Mobo With The Most SATA Connectors? (Intel E7400)

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by (PeteCresswell), Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Got an Asus mobo running an "Intel Core2 Duo CPU E7400"... Socket

    Running Windows Home Server, and the add-on SATA cards bco
    limited number of mobo SATA connectors are becoming a headache.
    This board has six SATA connectors.

    8 would do the trick right now.

    More would be better.... 12? 16?

    Anybody know of a board that would take that CPU and offer more
    SATA connectors?
    (PeteCresswell), Apr 9, 2011
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  2. (PeteCresswell)

    Paul Guest

    Get yourself a port multiplier capable SATA card. This card
    has two ports. $27.

    Add to that, a port multiplier. This typically come with one
    host side port, and five peripheral ports. The addressing feature
    in the standard, may support something like fifteen drives, but
    the device typically used, has five ports. It's set up that way,
    for bandwidth reasons.

    If you use two of those, you can control ten drives from the
    SIL3132. The SIL3132 comes with software for managing the drives
    (the software may support software RAID, but I'm assuming here
    it could just as easily offer JBOD for each disk).

    I've yet to run into someone who bought one, but it's an option.
    If you wanted lots of theoretical bandwidth, that is not the way to
    get it.

    There are two flavors of port multiplier protocol, and not a lot
    of articles on the topic. I picked the SIL3132, because it's one
    of the first to be used in such a setup.


    Fanout arrangements are also available. For example, Silicon Image
    makes 1:2 devices, and you can "span" two disks together, to make
    a larger disk. But that is not likely to be exactly what you want.
    And the wiring would likely be a mess. The 1:5 of the port multipler
    is a bit neater, but the expense is likely the reason nobody is
    buying it. I see in a search, that Addonics is making one too.

    This is the same idea, but with different packaging.

    You can see the PM chip, staring out at you from inside the box :)$S640W$

    I believe you can have more than one SIL3132 in a system.


    With respect to motherboards, I might expect to see up to about
    ten ports. That would be a six port motherboard, and two external
    chips of two ports each. That is about all you could reasonably
    expect. A few years back, they would throw a SIL3114 on some of the
    boards, but I don't think that would be a popular now. Now, you
    might get a JMB363 (2 ports) and a Marvell SAS chip (2 ports), plus
    a six port Southbridge. And the board might be a bit expensive.

    Speaking of which, SAS can fan out to a large number of drives, but
    SAS drives are very expensive. So you wouldn't build a "home farm"
    with tech like that. A single SAS 15K drive would make a dandy boot
    drive, but storage of terabytes of data on such drives, would cost
    as much as a small car. Only businesses can afford tech like that.
    Or perhaps Bill Gates. For the rest of us, there's SATA.


    In terms of sheer number of ports, Areca makes some cards with large
    numbers of ports. But a card can cost up to $1000 or so.

    For example, $1200 gets you 24 ports. That's $50 per port. (But
    it's a high performance card, with many possibilities.) The
    port multiplier concept, at about $230 for ten ports, is $23 per port.
    And performance is suited to streaming content to other computers,
    rather than setting any RAID records. (With the SIL3132, you can
    set up soft RAID configurations.)

    The Areca comes with a mix of cables, so you might need to buy a couple more
    red ones.

    In years past, some people used to buy multiple SIL3114 PCI cards,
    and fill their PCI slots, to build a home server. But modern motherboards
    have a pretty crappy mix of slots now, so it's pretty hard to have
    cheap fun like that. And you might have trouble finding the cards too,
    as SIL3114 is SATA I and that scares some people away. But if all you
    want is raw capacity, a SATA I connection is nothing to be concerned
    about. It's limited to 125MB/sec or so. The per port cost of
    SIL3114 cards, would be a lot lower than the other options.

    Example of SIL3114. There are some customer reviews. The card is worth
    about $25, so take the "savings" info with a grain of salt.

    Also, when you see a SIL3114 offer six ports, you know that's crap.
    The chip has four ports. A jumper block, allows steering two ports
    to the faceplate connector. So only four of six connectors work
    at a time. I'd sooner buy the other one, before I'd buy this.
    Running SATA signals through a jumper block, is a dumb idea.

    So you can see, there are some relatively cheap fanout options.

    Paul, Apr 9, 2011
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  3. (PeteCresswell)


    Jan 1, 2012
    Likes Received:
    The GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R has 12 SATA connectors, plus an IDE connectors. That includes (2) eSata connectors. The eSATA connectors are on a different chipset than the internal SATA connectors, so I think they really are independent.

    On the down side, it is a socket 1336 board, so a "cheap" processor is $300.
    recycledelectrons, Jan 1, 2012
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