATA hard drives are typically used for Mac and PCs, but they’re not ideal for people who need an external drive. They require a particular solid-state drive (SSD) to work like an external hard drive, which can be costly. 

You’ll need to use an external hard drive if you need to store many gigabytes of data on your computer but don’t have access to a screen or keyboard.

The External Hard Drive

A hard drive is a specific type of disk storage that uses moving parts to read and write data. SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, while external is any hard drive that connects to a computer via USB, FireWire, or e-SATA cables.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Pros & Cons

The main difference between internal and external drives is that internal hard drives are installed inside your PC, while external hard drives connect to a single PC by cable. 

Therefore, an external hard drive can be used to backup more than one computer, for example. However, internal hard drives provide better performance than external ones because the length of their data cabling does not limit them. 

In addition, you may have to restart your computer or perform system maintenance if you want to add new files to your internal drive (but not your external drive).

It’s also less convenient because you need to connect it to a computer with a USB cable. The speed can make it challenging to work on large files or perform many tasks simultaneously.

The main disadvantage to SATA hard drives is the slower speed compared to newer hard drive technologies. They are also limited by how much power they can draw from the SATA bus, which means that they cannot operate at full speed with a mechanical hard drive cache.

However, in comparison to externals of the same type, they are faster and more reliable.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Speed

SATA Hard Drives are generally faster than External Hard Drives. A SATA drive is a hard drive that connects directly to your computer. The main reason is the connection, as the external takes a bit more time to relay information.

The USB connection causes a slower transfer time as it seeks to take information from or to the external (latency). You may find that some externals will perform very well. Another thing to consider is the 5400 or 7200rpm options.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Storage

The difference in storage capacity between these two devices is not that great. SATA hard drives can be as high as 20TB, while an external may reach around the same.

Seagate has some of the most extensive SATA hard drives at 20TB. You can get these with the Iron Wolf Pro and Exos primarily. You can find many external 20TB hard drives on Amazon; Seagate and G-Technology are just a few names you can look up.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Durability

There isn’t much difference in the durability of the two devices. External hard drives are similar to internal hard drives. The difference is that the external hard drive is an internal one placed within a casing. 

This case has components to connect it to the PC, like the USB. Since you could be using the same hard drive, the durability will be about the same. Hard drives have a long life span if in good condition. Most had hard drives lose life when poorly treated.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Price

In many cases, there isn’t a significant difference between external and internal hard drive prices. If you compare, some SATA hard drives of the same brand and storage capacity are slightly higher than the external ones.

Overall, a SATA Hard Drive is cheaper than an external hard drive. You can find some external surpassing $1,000, while most SATA drives in the same storage capacity range will cost a few hundred dollars.

Can We Use SATA Hard Drive As External?

In simple words, yes. You can use a SATA hard drive as an external device and attach it to the computer via USB cable or use it with a docking station with its dedicated power supply.

Is SATA Hard Drive Good?

SATA hard drives are the most popular and widely used technology today due to their affordability, reliability, and availability. They are also easily accessible and relatively easy to install on any computer, making them a reliable option for most users.

SATA Hard Drive vs External Hard Drive-Conclusion

The SATA hard drive vs external hard drive conclusion is an eternal debate among serious computer users. Which is better? Both have their advantages, but it ultimately depends on your needs and budget.