How Many SATA Ports Do I Have: Figure Out the Number With Ease

How many SATA ports do I have? A user often wonders about the same before installing multiple hard drives into the motherboard. Having enough SATA ports results in enjoying the benefits of more storage space on your PC.

How Many SATA Ports Do I Have

So, if you want to know the number of SATA ports on your computer, then read this post without further ado and see how you can get the exact port count.

How Many SATA Ports Do I Have?

You might have four to eight SATA ports on your motherboard. However, the exact count of the ports depends on the model of your motherboard. It means that you can’t know the exact port count until you know the model number or have the motherboard in front of your eyes.

How To Check SATA Ports on Motherboard?

You can check the SATA ports on your motherboard by putting into action one of the following:

  • Count ports.
  • Read the motherboard’s specifications.
  • Opt for a third-party software.
  • Enter a specific command.
  • Check out the System Summary.
  • Search for SATA ports in the BIOS screen.
  • Reach out to an expert.

– Look, Observe, and Count

Once you confirm the model number of your motherboard, you can access the port count. Furthermore, if the motherboard is right in front of you, then this post will guide you in counting the ports. However, if you aren’t an expert at handling computer hardware, then asking for help won’t do any harm. Thus, the first way to check the number of SATA ports on your motherboard has been explained below.

Let’s start with the simplest and the easiest way to get the port count without running to the manufacturers or searching online. However, you’ll need to be very careful because the motherboard is a quite sensitive component. So, all that you’ll have to do is to shut down your PC, unplug it, and open the computer case. Next, you’ll have to look for the L-shaped ports on the motherboard and count them.

The ports will be colored differently depending on their type and the choice of the manufacturer. For example, some manufacturers use blue to identify the SATA 3 ports. However, the black and the red ports are generally the ones with a slower speed than the blue ones. Although the colors help in quick identification, it would be better to read the labels below the ports to check their version.

Furthermore, please consider pulling out the motherboard from the case only if you are already aware of the precautions.

– Read the Motherboard’s Specifications

The computer parts manufacturers mention the descriptions and specifications of the components on their official websites. Hence, you can check out the specifications of your motherboard on the same. Here, the only thing that you’ll need to know is the motherboard’s model number.

Read the Motherboard s Specifications

You can find the same inside the motherboard manual, or you can check it by following the below steps on Windows 10:

  1. Click the Windows icon.
  2. Open the search bar.
  3. Type “System Information” in the query box.
  4. Look for the System Model row in the Information window.

Do you prefer to use the command prompt? Then there is the command that’ll return the motherboard model:

wmic baseboard get product, Manufacturer

Once you’ve got the model number, you’ll need to search for it on the manufacturer’s official website and find the port count in the specifications of the same.

– Opt for a Third-party Software

The third-party tools that are designed to detect your hardware details and present them in front of you seem to be beneficial when nothing else works. You’ll only need to download and install the software, open it, and find the number of ports in the information generated by the same. Here is the list of the tools that’ll help you in discovering the port count:

  • CPU-Z
  • Speccy
  • HWiNFO
  • PC Wizard
  • WinAudit
  • BlackBox

– Enter the Command

You can run a single command to determine the number of SATA ports on your motherboard. Here is the magical command:

which disk drive get index, interface speed

Once you run the above command, a list of all connected storage devices will appear on your screen. The interface speed and the index number of each device will also be displayed. Here, you’ll need to look for the row that reads “SATA.” It will have a number printed on its left side. Note the given number because it is what you are looking for, the SATA port count.

– Check Out the System Summary

You can access the system summary to find out the port count. Here are the exact steps to help you out:

  1. Click the Windows icon.
  2. Enter “msinfo32” in the search box.
  3. Click on “System Summary” and the list of all of the hardware components will appear.
  4. Look for the number of the given ports in the same list.

– Search for SATA Ports in the BIOS Screen

You can look for the number of the said ports in the BIOS screen as well. If you don’t know how to open your BIOS screen, then you can find the required key or combination of keys inside your system’s manual. Moreover, the same combination of keys is usually seen on the screen during the boot process. The common keys for opening the BIOS are F10, F12, F1, F2, and DEL.

Search for SATA Ports in the BIOS Screen

Once you’ve got to the said screen, you’ll need to look for the drives or storage section. The number of the stated ports will be displayed in the same section.

Please note that the above method is not recommended for beginners.

– Reach Out To an Expert

If you don’t want to try out any of the above ways and want someone to find the number of ports for you, then you’ll need to reach out to an expert. The person can be a hardware expert or even someone who can run the computer well.

If the person is away, then you can click a picture of your motherboard and send it along with your query to the same person. However, you can also ask the person to visit your place and find the port count for you through your system.

How Many SATA Ports Are Occupied?

The Device Manager can come to the rescue and help you find the number of SATA slots that are already occupied. Please implement the below steps to see how many storage devices are already connected to your computer.

  1. Click the Windows icon.
  2. Open the search bar and type “Device Manager”.
  3. Click on “Disk drives” and a list of drives will show up.
  4. Count the drives.

Consequently, the quantity of the SATA hard drives will represent the number of occupied ports.

What Are the Types of SATA Ports?

There are four types of the given ports. You can learn about them one by one under the below subheads:

  • SATA I or SATA 150

It is the first generation SATA interface. It runs at the speed of 1.5 Gigabits per second and transfers 150MB/s due to 8b/10b encoding.

