Adding SATA ports to my PC

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge' started by JaCe88, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    Unfortunately my MSI X570 MEG ACE motherboard only came with 4 SATA III ports and they'll be filled up soon since I have 2x HDDs, 1x SATA 2.5" SSD and wanted to save the other for a future 2.5" SSD. I have an AMD Ryzen 3700X, and PCI_E1 is filled with a 2080Ti. The other slots are available except PCI_E2 is covered by the GPU.

    I just ordered a PCIe to m.2 adaptor which includes both an NVME slot and a SATA slot, but the SATA slot requires a SATA cable/adaptor on the motherboard. Rather than use my last one up as per the above, I wanted to get a PCIe card which would add either 2 or 4 more SATA ports to my PC.

    Extracts from the MSI manual are:

    upload_2019-10-8_13-7-21.png

    upload_2019-10-8_13-7-39.png


    Would something like this be suitable for my PC?
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PCIe-to...xpansion-Controller-Adapter-Card/123397336755

    A few other questions:
    1. Would I be better off connecting the 2 HDDs to this rather than the motherboard SATA connectors, and using the motherboard SATA connectors for higher speed/bandwidth drives (i.e. SSDs)?
    2. Should I be worried this is only X1 rather than X4 for my purposes?
    3. What's the difference between the A and B models in the advertisement above - are they just physical layout of the ports? The 4-port one looks quite similar so I wasn't sure.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    A is an ASMedia controller, B is a Marvell controller.

    Put your slowest/least used disks on the additional controller as the card bandwidth may be limited to either 250MB or 500MB/sec.
     
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  3. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm amazed you figured that out as I couldn't see it mentioned anywhere. Is there much reason to go with one over the other brand?

    Should I assume from your post that this would work fine in the PCI_E4 X1 slot on my motherboard?
     
  4. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    the driver package for A has ASM drivers and the driver package for B has MV drivers :D

    Yeah the 1x slot is fine.

    Primary difference would be that Marvell is more of an upmarket brand, hence being white listed for Synology and Apple products. Either should work perfectly fine for your use.
     
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  5. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    Silly question but if I went with a 2 port or a 4 port, would I be able to use all SATA ports simultaneously or do they all get their bandwidth chopped down? I probably only need 2 ports (for total of 4 on motherboard + 2 on expansion) for my 3 SATA SSDs and 2 3.5" HDDs, but my case does support 4 2.5" drives and who knows if I may upgrade in the future... is there any reason not to go with 4 port since the price difference is only $7 and I only have one X1 slot anyway (so if I ended up needing more in the future I'd have wasted this one)?

    (the only potential thing I could think of against 4 port is if the performance is degraded because it has 4 ports, or if the bandwidth limitations make it such that you wouldn't use it with an SSD anyway)
     
  6. wwwww

    wwwww Member

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    You may want to check your M2 card supports SATA btw, most new ones do not.
     
  7. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    My motherboard has three NVMe m2 drives filled already hence looking at expansion card. I ordered a dual NVMe SATA X4 card off eBay which should do the trick.
     
  8. FOTW

    FOTW Member

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  9. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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  10. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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  11. Perko

    Perko Member

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    Sounds like you need a server!

    He's in the wrong thread lol.
     
  12. FOTW

    FOTW Member

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    Yep wrong thread to many tabs open :upset:
     
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  13. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    I have an old NAS but I also want to have copies of all my photos locally as well as my steam library.

    I like to think of it as I moved my hoarding to digital form.

    So what do u guys think of those two cards?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    lol I was trying to find the hidden meaning...
     
  15. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    at this point may as well just go lsi sas 2008 based card flashed to i1 mode for $50-60.
     
  16. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    sorry you lost me there. Can you pls elaborate ?
     
  17. HobartTas

    HobartTas Member

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    He means something like this https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Fujitsu...136020&hash=item2cb4097acb:g:ut0AAOSwmLlYBPJD that just needs two of these cables
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30CM-Mi...-Breakout-HD-Splitter-Blue-Cable/113796553147 and it will let you run 8 hard drives because SAS controller cards can run both SAS and SATA drives.

    This is enterprise gear and assuming your board will run it which it may not as typically SAS cards aren't supported on consumer motherboards but if it does you will get pretty rock solid performance and reliability whereas SATA cards may work but they are a bit esoteric and OS and software support works most of the time but some people report weird problems that are hard to diagnose and fix.
     
  18. OP
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    JaCe88

    JaCe88 Member

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    Is there an easy way to figure out if it'll work on my motherboard? I like the idea that it could run multiple hard drives using a splitter cable but am worried this is starting to get into the realm of complexity vs. just ensuring I'm buying decent enough mid-range quality gear that won't fail in the short term.
     
  19. HobartTas

    HobartTas Member

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    Not really, most of the time (like 99%) they do work without problems but if they don't there's not much you can do, for instance if I put in an LSI SAS card into my x58 it won't boot at all but put in a different one but the same brand and it does.

    The only thing you can do is cruise forums like Serve the home and see if someone is successfully running something like your motherboard in conjunction with your intended SAS card. If you can get it running then this is a strongly recommended way to go because in most cases it's simple to install the card, load driver software and then start adding drives.

    If you don't want the card running hardware raid in most cases all you have to do is go into the card BIOS usually by hitting CTRL-A and disabling the card BIOS itself and re-booting and from then on it just presents as a dumb card with just 8 ports attached. The complete listing of all cards is also here but avoid cards based on the 1068 chip as they can only do hard drives <2TB in size so go for SAS2008 based ones or higher like the one I recommended.

    They are only daunting if you've never had an exposure to them at all but if you can get them running they are hassle free and most times work without any issues because being enterprise gear both the software and hardware is usually well constructed.
     
  20. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    They'll work on pretty much all boards, Silverstone even sell them retail for home consumers. I've had no issues with the IBM, HP, and Dell branded variants on any of my boards.

    You can find them pre flashed IT mode on eBay for about $10-15 more than non flashed ones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 12:26 AM

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