Ultra ATA/100 FAQs

Ultra ATA/100ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) refers to a common standard used to connect hard drives and other storage devices to a motherboard. It is also referred to as IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics), though the terms are not technically interchangeable. Ultra ATA is simply next generation ATA with improved transfer speed and architecture. There are several buzzwords surrounding Ultra ATA that can make it a little confusing for consumers, but each buzzword refers to an aspect of the standard that forms the overall architecture of Ultra ATA.

Ultra ATA/100 use the new Ultra DMA mode 5, supporting interface transfers at 100 MB/s.

1. What is required to run in Ultra ATA/100 Mode?
Similar to Ultra ATA/66, there are basically four requirements:

  • An Ultra ATA/100-capable system board and BIOS. (Ultra ATA/100 expansion cards are also available.).
  • An Ultra ATA-capable 40 pin, 80 conductor cable with the blue (system board), black (master) and gray (slave) connectors.
  • An operating system capable of DMA transfers, such as a Windows OS.
  • An Ultra ATA/100-capable device.

2. Are the Ultra ATA/33, Ultra ATA/66 and Ultra ATA/100 interfaces backward compatible?
All Seagate Ultra ATA/100 drives are backward compatible with Ultra ATA/33, Ultra ATA/66, and legacy ATA interfaces.

3. How do I know if my system can support the new Ultra ATA/100 products?
Please check with your preferred motherboard manufacturer or system manufacturer for Ultra ATA/100 support information.

4. Will performance be affected if I have an Ultra ATA/100 disc drive on a slower ATA controller?
Using a slower transfer mode affects only the external transfer rate of the device. If an Ultra ATA/100 device is configured for a slower transfer mode, its maximum speed will of course be limited to the maximum burst transfer rate of that mode. However, the internal performance is not affected by the external transfer mode, therefore the sustained transfer rate will not be as drastically affected as the maximum (burst) transfer rate.