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Do SSD Drives Come With Cables?

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Solid-state drives offer removable storage via cables to the motherboard. These cables let you connect the SSD to the power supply. SATA cables are essential to your SSD setup, which might make you wonder if you’ll receive one when you purchase an SSD drive.

SSD drives don’t come with cables. You can use any compatible USB cable to connect an external SSD to a computer. SATA cables are used to connect them to the motherboard. You can also use a SATA cable splitter to attach two SSDs to the same cable.

Throughout this article, I’ll discuss what to look for when getting a cable for your SSD, whether all cables are the same, and a few answers to some common FAQs. I’ll also provide SSD cable product suggestions, so make sure to keep reading until the end.

What Cables Are Good for Solid-State Drives?

SATA cables are good for solid-state drives. They connect the SSD to the motherboard. The right type of SATA cables depends on the speed, length, and connectivity of your SSD.

SATA cables can be used with USB adapters, but they’re required if you want to connect an SDD to your computer’s motherboard. There are many types of SATA cables, and most of them will work with solid-state drives. However, several variables impact which one is right for your SSD.

Here’s what you should consider when choosing a cable for an SSD:

  • There are multiple speeds with various SATA cables. Eaton explains SATA cable bandwidth rates range from 1.5 gigabytes per second to 6 gigabytes per second. Choosing a SATA cable with speeds lower than what your SSD is designed for will drastically reduce its performance.
  • Not all SATA cables are the same length. SATA cable lengths vary from around one foot up to three feet (0.3 to 0.9 meters) or more. Measure the distance between the motherboard and wherever you want to mount the SSD to know how long the cable should be. Incorrect SATA cable lengths will affect the speed of the SSD.
  • Some SATA cables have adapters that connect them to other cables. You can use them if you want to connect USB Type 3.0 SSDs or USB-C SSDs. There are adapters for any SSD input, so make sure you know which one you need before choosing the SATA cable. Try to avoid using more than one adapter between the SSD and its cable.
  • Find out if you need a male or female SATA cable for your SSD and motherboard. Most SSDs need male SATA cables, but it’s worth looking into. For example, a male-end SATA cable won’t connect to a female SATA cable port, but it can often plug right into the motherboard’s SATA port.
  • Many SSDs need to connect to eSATA ports rather than directly to the motherboard. These ports are connected to the back of the computer. The motherboard has a port into which you can plug the cable. The other side also has ports for your USB solid-state drives.

Choosing the right SATA cable for your SSD will make a big difference. While it’s essential to abide by the necessary connection ports, the data transfer rate and length are almost entirely up to you. Make sure there’s enough length to mount the SSD wherever you want to inside the computer case.

Which SSD Cable Should You Buy?

You should buy a SATA III cable for your SSD. It provides the highest possible speed. Make sure it’s long enough to connect the SSD to the motherboard and compatible with the motherboard’s ports.

The Cable Matters SATA III Cable (available on comes in a three-pack of 18-inch (46 cm) SATA III cables. Each cable has a 90-degree port to fit any SATA III input on a computer’s motherboard. These high-speed cables come in red and black, and you can also choose 24-inch (61 cm) cables if you need more space to mount your solid-state drive.

If you have an external SSD, you can use the SABRENT USB 3.0 to SATA Cable (also on Amazon). It works for SATA I, II, and III motherboards, and it plugs into any USB 3.0 port on your PC or laptop. The company also offers a USB-C adapter for newer computers with USB-C ports. It works up to 5 gigabytes per second, making it much faster than most USB SATA adapters.

Note: It’s important not to mix up SSD cables and SATA adapters. Adapters have different ports on both sides, whereas traditional SSD cables have to same ports on both ends.

The best way to know which SSD cable you should buy is to find out which ones are compatible with your device, which ones have your desired speed requirements, and how long the cable is. In the following section, we’ll learn why not all SSDs use the same cables and how you can know which cables are better for your solid-state drive.

Do All SSD Use the Same Cables?

All internal SSDs use the same cables. External SSDs that connect via a USB port may use any USB cable. However, the other side of the external USB port plugs into the SATA port on the motherboard, which means all SSDs require SATA ports to function properly. 

So, how do you know which cables your SSD needs?

