The short answer to the question “does SATA cable provide power?” is a no. A normal SATA cable DOES NOT provide power.
However, the longer answer is that it depends on whether you are talking about the SATA DATA cable or the SATA Power cable.
Almost all of the SATA hard drives including HDDs and SATA SSDs require both a SATA cable and a SATA power cable to operate.
In the following text I will talk in detail about whether the SATA cable carries power or not.
SATA Data vs SATA Power Cable
You need to understand that there are two types of SATA cables:
- SATA Data Cable
- SATA Power Cable
When we talk about SATA cable, we are generally referring to the SATA DATA cable as shown below:
SATA data cables connect to your motherboard on one end and to your hard SATA hard drive on the other end.
The purpose of these cables is to transfer data between the drive and the motherboard. In other words, SATA Data cables DO NOT carry power.
Also Read: Can You Split SATA DATA Cables?
The other type of SATA cable is the SATA Power cable and as the name suggests, the sole purpose of this cable is to power up the SATA hard drives.
SATA power cables have a 15 pin connector and they come with Power Supply Unit. They have one end connected to the PSU, while the other connects to the hard drive.
A typical hard drive including a 3.5″ HDD, 2.5″ HDD and 2.5″ SATA SSDs, all require a SATA Data cable and a SATA Power connector.
So long story short. A typical SATA cable, aka SATA DATA cable, DOES NOT provide power. The power to the drives is delivered through the SATA power cables.
Also Read: What Are SATA Cables Used For?
So Does SATA Cable Provide Power?
So coming back to our question, does SATA cable provide power? The answer to the question is simply no.
SATA cables as we know them only carry data. They do not carry power.
The following pinout diagrams of the SATA data and power cable should explain this further.
Pinout of SATA Data Cable
The following image shows the pinout diagram of SATA Data Cable.
You can see that none of the pins on a SATA Data cable carry voltage.
Pinout of SATA Power Cable
The following image shows the pinout diagram of the SATA power cable.
Here it can be seen that the SATA Power cable carries voltage across most of its pins.
Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do I Need?
Do SATA Hard Drives Require Power?
They most certainly do. Almost all SATA drives require a power connector from the power supply unit.
The only type of SATA drives that DO NOT require a separate source of power are the M.2 SATA SSDs such as that shown below:
M.2 SATA SSDs receive their power from the M.2 port itself.
Does SATA Provide Power to SSD?
No they do not. 2.5″ SATA SSDs such as the one shown below require both a SATA data cable and a SATA power cable:
Again, the only exception are the M.2 SATA SSDs which do not require a separate power source.
Which SATA Cable is Power and Which is Data?
The data cable has smaller 7 pin connector with an L-shaped key notches.
The power cable has a larger 15 pin connect also with an L-shaped key notches.
Do I Need to Connect Both SATA DATA and Power Cables?
Yes you do. You need to connect both the SATA data and the SATA power cables in order for your hard drive to work.
How Many Drives Can be Connected to a Single SATA Cable?
As far as the DATA cable is concerned, you can only connect ONE drive per cable. DATA cables cannot be split into multiple connectors.
However, as far as the power cables go, you can connect multiple drives by splitting one SATA power connector into many using a cable such as the one shown below:
So the simple answer to the question “does SATA cable provide power” is a no. The average 7 pin SATA data cables DO NOT carry power.
The delivery of power to the hard drive is handled by a separate 15 pin SATA power cable that is connected to the power supply unit of your PC.