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All interface communication is done through command and data transfer; the host (the PC, through the interface controller) sends commands over the interface to the disk, and the disk sends data over the interface back to the host. Some interfaces are simpler to use than others and therefore require less command "talk" over the interface. This can lead to improved responsiveness in simple setups, such as when there is only one disk on the interface. The amount of time that the interface, its controller, and the hard disk, require for processing commands is referred to as command overhead.
This is one factor that influences overall interface performance. For more information on command overhead and its performance implications, see this page in the discussion of hard disk performance.