SATA vs eSATA

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by John, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. John

    John Guest

    I'm doing a new build and my case has an eSATA port on the fron panel.
    The motherboard has a couple of unused SATA ports, but nothing
    specifically designated as eSATA.

    Can I connect the front-panel eSATA port to a plain old SATA port on
    the motherboard, or are these really different things? It looks like
    the connector will work, but I wonder if there are electrical
    differences that would make this a bad idea.

    (I don't really have any plans for using eSATA, so if this can't be
    done, it's no big deal. But if if would work then I figure I might as
    well do it.)

    TIA for any advice.

    Reply-to address is real
    -- John
     
    John, Feb 12, 2013
    #1
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  2. John

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In the last episode of <>,
    John <> said:

    >
    >I'm doing a new build and my case has an eSATA port on the fron panel.
    >The motherboard has a couple of unused SATA ports, but nothing
    >specifically designated as eSATA.
    >
    >Can I connect the front-panel eSATA port to a plain old SATA port on
    >the motherboard, or are these really different things? It looks like
    >the connector will work, but I wonder if there are electrical
    >differences that would make this a bad idea.
    >
    >(I don't really have any plans for using eSATA, so if this can't be
    >done, it's no big deal. But if if would work then I figure I might as
    >well do it.)
    >
    >TIA for any advice.


    As a rule, you can connect eSATA ports on your case to onboard SATA
    ports. They're electrically compatible, the problem is with poorly
    written drivers that fail to cope with hotswap situations.

    This can be an issue with native eSATA ports too, not just converted
    ports.

    --
    The nice thing about standards, there is enough for everyone to have their own.
     
    DevilsPGD, Feb 12, 2013
    #2
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  3. John

    Mark F Guest

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:49:06 -0500, John <>
    wrote:

    >
    > I'm doing a new build and my case has an eSATA port on the fron panel.
    > The motherboard has a couple of unused SATA ports, but nothing
    > specifically designated as eSATA.
    >
    > Can I connect the front-panel eSATA port to a plain old SATA port on
    > the motherboard, or are these really different things? It looks like
    > the connector will work, but I wonder if there are electrical
    > differences that would make this a bad idea.
    >
    > (I don't really have any plans for using eSATA, so if this can't be
    > done, it's no big deal. But if if would work then I figure I might as
    > well do it.)

    There are some external drives,
    Seagate Free Agent GoFlex Ultra-Portable, for instance that require
    +5 on what is normally the data only cable for operation.
    There might be some that need both +5 and +12.

    Therefore you should check for eSATAp (eSATA with power) and/or
    USB/eSATA combination ports.

    The eSATAp ports come in both +5 and (+5,+12V) versions. Maximum
    current at each voltage should also be considered.
    >
    > TIA for any advice.
    >
    > Reply-to address is real
    > -- John
     
    Mark F, Feb 13, 2013
    #3
  4. John

    Paul Guest

    John wrote:
    > I'm doing a new build and my case has an eSATA port on the fron panel.
    > The motherboard has a couple of unused SATA ports, but nothing
    > specifically designated as eSATA.
    >
    > Can I connect the front-panel eSATA port to a plain old SATA port on
    > the motherboard, or are these really different things? It looks like
    > the connector will work, but I wonder if there are electrical
    > differences that would make this a bad idea.
    >
    > (I don't really have any plans for using eSATA, so if this can't be
    > done, it's no big deal. But if if would work then I figure I might as
    > well do it.)
    >
    > TIA for any advice.
    >
    > Reply-to address is real
    > -- John


    SATA and ESATA are identical on protocol.

    There is a slight difference in the electrical (analog) specs.
    ESATA has a bit more budget on the difference between
    transmit level and min usable receive level. And that
    allows a slightly longer cable to be used.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sata#eSATA

    Minimum transmit amplitude increased:
    Range is 500–600 mV instead of 400–600 mV. <--- launch amplitude

    Minimum receive amplitude needed:
    Range is 240–600 mV instead of 325–600 mV. <--- receive sensitivity

    Maximum cable length increased to 2 meters (from 1 meter)

    The first two items there, is what allows the cable to be longer.

    Some chipsets claim to support both SATA and ESATA, but
    I've never seen any detail as to whether something has
    to be programmed to make it work. It would seem they
    just run in ESATA mode all the time, ready to work with
    a longer cable if one comes along. Because I can't see
    any info to suggest a register needs to be flipped to
    do one or the other.

    If you have some ESATA setup of questionable heritage,
    you can try using a shorter cable than the max stated
    by the ESATA spec, as a crutch. If you think you're
    getting transmission errors on the cable, the shorter
    cable may help a tiny bit.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Feb 15, 2013
    #4
  5. John

    John Guest

    Re: SATA vs eSAT

    On Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:49:06 -0500, John <>
    wrote:

    >
    >I'm doing a new build and my case has an eSATA port on the fron panel.
    >The motherboard has a couple of unused SATA ports, but nothing
    >specifically designated as eSATA.
    >
    >Can I connect the front-panel eSATA port to a plain old SATA port on
    >the motherboard, or are these really different things? It looks like
    >the connector will work, but I wonder if there are electrical
    >differences that would make this a bad idea.
    >
    >(I don't really have any plans for using eSATA, so if this can't be
    >done, it's no big deal. But if if would work then I figure I might as
    >well do it.)
    >
    >TIA for any advice.
    >
    >Reply-to address is real
    >-- John



    Thanks all for the help.

    Since I have no eSATA devices at the moment, I buttoned up the case
    with the front-panel eSATA cable not connected. But it sounds like I
    can hook it up if I need it and it'll probably work. I'll keep that
    in mind.


    Reply-to address is real

    John
     
    John, Mar 4, 2013
    #5
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