eSATA Cable length

The following two statements are from the Wikipedia entry on eSATA

I am not sure what they mean by a “passive adapter”. What would an “active” adapter be, and would it be located in the computer or in the external hard drive enclosure? Does the second statement mean that if I install an eSATA bracket in my computer (i.e., just a length of cable with plugs either end that connects an L type SATA socket inside to an I type in the backplane) and then try to connect to my external eSATA hard drive to the backplane socket with a 2 metre cable, it will not work?

If so, that sucks. My CPU is under my desk, on the floor, and a 1 meter cable is not long enough to reach to anywhere conveniently accessible. (Two meters would be plenty, though.)

I would say it as “it’s not guaranteed to work” instead of “it won’t work”, but yeah, that’s basically what they mean by passive adapter. Instead of having a true eSATA port on the computer you are just going through an adapter to the SATA port on the motherboard. Beyond 1 meter you might have enough signal degradation that you get data errors and the drive won’t work properly.

You can always install an eSATA card in the computer. Then you could have your full 2 meters of cable length.

Thanks. :frowning:

Once you’re in the brave new world of Thunderbolt with optical cables, you will be able to have cables that are tens of meters in length! ( PDF)