Adding more SATA III Harddrive (4TB possible?)

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ico

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My current PC that has the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard (see my computer spec) that I built in 2011, was later on in 2012 added a new harddrive 2TB internal and 2TB external (for duplicate copy), using this PCI Express 2.0 SATA III controller card. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132030
Now I'm running out of harddrive space again (the joy of being a photographer). So I need to add more drive.

My question is, can I just change the current controller card, with one that has more ports like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816150041

Can I use 4TB for my next drive or does my OS/Hardware limits me to only 2TB max?
I'm interested in using this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236622
 

Triple6

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Rob
Have you used up all 7 SATA ports on the motherboard? The board has 4 SATA 6Gb/s port and 3 SATA 3Gb/s ports, even the SATA 3Gb/s ports are fast enough for a mechanical hard drive. The Intel SATA 3Gb/s ports may actually offer better overall performance that add-on SATA 6Gb/s controllers.

The motherboard should take 4TB drives, for the O/S if you use it as a data drive with GPT partitioning it'll be fine as well.
 

ico

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Hi Rob,

Yes, unfortunately I have used all the original ports on the motherboard. Perhaps I can rename the drive letters so that I would use the current active working drive to be hooked to the motherboard, and the less active ones or backups to the add-on.
But I won't have problem if I switch that add-on card (only 2 ports), with the new one with more ports, right?
I don't have to use the new add-on card for RAID right? I do not wish to use RAID config.

Not sure what you mean by GPT partitioning. Do you mean I have to split the 4TB into two 2TB partitions?
 

Triple6

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Oh OK, your computer specs only show a total of 6 internal drives including the DVD drive so I thought you might still have two free ports.

Drive letters have nothing to do with where or how the drives are hooked up. You can change them all you want but software paths that point to those drive letters will need to be changed to match.

As long as the SATA controller card isn't being used for the boot drive then switching it out shouldn't be a problem. You do not need to use the RAID functionality. You could also keep both the old card and the new card if you have enough free slots; you can even use the x16 slot for the card as it works with x1 cards as well.


GPT is partition structure for drives beyond 2TB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408
You do not need to split the drive up.
 

ico

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So you're saying that if I assigned a drive to letter X, then if I switch the hookup to that drive to a different SATA port, it will still retain it's letter name, right?

I'm also thinking about migrating my current working 2TB drive to 4TB, but then again, I still need a free port to put the 4TB. :)

If you look at the image of the motherboard here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...GABYTE_GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3-_-13-128-498-_-Product
Hover your mouse to the 3rd image.
I used the one that says PCIEX16 on the top for the graphic card.
The current add on SATA ports is on PCIEX8. PCIEX1_2 is blocked/covered by the large graphic card.
The only other slot available is the PCIEX1_3 (on the left), and PCIEX1_1 (on the right), but that's PCI EX1, which is slower than Express 2.0, correct?
So looks like I will have to change the card to one that has more SATA slots.

No the 240GB SSD for the OS/boot is hooked to the SATA on the motherboard. All the rest are for data drives, backups, and one port for DVD drive. Oh, there's also one SSD (120GB) for scratch/cache.
 

Triple6

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Guess I didn't understand what you were asking. If you connect a drive to another controller or port the drive letter can change, the O/S controls drive letters and placing it another controller can cause it to be treated as a different drive and you may need to change it back to what you want it to be.

The x16, x8, x1, etc denotes the width of the slot not the specification. You can have PCI-Express x1 slots that at PCI-Express version 2.0. The manufacturer's specifications show that all PCI-Express slots are 2.0: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3853#sp
 

ico

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Ah OK. Thanks. So I can just use the short PCI express slot for the add-on SATA card and keep the old card on the other one.

Yes, I just realized that the lettering designation is for the port. Drive naming is different, it's more like volume label. In the same drive letter, I can even swap the harddrive with a different one that has a different volume label. I hope you know what I mean. :D

A bit off topic, but with my current configuration is it worth replacing the CPU chip (i7-2600K) to increase speed? Or am I better off by replacing the RAMs with better latency?
I have a total of 4 cards of these (16GB total):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468
 

Triple6

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Neither will give worthwhile gains in my opinion. Lower latency on memory will likely do next to nothing in the real world. More memory may help if you lots of memory hungry programs open at the same time but only if your current memory usage is very high.

You'd have to get the i7-3770K which is the highest supported processor for that board and the gains would be likely be minimal over the i7-2600k as well.
 

ico

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I see.

OK. Thank you so much for your help, Rob.
You have always been super helpful! I really value your opinions. :)
 
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