Ide Cables

About IDE Cables

IDE cables or Integrated Drive Electronics cables were one of the widely used standards for connecting storage devices and other peripherals to computer motherboards. Even though it is a legacy standard, they are still necessary for running older motherboards.

The IDE connection standard dominated the computer industry for more than two decades. This standard was used for connecting storage devices and other peripheral devices like floppy drives and optical drives to the computer motherboard. Depending on the version of the motherboard, it would either be a cable with a forty pin connector or a thirty-four pin connector. This article will tell you everything you need to know about IDE cables. Having a better understanding of them will help you make the right choices while you are making the purchase.

A beginner’s guide to IDE cables

IDE cables are ribbon cables. This means conductors are arranged parallel to each other in a flexible plastic casing. This gives them the appearance of a ribbon. Not all IDE cables were the same. Depending on the type of cables, you could get data transfer speeds ranging from 33, 66, 100, and 133 Megabytes per second, or MBps. While you can attach a faster cable to a slower device without any problem, using a slower cable on a faster device will throttle the performance. Read this article to know more about these cables. You will also find a few really useful tips in this article that you can use while you are shopping for IDE cables.

Features of IDE cables

Normal IDE ribbon cables come with three connection points. This is contrary to most other cables, which only have connection points. One end of the IDE always goes on the motherboard. Using the other end, you can connect peripheral devices like DVD drives and hard disks to the motherboard. However, because there are three connection points in a single cable, you can use it to connect two peripheral devices to the motherboard. To make it easy to figure out which way to plug the cable in, these cables have a red line along their side that denotes the first pin.

Different types of IDE cables

There are two most common types of IDE cables. The bigger one among the two has three connectors with forty pins in each of them. On the other hand, the smaller one only contains 34 pins in each connector. It is not just an external difference, though. The data transfer rates of these to pins reflect this difference. Before the advent of these cables, computers used PATA cables for data transfer and communication between internal devices. But PATA cables only had a maximum speed of 133 MBps. When you compare that to the 1969 MBps peak transfer rate of IDE, you will realise how big of a leap it was.

Compatibility with newer hardware

IDE cables were ubiquitous in computers throughout the 2000s. But with recent advancements in computing, newer and better technologies are replacing older IDE. Newer SATA cables are more common in computers these days. But what one of your hardware is older and the other is newer? What if you want to connect an SSD to an old motherboard? In that case, you will need a SATA to IDE adapter. Besides that, there are also SATA to USB adapters. This adapter will let you connect newer hardware to older computers over a USB port.

Enhanced IDE

Enhanced IDE was an improvement over the traditional IDE. It preserved the pin configuration of regular IDE but hugely improved the data transfer speed between devices. You will find these cables under the name EIDE, which is an acronym for Enhanced IDE. But, keep in mind that there are a few different versions of EIDE. These include ATA 3, ATA 2, Ultra ATA, Fast IDE, and Fast ATA. Very first versions of EIDE cables could support devices with a storage capacity of up to 8.4 GB. During an era when most people used hard drives that were less than 100 GB, this was a big deal.

Tips on how to buy IDE Cables online in the UAE

IDE cables are almost a thing of the past. Modern computer devices have moved past them. Because of this, IDEs have become a niche market of legacy computer peripherals. Because of this, it has become harder to find the right IDE cable. One reason for this is the different variety of IDEs that exist, most of which look the same. But finding the right one is easy if you know what criteria to consider in them. Here is a list of tips that you can follow while shopping for them.

  • Type of cable – There are more than half a dozen different types of IDEs. While some of them are cross-compatible, others are not. So, make sure that you are buying the right type of IDE.
  • Pin configuration – IDE cables are available in two different pin configurations. These are 40 pin IDE and 30 pin IDE. Out of these two, 40 pin cables used to be more common because of their better performance and higher data transfer rate.
  • Data transfer rate – The major difference between different versions of IDEs is the difference in data transfer rate. This is not surprising as the need behind coming up with better IDEs was to improve the reliability and data speed of the older IDEs. So, if you want to replace the IDE in your old device, you can opt for a compatible cable with a better data transfer rate.
  • Brand – In the world of electronics, it is impossible to judge the quality of the product just by looking at it. Because most of the key components are on the scale of nanometres, there is no way of understanding the overall quality of the cable visually. This is why you should always buy computer peripherals and cables from reputed brands.

Besides IDEs, there are so many other cables that are necessary for computers and other multimedia devices. These include audio cables, AV cables, coaxial cables, component cables, composite cables, DisplayPort cables, DVI Cables, e-SATA cables, and firewire cables. The best part is that you can find all of them easily using our shopping search engine. That way, you can also compare different products and their features and pick the best one among them. Finally, don’t forget to check out other products from the Multimedia category.

Question & Answer

How are the SATA cables different from IDEs?

Both of these are two different types of interfaces that connect other hardware to the computer motherboard. SATA is an acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. You might already know that SATA is more modern than IDEs. SATA cables offer much better data transfer speed than IDE cables. For comparison, the transfer speed of the average IDE cable is 33 MBps while a regular SATA cable can give a peak transfer rate of 1989 MBps. That is a 60-fold increase in data transfer speed. On top of that, SATA cables and connectors are smaller than IDEs. So, they do not take as much space.

Are IDE cables still in use?

IDE cables were first developed in 1986. That is before personal computers became popular among common people. But these cables really took off during the mid-90s. They replaced the older ATA standard almost completely by the end of that decade. However, a newer version of ATA cables was developed in 2003. This version was known as SATA. Compared to IDE cables, SATA cables were much superior and were also much more affordable and smaller in size. These days, IDE cables are only used in legacy systems.

How is SCSI different from IDE?

Both SCSIs and IDEs were developed during almost the same time period. Even though they both shared a lot of properties, people used them for different reasons. SCSI offered a slightly faster transfer speed than IDEs. However, the main feature of SCSIs was that they allowed multiple users to access the same device at the same time. Because of this, SCSIs were more popular for server systems that many people will need to access the same server using their personal computers. But these days, there are better alternatives to SCSIs as well.

If you are looking to buy IDE cables online in the UAE, look no further as you are in the right place. There are more than 500 shops and brands offering them here on Explore products from shops like Menakart, Newchic, and many more. These shops offer cables from popular brands, including Startech and Sabrent.