SATA connections: What do the different colours mean?

SATA connections: What do the different colours mean?

What exactly is the point of all the different colours of the SATA ports of a PC motherboard? Here’s some practical advice to help you work it out.

The different colours of the SATA ports mean

On most modern motherboards there are, depending on the manufacturer, up to three different coloured SATA ports (blue, red, and black). The meaning of the colors:
  • Blue: The blue SATA connectors carry the fastest transmission rate of 6 Gbit/s. If possible, you should connect the most modern hard drive to the blue SATA port. Of course, being SATA they are also backward compatible. You can connect slower hard drives to blue, but with no speed advantage.
  • Red and the Black: The technical specification of The red and black SATA connectors can vary depending on the manufacturer. If you can locate the original motherboard manual either at home or online, this would help. As a general rule: Connect the newest hard disk always to the blue port. Older boards plug in to a non-blue port with the lowest Port number. Red and black (if present with blue) will likely be slower ports, but could be RAID configurable (if a pair exists) or have additional manufacturer specifications.
  • Generally speaking, two same-colored terminals mean that drives can be operated in RAID: In RAID, you can connect two hard drives together, which increases Read and write speed as well as reliability.