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best sata hard drives

The Best SATA Hard Drives in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our big SATA hard drive test. Here we present you all of the SATA hard drives that we have tested. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best SATA hard drive for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a SATA hard drive.

  • SATA hard disks are also called Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and belong to the category of storage media.
  • Depending on how much storage capacity you want, the price can show strong fluctuations.
  • Although there are several alternatives to the SATA hard drive, it is the most widely used method of storing data.

Best SATA Hard Drives

Toshiba P300 1TB

 Our Pick
Toshiba P300 1TB
2,561 Reviews
Toshiba P300 1TB
  • 1TB Toshiba internal hard drive
  • 3.5-inch form factor
  • SATA III 6Gbps interface
  • Rotation speed of 7200rpm
  • Backed by a 1 years manufacturers warranty

The SATA hard drive from Toshiba is mainly characterized by its good price-performance ratio. With a storage capacity of 1 TB and a buffer size of 64 MB, the product is called the top by many customers.

With a size of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) and a weight of 410 grams, the manufacturer promises a robust and good compatibility.

The manufacturer also offers several storage capacities such as 500 GB, 2 TB and 3 TB.

Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD

 Our Pick
Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
88,790 Reviews
Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDD
  • Store more, compute faster, and do it confidently with the…
  • Build a powerhouse gaming computer or desktop setup with a…
  • The go to SATA hard drive solution for nearly every PC…
  • Confidently rely on internal hard drive technology backed by…

The Seagate SATA hard drive is mainly characterized by its high performance. With a storage capacity of 4 TB, a buffer size of 256 MB and a data transfer rate of 190 MB / s, the hard drive is suitable for people who demand high performance.

The manufacturer also promises multi-tier caching for increased performance and dynamic versatility for upgrading computer performance.

Seagate IronWolf 2TB

 Our Pick
Seagate IronWolf 2TB
17,574 Reviews
Seagate IronWolf 2TB
  • IronWolf internal hard drives are the ideal solution for up…
  • Store more and work faster with a NAS optimized hard drive…
  • Purpose built for NAS enclosures, IronWolf delivers less…
  • Enjoy long term reliability with 1M hours MTBF

The SATA hard drive from Seagate is mainly characterized by its compatibility for NAS systems. With its ability to provide permanent and long-term performance, it is mainly suitable for network systems with storage connections.

The manufacturer promises a reduction in vibrations in multi-bay applications using rotation vibration sensors. In addition, the manufacturer promises a 180 TB / year workload and 3 year warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions: SATA Hard Drives

What is a SATA hard drive?

A SATA hard disk is a hard disk with a certain transmission technology. The word SATA stands for “Serial Advanced Technology Attachment”.

The new technology enables, among other things, a better data transmission rate and, thanks to the thin cables, more space.

SATA hard drive alternatives

As an alternative to SATA hard disks, there are also SSD hard disks. These are also called Solid State Drives and are a new variant of hard drives. SSDs are known for their robust construction and high transfer rate.

Another alternative is the SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Disk). This is made up of a combination of the SSD and the HDD (hard disk drive). The manufacturer’s idea was to combine the speed of the SSD and the capacity of the HDD and thus achieve the best of both sides.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of SATA hard drives?

The big advantage of the SATA hard disk is that it has an increased data transfer rate compared to older hard disk types. It is also very easy to use because of the simple cable connection.

In contrast to an ATA hard disk, the SATA hard disk requires fewer data lines. But a lower clock rate is used for the ATA hard drive.

Although 16 signal lines were used with the ATA hard disk, they could run stably at a clock rate of 25 MHz.


  • Easy cable management
  • High data transfer rate
  • Low data lines


  • Difficult to meet synchronous load (high clock rate)
  • Expensive

SATA Hard Drives: Purchase Criteria

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible SATA hard drives.

The criteria by which you can compare the hard drives include:

  • Data Transfer Rate
  • Capacity
  • Buffer Size
  • Hard Drive Size

Data Transfer Rate

With the SATA hard drive, data is transferred via a narrow, 8 mm wide cable that can be up to a meter long.

Depending on which SATA interface you have on your mainboard, you have to make sure that it is compatible with your connection before buying. Basically, you can differentiate between three types. SATA 1, 2 and 3.

The different SATA versions do not differ much. The only difference is that they have different net data rates.

150 MB / s (1.2 Gbit / s)

300 MB / s (2.4 Gbit / s)

600 MB / s (4.8 Gbit / s)


The hard drive capacity plays an important role when choosing a hard drive. You should therefore always be clear about what you want the hard drive for.

For example, if you have a lot of programs, it is definitely an advantage to choose a SATA hard drive with a higher capacity. The capacity of individual hard drives in newer models can range from 1 TB up to 14 TB.

However, you should know that, as mentioned in the section above, the capacity depends heavily on the price. The more capacity you want, the more you have to pay for it.

It is therefore particularly important that you are clear about which storage capacity will be sufficient for you before buying.

Buffer Size

The buffer size of a SATA hard disk is an additional intermediate storage that is responsible for accelerated data and access transfer.

The buffer memory ensures that data that is accessed frequently can be processed more quickly. So if you often work on several things on the computer, it is worthwhile to select a larger buffer memory.

The buffer size can differ depending on the product and manufacturer. 16MB, 64MB, 128MB, or even 256MB are just a few of the buffer sizes you can differentiate between.

Hard Drive Size

Another criterion that is important when choosing a SATA hard drive is the size of the hard drive.

Here you have to make sure that the SATA hard drive you choose fits exactly into your computer. Basically you can choose between 2.5 or 3.5 inches. The smaller version is the most common and more handy. However, the size says little about the content.

Therefore, it is better to check the exact dimensions before buying, otherwise it can quickly happen that the SATA hard drive does not fit into your computer.

Facts about SATA Hard Drives

How do I connect a SATA hard drive to a mainboard?

On your mainboard you will find three different SATA connections, which are marked with three different colors. Blue, black and red.

The blue SATA connectors are set for the currently fastest SATA standard (6 GBit / s). Other hard disks can still be used there, but the optimum speed can only be achieved with SATA hard disks with the latest standard.

The black and red SATA connections have different meanings depending on the manufacturer. Basically, the colors should be differentiated between the RAID-capable connections and the normal connections.

How do I connect a SATA hard drive to a USB?

When connecting your SATA hard drive you can easily use an adapter cable. You can find numerous models that will suit you on the Internet at online shops such as Amazon, Ebay or Saturn.

Here you should make sure that you find the right adapter connection. Make sure that it is really a SATA adapter cable and not an adapter cable for another hard drive.

If you have bought the adapter, you only have to plug the adapter into a free USB slot on your computer and slowly and carefully insert the adapter head with the other side into the opening of the SATA hard drive.

That’s it already. Your PC should have recognized the data storage device and you can access the data and folders on the SATA hard drive

How do I connect a SATA hard drive to my laptop?

You can connect your SATA hard drive to a USB exactly as explained in the section above. Since all laptops should have a USB connection, it should also work with a USB-SATA adapter cable.

As already mentioned above, you connect one side to the SATA hard drive and the other side to your laptop using an adapter cable

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Last product update on 2022-06-28 | Source: Amazon Affiliate