setting up eSata at the back panel with on-board sata

I recently requested assistance for a new z77 build and got wonderful comments from you guys. With the discussion, I was able to see features of the Z87 (over the Z77) so I decided to might as well go w/ a z87 due to it having 6 6Gb/s SATA. I'm looking at the z87x-ud3h and z87-D3HP ($50 difference over here in Manila). One of the main difference I see for my needs is the existence of 2 eSATA ports at the back panel of the UD3H (w/c the D3HP doesn't). This is also why I'm currently only considering the Gigabyte z87 board, since this is the only mobo I've seen w/ eSATA at the back panel at this price level.

My question is, if I get the cheaper D3HP, what do I need to have eSata at the rear back panel? I'm assuming I can use 2-3 of the 6 SATA ports on-board to connect to some connector at the rear panel, to serve as eSATA? If so, what extra parts would I need to buy? I really want eSATA at the rear because I have a couple of external SATA drives for backup/storage of videos & photos/etc. I also have several USB3.0 drives but that would be taken care of by both boards' USB3.0 ports.

For reference, I currently use a JMicron PCI card (w/ 2 esata ports) plugged into an PCI X1 slot in my P45 board, but I'm thinking that using the on-board SATA will be faster and more efficient than using this old JMicron card.

If what I'm suggesting is possible, what items would I need to buy extra? Obviously, if it would cost me around $50 too to get these extra parts, then it might be better to just get the UD3H. But I'd like to understand first what I'd need to have eSATA at the back panel if I just get the D3HP board. If it works, the savings can go to more RAM or an i7-4770 (from an i5-4670).

Thanks a lot.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about setting esata back panel board sata

    You will still need to power your drives seperately
  2. popatim said:

    You will still need to power your drives seperately

    Thanks. So this bracket functions basically similar to what the UD3H has at the back panel? I also found some PCI esata cards, which will perform better?

    BTW, I have a dock for my external SATA drives w/ respective eSata cables.

  3. Best answer
    What popatim suggests will very likely work just fine. The power supply comment is correct, but I suspect you already have that taken care of if you've been using the dock unit plus SATA HDD's before this. eSATA ports almost never supply power from the port.

    My "very likely" phrase is because of this. eSATA works a bit differently from SATA, and hence the controller chip for eSATA needs to provide certain features that regular standard SATA does not. To be absolutely sure the eSATA port will do everything it should, technically you need to use a real eSATA controller, such as your JMicron card. HOWEVER, in most recent mobos, the SATA port chip(s) do MORE than plain SATA. Many actually DO include the extra features of eSATA. Now, the adapter cable / plate item that popatim showed you does not change anything, so whatever the mobo SATA port provides is what you get on the eSATA connectors on the back of the machine. As long as the mobo controller chips actually do include the eSATA functions, everything will work perfectly.

    How do you know for sure? You don't! Almost none of the chip or mobo makers provide that level of detail. But if something is missing, MOST likely it is one of two things. The first is slightly higher voltage levels so that the signals can work over slightly longer data cables. The second is called support for Hot Swapping, which allows you to turn off and on, and disconnect / connect the external drive unit while the system is operating. If you never do this anyway, you don't need it.
  4. Thank you for the explanation, Paperdoc.

    Thanks too popatim for the suggestion.
  5. Z87 supports esata on its sata ports, its just no one uses them that way that I kow of. LoL

    See page 2 right hand side in the sata ports balloon. <grin>
  6. popatim said:
    Z87 supports esata on its sata ports, its just no one uses them that way that I kow of. LoL

    See page 2 right hand side in the sata ports balloon. <grin>

    Thanks popatim. From the document, what does 'port disable' mean?

    If it would work, does this mean getting the Z87X-UD3H is a waste of money since I can just use a spare on-board SATA port and the bracket to get the same eSATA interface? :-O Would it work if I just get the Z87-D3HP and the eSATA bracket?

    Googling didn't bring any results about anyone needing/using eSATA with mobo's that don't have eSATA ports. I presume there are a few who have eSATA drives.
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