A SATA controller (serial ATA controller) is a hardware interface that connects a hard drive to a computer's motherboard and manages or directs the flow of data.
There are three Serial Advanced Technology Attachment controller modes:
- Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) mode sets the hard drive to run as an IDE or Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) hard drive. For older hardware, this mode may offer better compatibility; however, a hard drive in IDE mode usually performs more slowly.
- Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) enables the use of advanced features, such as hot swapping, on SATA drives. Hard drives operating in AHCI mode can operate at higher speeds than those in IDE mode.
- Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) mode enables both AHCI features and RAID functions.