Does HDD Come with SATA Cable?

The simple answer to the question “Does HDD come with SATA Cable?” is a no. Hard disk drives or even SATA SSDs DO NOT come with SATA cable.

There can be exceptions, but in majority of the instance, neither SATA data nor SATA Power cable is provided with the hard disk drive. 

SATA cables, instead, are provided with the motherboards. However, if the motherboard does NOT come with sufficient amount of SATA cables, then you will need to procure more separately.

Fortunately, SATA cables are very cheap and can be found in any local PC store or website.

There Are Two Types of SATA Cables

If you are attaching a SATA drive to your PC, then you must note that they require two types of cables:

  1. SATA DATA Cable
  2. SATA Power Cable

SATA DATA cable attaches to the motherboard’s SATA port on one end and on the Hard Disk Drive on the other end.

SATA Power Cable, on the other hand, comes from the power supply unit.

wsata-data-cable
SATA Data Cable
Sata Power Cables
SATA Power Cable

What Cables Does a SATA Hard Drive Need?

The SATA cables you need depends upon what kind of SATA hard drive you have. There are four kinds of SATA drives

  1. 3.5″ SATA HDD aka Desktop Hard Disk Drives
  2. 2.5″ SATA HDD aka Laptop Hard Disk Drives
  3. 2.5″ SATA SSDs
  4. M.2 SATA SSDs

Lets explore which SATA cables each of these drives would need:

3.5″ SATA HDD

hard drive ports connections
3.5″ Hard Disk Drive

These are the largest hard drives you can find on PC and they are found in Desktop PCs.

3.5″ HDD require both a SATA Power and SATA DATA cable.

2.5″ SATA HDD

These are also called laptop HDD. They are smaller in size compared to the 3.5 HDD and hence suitable or the compact chassis on laptops.

2.5″ HDDs when plugged in laptops do not need cables, this is because the drive bay within the laptop offers the SATA DATA and Power connectors built-in.

However, if you wish to connect a 2.5″ hard disk drive to a desktop’s motherboard, you will need to have a SATA DATA and Power cable.

2.5 hard drive labelled
2.5″ SATA HDD connectors

2.5″ SATA SSD

SATA SSD Connectors power data
2.5″ SATA SSD

SATA SSDs are much faster in performance as compared to an HDD. 

2.5″ SSDs have the same size as a 2.5″ laptop HDD. They too require a SATA power and SATA DATA cable.

Also Read: Does SATA Cable Provide Power?

M.2 SATA SSDs

Samsung Evo 860 SATA SSD m.2
Samsung Evo 860 SATA SSD with M.2 form factor

M.2 SATA SSDs are unique, in the sense that they use the same interface as any other SATA Hard Drive, but they plug into the M.2 slot on your motherboard.

These DO NOT require separate SATA Power or DATA cable.

Also Read: Are All SATA Cables the Same?

So Does HDD Come with SATA Cable?

Unfortunately, while a typical SATA HDD does require both SATA DATA and SATA Power cable to operate, they do not come packaged with either of the two cables.

Instead, SATA DATA cable comes with motherboard, whereas, SATA Power cable comes with the Power Supply Unit.

The following table explains which cables come with what device comprehensively:

Cable
Component it Comes With
SATA Data Cables
Motherboard (Often 2 provided)
SATA Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
PCIe Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Motherboard and CPU Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Main Power Cable
Power Supply Unit
Video Output Cables
Monitor
Front Panel Jumper Cables
PC Case
Front USB Cables
PC Case
Front Audio Cables
PC Case

Also Read: What Cables Do I Need for SSD?

Motherboards Generally Come with 2 SATA DATA Cables Only

It worth noting that in majority of the cases, a motherboard only comes with 2 x SATA DATA cables. 

These are quite sufficient for adding your primary and secondary HDDs. 

However, if you want to add more drives to your PC, you will need to procure additional SATA cables separately.

SATA Cables Are Very Cheap

Does HDD Come with SATA Cable
Source: Pack of 2 by Cable Matters

Fortunately, if you do not have spare SATA cables for attaching your new HDD, you can easily get a set of 3 x SATA DATA cables for about $6-$7. 

FAQ

Do You Need a SATA Cable For Each Hard Drive?

Unless you have an M.2 hard drive, yes, you will need a separate SATA data and SATA power cable for each hard drive. 

Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do I Need?

Do Motherboard Come with SATA Cables?

Yes, motherboards do come with a couple of SATA cables.

However, if your motherboard has 4 or 6 SATA ports, do not expect it to offer 4 or 6 SATA Cables as well. 

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with Cables?

Will I Get a SATA Cable Free When I Buy an HDD?

That depends on how nice the shop owner is to you. As explained above, HDDs DO NOT come with a SATA Cable.

If the shop owner is generous enough, he/she could let you keep a spare SATA cable he/she has lying around. You can try your luck. 

Do You Need to Buy a New SATA Cable for Your New HDD?

Only if you do not have one lying around. 

Also, it is worth noting that while there SATA interface has evolved with the most current version being SATA 3, there is no difference between a SATA 1, 2, or 3 cables. 

So even if you have a very old SATA cable lying around, you can use it with your newer HDD without any issues.

Also Read: Is SATA 3 Compatible with SATA 2 Ports?

Do SATA Hard Drives Need a Power Cable?

They most certainly do. 

SATA Hard Drives will NOT function without a SATA Power cable. SATA Power cables come from the power supply unit.

If you do not have sufficient SATA Power Cables, then you can get a splitter cable such as the one shown below:

sata power splitter
SATA Power Splitter Cable – in case if you do not have sufficient SATA Power cables.

Final Words

The short and simple answer to the question “does HDD come with SATA cables?” is a no. Unless you are very lucky, in almost all instances, the SATA cables come with the motherboard.

Hence, when buying an HDD, make sure that you have a spare SATA cable lying around for connecting it to your PC and while you are at it, also make sure that you have spare SATA power connector.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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