  • Check if it has a plug-in SATA connection. If your SSD is designed to plug directly into the motherboard, it’ll have a male end. You can use a female-end SATA cable to connect it to the motherboard if you want to mount the solid-state drive elsewhere in the computer case. Keep in mind that this could impact data speeds.
  • Find out which SATA ports your computer’s motherboard has. For example, if the motherboard has a SATA III port (the best one for most SSDs), you’ll need a SATA III cable to connect to the solid-state drive. Choosing the wrong port or cable can create compatibility problems or reduce transfer speeds.
  • Decide if you want to use internal or external SSD connections. If you want to use the previously mentioned eSATA port on the back of your computer, make sure you have the proper SATA cable (USB, USB-C, etc.). You can always remove the eSATA port and replace it with a SATA-compatible solid-state drive.
  • SATA cables have different speeds that could be required by the SSD manufacturer for optimal performance. Check with the manufacturer before deciding which SATA cable is best for your computer. While most of them will work, choosing the highest speed will undoubtedly yield better results.
  • You can plug an SSD into the same SATA port as your old HDD. Always take caution when replacing an HDD. HHDs and SSDs normally use the same cables. Solid-state drives are much faster, which is one of the main reasons many people switch their HDDs to SSDs.

It’s impossible to plug an SSD into the wrong cable because SATA ports are so specific. However, choosing a low-quality SSD cable could result in reduced functionality. Read on if you have multiple solid-state drives that you want to connect to the motherboard via the same SATA cable.

Can You Connect Two SSDs to the Same Cable?

You can connect two SSDs to the same cable if you have a multiport SATA cable or a cable splitter (a two-way adapter). These cables require higher transfer rates since they’re going through multiple SATA cables. However, they can be equally as efficient as single-port solid-state drives.

Follow these instructions to connect two SSDs to the same cable:

  1. Turn off your computer and lay it on its side, then remove the cover plate. Never work on the electrical components of a computer while it’s plugged in. Furthermore, make sure the fans are off. Laying a computer on its side with rotating fans can cause electrical issues. The side panel is the most accessible point to the motherboard.
  2. Locate the SATA port on your motherboard and connect it to a two-way SATA cable. Many motherboards have multiple SATA ports, so choose the one that fits the SATA cable. Additionally, make sure you plug the correct side of the cable into the motherboard, not the side with two ports.
  3. Connect both of the solid-state drives to the SATA cable, powering it through the motherboard. They’ll slide into the two-sided port, much like plugging any other SSD into a SATA cable. It’s important that both sides of the SATA cable match both of the solid-state drives you want to connect to the motherboard.
  4. Mount the SSDs inside the computer to prevent them from shifting around. You’ll have to attach them to the side and tape the cables down. Many computers have mounting ports that hold compatible solid-state drives. You can also modify the computer, but this requires you to drill new holes into the body of your device.
  5. Seal the computer, turn it on, and access both SSDs. Although it might seem like a popular design choice, you should never run a computer with the side of it open. Not only does it encourage the collection of dust and debris, but it also increases the likelihood of something bumping into the fans and cables. Turn on your computer and test the SSDs to ensure this process worked.

If you’re stuck or you prefer video instructions, review this helpful SATA-SSD guide on YouTube:

How Do SSDs Get Power Without Cables?

Many solid-state drives get power without cables by getting plugged directly into the motherboard’s SATA ports. Some SSDs plug into the back of the computer, but the other side of the eSATA port connects to the motherboard, much like a traditional SATA cable. Since most SSDs don’t include cables, you’ll have to determine if yours needs one or not.

Here’s what you should know about SSDs without cables:

  • If your SSD has a male end, you can almost always plug it into the motherboard without a SATA cable. Consider using a SATA cable with a female end if you want to mount the SSD elsewhere in the computer case. SSDs designed to connect directly to the motherboard are typically ultra-thin and short, though.
  • Just because your SSD doesn’t include a cable doesn’t mean it doesn’t need one. As mentioned above, internal SSDs need to be connected to the motherboard, which almost always means they need a cable or an adapter. Look at the back of your computer and check for anything labeled ‘eSATA’ or ‘SSD’ to know what connections it requires.
  • A SATA 2.5” SSD requires an external power supply before being connected to the motherboard. They’re not the most popular choice because they can’t be powered via the computer. They also require additional cables that don’t come with the solid-state drive. According to PC Guide 101, SATA 2.5” SSDs provide the lowest speeds, too.

The motherboard almost always supplies the power to your SATA cable, which transfers to the SSD. While some SATA cables are designed specifically for data transfer, most of them are used for data transfer and supplying power simultaneously. Dual-purpose SATA cables are always better because they take up less space.

If you plug your SSD into the SATA port on your computer’s motherboard and there’s no power, there’s a problem with the port, the motherboard, or the cable. Make sure the computer is on; otherwise, the SSD won’t have any power. Tighten each of the ports to ensure there’s a steady connection.

Solid-state drives typically need cables but they rarely include them. You might be able to find a combo kit online, though they’re few and far between. Don’t skimp out on your SATA cable or you’ll end up reducing your solid-state drive’s performance value.


Although the vast majority of solid-state drives don’t come with cables, you can still find the perfect one for your motherboard. However, it’s important to use the right SATA port for your SSD since it affects compatibility, transfer rate, and more.

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