  • SATA II or SATA 300

It is the second generation SATA interface. It runs at the speed of 3.0 Gigabits per second and transfers 300MB/s due to 8b/10b encoding.

  • SATA III or SATA 600

It is the third generation SATA interface. It runs at the speed of 6.0 Gigabits per second and transfers 600MB/s due to 8b/10b encoding.

  • External SATA or eSATA

External SATA is used for connecting your computer to both external drives and SATA drives. The said port has keyed cutouts that allow the same to connect perfectly to both types of devices.

Which Serial ATA Port Should You Use?

You should use the Serial ATA port that matches your hard drive’s requirement to transfer the data at the maximum possible speed. Although the hard drive that is designed for a higher Serial ATA port generation or type will work fine with the lower port generation, it won’t work at full speed.

Which Serial ATA Port Should You Use

For example, you have a SATA III drive, and your motherboard has SATA II and SATA III ports available. Here, it would be better to insert the drive into the SATA III port for maximum performance. In the other case, the drive will perform at the speed of the SATA II port, which will be slower than SATA III.

What Does SATA Port Multiplier Mean?

The SATA PM is a device that increases the efficiency of a single SATA port. It fulfills your desire to use more number of drives with fewer available ports on your motherboard. The said device is connected to the required port through a cable. Next, multiple drives are connected to the SATA PM through multiple SATA cables.

The stated arrangement of drives does not result in any errors. You can safely install one to four internal and zero to two external drives on your motherboard by using a SATA PM. Note that the said port multiplier is also known as the SATA expansion card. It looks similar to the video or sound cards.

Furthermore, you can use the same card to add the SATA functionality to the old systems that do not have the said functionality by default. Here, you’ll need to insert the SATA card into the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slot on your motherboard. Next, the HDDs and SSDs

– Benefits of SATA PM

The benefits of SATA PM have been listed below:

  1. Cost-effectiveness
  2. Better performance than an externally connected USB
  3. Easy to insert and remove drives
  4. A more secure system
  5. Improved airflow

– Drawbacks of SATA PM

Although a SATA card or port multiplier has been designed to pour the SATA functionality into the systems, it comes with a few drawbacks. The below list states the cons of a SATA PM:

  • It is difficult to configure.
  • It might result in disabling the already installed drives on some systems.
  • In some cases, it might make it difficult to use the internal and external drives simultaneously.

How To Test SATA Power Cable?

You can test the given cable for wellness by either looking for any visible damage to the cable or checking if the already tested drive that is connected with the same is recognized in the BIOS.

How To Test SATA Power Cable

Both of the mentioned procedures have been explained below in detail:

  • Check if the cable is damaged

If you can see that the cable is damaged, then there are chances that it won’t work. Hence, the first thing that you’ll need to consider while testing the said cable is its perfect appearance, free from any cuts and twists.

  • Look at the BIOS screen

If you are sure that the drive that is connected with the said cable hasn’t gone through failure and is working fine, then look at the BIOS screen. Here, if you can see the attached drive, then the power cable isn’t faulty. In the other case, the drive won’t be recognized in the BIOS irrespective of its working state.


1. Does SATA Card Contain a RAID Chip?

Yes, some SATA cards come with a RAID chip. It helps in plugging the drives into the card and setting up a RAID inside the system. The said RAID will be perfect for storing the data for long durations and creating backups because it will work independently.

2. Can the Serial ATA Ports Stop Working?

Yes, the Serial ATA ports can stop working due to damage caused to the ports or cables and frequently inserting and removing the drives. Moreover, a low voltage or a sudden increase in power can hurt the ports. Thus, it is recommended to use the cables carefully and plug the drives in a way that the ports don’t get damaged. Also, it would be better to monitor the voltage that is being passed to the ports and ensure that the ports get the power that they can handle.

Neither low nor high voltage is good for the Serial ATA ports.

3. How Many Cables Are Required for an SSD?

Two cables are required for a SATA SSD. One cable is needed at the top for data, and another cable is required at the bottom for power. A typical 2.5-inch SATA SSD comes with a SATA data connector and a SATA power connector. The data connector is used for connecting to a SATA port on a desktop motherboard.

How Many Cables Are Required for an SSD

Next, the blade-like power connector is used to create a connection with the SATA power cable of the power supply.

4. Is a SATA SSD Cable the Same as a SATA HDD Cable?

Yes, a SATA SSD cable is the same as a SATA HDD cable. You can even use the same cable for all of the Serial ATA port generations.

5. Where Are the Serial ATA Ports Located on the Motherboard?

The Serial ATA ports are usually located on the lower right side of your system’s motherboard. Thus, you should look at the stated location for finding the given ports.

6. Does the Color of a Serial ATA Cable Matter?

No, the color of a Serial ATA cable does not matter. It is only used for differentiating between various connected drives. This is why you’ll even see some cables glowing in the dark. So, you should not expect a difference in the functionality of the Serial ATA cables based on their different colors.

Does the Color of a Serial ATA Cable Matter

As mentioned earlier, they all are the same with different connector types.


As per the above article, the port count varies between different motherboard models. However, you’ve got a variety of ways to determine the same.

Please read the below list to get the main idea of the post in fewer words:

  • Your motherboard might have four to eight SATA ports.
  • You can manually count the ports, search online, or reach out to an expert to get the exact count.
  • A few commands can help in determining the port count.
  • Your PC can show you the port count with a few clicks.

Whichever solution you choose to implement, the count won’t be different from the one on your motherboard.

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