One major disadvantage of IDE is that, since the IDE market is not high-end, the fastest IDE drives tend to be much slower than the fastest available SCSI drives. You can buy a 7200rpm IDE drive, which is plenty fast, but you can buy a 15,000rpm SCSI drive, which is much faster. Also, the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) of IDE drives have historically been lower than that of SCSI drives. This may be due to marketing but it also may be due to looser tolerances for the less critical and more fault tolerant mass market.
The future of ATA lies in Serial ATA. Serial ATA will use only two wires (one sending each way) to transmit data to and from IDE hard drives at 1.5Gbps and faster. That's almost twice as fast as ATA/100 with 1/40th of the wires! Serial ATA will reduce cable clutter and, after retooling, manufacturing costs while increasing performance. The only drawback of Serial ATA we see is that it will only allow one driver per channel, which isn't a problem with multiple channels.
- Excellent performance for the money
- Widely supported
- Fastest drives are not available
- Short cable length
- Internal only