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How to add more SATA III ports?


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ico   (Leo) ico is offline
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04-Aug-2012, 07:51 PM #1
How to add more SATA III ports?
With my current setup, I'm basically out of free ports for adding more drives.

I want to add one more SSD and one more HD to the mobo.

I just bought a 240GB SSD. I will clone the content (OS, software, etc) from the current 120GB SSD to this new one with EaseUS. The current 120 GB SSD will then be dedicated for cache on image editing.

I have looked into cards like this one, but reading from the reviews it seems that this setup would be slow for the max SATA III speed.The funny thing is that the pins on the card seems short like it's for PCI Express x1

I do have an extra unused PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot.
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05-Aug-2012, 10:52 AM #2
Is this for your GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard?

If so it has four SATA 6GB/s ports and three SATA 3GB/s, I'd put the SSD's on the 6GB/s controller and two of the faster mechanical drives on the other two SATA 6Gb/s ports and put the last mechanical drive on a 3GB/s port. Mechanical drives can barely exceed SATA 1.5GB/s speeds for sustained read/write operations, the faster 3 or 6GB/s interface speeds only give you a benefit for burst speeds for a data drive that has very little real world impact. Most cheap SATA cards don't deliver the full potential of 6GB/s performance anyway.
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05-Aug-2012, 12:32 PM #3
Hi Rob,
Yes, that is my motherboard.
OK. That makes sense.

I want to dedicate two ports for two 2TB HDs, these are for data.
Then two ports for two swappable 2TB HDs which will be a backup for those first two 2TB HDs.

One port for 1TB HD, also for data.

Then of course two ports for the two SSDs.

Is the SATA card I gave the link above OK? Or should I just get a SATA II card? Or perhaps you can recommend a different SATA III card.
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05-Aug-2012, 02:05 PM #4
Oh so you actually need 7 ports.

Why not just use the eSATA port and connect the backup drives external; much easier and safer then constantly swapping them internally.
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05-Aug-2012, 02:31 PM #5
Well here's what I do with the swappable drives.
After I upload image files, the data on the "fixed" HD would be backed up to the swappable drive. I would take out this HD to a safe deposit box at a local bank, and swap it with the one that is there.
This is a safety precaution in case anything happens to my home (fire or other disaster that would damage everything if all of the data is in one place). *knock on wood*

Well 7 ports for now, but who knows what I'll need in the near future
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05-Aug-2012, 04:27 PM #6
Those backup drives are best connected externally, not internally, so you only need 5 ports on the motherboard which you have. You also have one eSATA port which would be perfect for the backup drives and the enclosure would provide some extra protection for transporting and storing, example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817576015
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05-Aug-2012, 05:02 PM #7
Well actually I have this enclosure that I never used.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817173043

That should do, right?

I do need all 7 ports + the eSATA

2 SSDs
1 DVD burner
1 1TB HD
2 2TB HDs
1 2TB HD for internal/swappable backup for the first 2TB HD

1 eSATA for external HD for backup of the second 2TB HD.

Now that you mentioned it. I wish the Mobo has 2 eSATA ports. Of course I could buy one of those cards with eSATA.
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05-Aug-2012, 05:19 PM #8
Here's some SATA 6GB/s cards with eSATA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...NG&PageSize=20
Most of cheap cards won't deliver full performance, but for mechanical drives it shouldn't be an issue.
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06-Aug-2012, 11:12 PM #9
From the list you gave me, I wonder if this one would deliver full SATA III performance?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816129087

I'm thinking in long term, if I ran out of the 4TB, and need to add another 2TB internal harddrive in the future (oh boy ), then I would have some more ports ready.

Well hopefully by then there would be 4TB harddrives, but I've read people having problem with 3TB drives.
Even Western Digital don't make 3TB drives for the Caviar Black line. Not sure why.
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07-Aug-2012, 07:21 AM #10
Seems pricey for a Startech card with that Marvell chip, and I din't think cards with that chip can deliver full SATA 6Gbs performance but you may have to look up the exact chip used on that card.
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07-Aug-2012, 08:21 AM #11
Yeah, it is pricey. I wish there's one that's a bit cheaper. Maybe with a little less ports.

Here is the Product Spec from Startech.
http://intrl.startech.com/Cards-Adap...-Line~PEXSAT34

If you click on the Tech Spec tab, you can see the chipset used. Please also see the Special Notes.
It says that if you use PCI Express 2.0, the max throughput is 5Gbps. Not 6 but much better than 3Gbps.

I guess I could get this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816132030
I just hope I can use both the internal and external ports. Some cards can only allow you to use one port. So you have to choose whether you want the SATA or eSATA.

I also look at the reviews. This Rosewill and that Startech have good reviews compared to the others.
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07-Aug-2012, 11:31 AM #12
In my experience not of these controllers will deliver full performance, but again, it's really not needed for a mechanical drive.
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07-Aug-2012, 12:05 PM #13
I see.

So there are no other solution for full performance except when the ports are on the motherboard itself?
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07-Aug-2012, 03:49 PM #14
Smile This was recommended to me for external HDs and DVDs units.
This was recommended to me for external HDs and DVDs units. I have two of them and THEY ARE GREAT. I can easily use them for my external HD and switch over for an additional DVD burner.

The company has much more up to date adapters I am sure. This included SATA adapters and USB adapters that I needed a couple years ago. I really like them and they have been a great help.

http://www.vantecusa.com/en/product/view_detail/266

I was told by much more knowlegeable friends to be sure to get a External HD enclosure with an exhaust fan or if using a Seagate etc USB External HD to keep it cool, perhaps directing a small fan on it while it is being used they do get warm.
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07-Aug-2012, 08:09 PM #15
The Rosewill card will likely be a good choice, good reviews and good price, and it should be able to transfer data several times faster then any hard drive(mechanical) you'll connect to it.
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