Serial ATA (SATA) replaces Parallel ATA (PATA a.k.a. IDE) as the new standard for high speed reliable data transfer between your computers motherboard and storage drives. SATA provides faster data transfers less clutter due to a more compact cable leading to better in-case air circulation and ability to hot swap connections. First generation SATA is generally referred to simply as SATA but is also known as SATA 150 or SATA 1 has a throughput of 1.5 gbit/s. It is an internal interface that uses "L" type connectors. They are referred to as "L" connectors because if you look at the female connector head on it has a sideways "L" shaped slot. The male connector has an "L" shaped tongue. Second generation SATA is known as SATA 3 Gbps but commonly referred to as SATA 2 and sometimes SATA 300. It supports a 3.0 Gbps transfer rate and also uses the "L" type connector. SATA 2 cables are backward compatible with first generation SATA devices. However maximum throughput will be limited to the least common denominator. To go with the newer SATA interface SATA drives usually employ a new 15 pin power connector as oppose to the older 4 pin Molex power connectors used on older system. However some drives will have both types of connections for ease of installation into legacy systems.