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Transfer speeds for PCIe to eSATA instead of a motherboard socket.

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Last response: in Components
May 25, 2014 3:55:51 PM

My 6-year old Optiplex 755 has died despite recent refurbishing. I usually keep computers at least this long, so when I do buy a new PC, I like to buy a box with fairly new tech, as much RAM as I can afford, and a moderate-high-end GPU. No, I’m not an extreme gamer, but the casual games I *do* play are requiring more and more graphics capability. And I get impatient: the scanning/photo work I should be doing in retirement needs to move quickly or I won’t do it.

Husband is determined to build this computer for me. We’ve agreed to stick to Windows 7 for now, and one of the 4th Gen i7 processors (which drives a lot of our other choices)..and that is ALL we’ve agreed on. I want the motherboard-based eSATA connectivity I have had with the Optiplex. I love backing up files to my external hard drive that runs like lightning via an eSATA port right on the motherboard. Transfer speeds for huge files are faster than on any other connection we have: internal, external or networked. Problem: We’ve found very few motherboards with eSATA connections set up (high-speed SATA, connectors, controllers, etc).

Husband says we could get a motherboard with that 6 GB/s SATA capacity, and drop in a PCIe-to-eSATA card.

Question: Are file transfers through the PCIe card going to be as quick as those I’ve gotten with that mobo slot?

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.

More about : transfer speeds pcie esata motherboard socket

a c 99 G Storage
a c 205 V Motherboard
May 25, 2014 4:26:32 PM

eSATA is logically identical to SATA. The only difference between SATA and eSATA is that eSATA specifies a more robust cable and connector (as it's expected to be moved, inserted, and removed more often) and tighter electrical tolerances. Many cases include an optional back panel connector which acts as a mechanical SATA to eSATA adapter. That is, it's eSATA facing externally, and SATA facing internally. You can connect this connector to an internal SATA port without issue. As long as HotSwap is enabled for that port, it should work just fine.
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May 27, 2014 4:04:44 PM

Pinhedd said:
eSATA is logically identical to SATA. The only difference between SATA and eSATA is that eSATA specifies a more robust cable and connector (as it's expected to be moved, inserted, and removed more often) and tighter electrical tolerances. Many cases include an optional back panel connector which acts as a mechanical SATA to eSATA adapter. That is, it's eSATA facing externally, and SATA facing internally. You can connect this connector to an internal SATA port without issue. As long as HotSwap is enabled for that port, it should work just fine.

Understand the equivalence. The question I asked r/t the way the SATA connection is made. I installed that back panel connector on two Optiplex 755 systems. But in each case, the internal cable went directly from the back panel connector to a socket on the mother board. The hardware on the back panel was basically to prevent pull on the mobo socket. We're not seeing newer motherboards with that huge socket. Husband is proposing dropping in a PCIe card connector (e.g. newegg item 9SIA3M11D06243).

Doesn't seem like an equivalent connection, but it would be ok if the transfer speeds were equivalent. Do you think they would be?

Thanks.

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a c 99 G Storage
a c 205 V Motherboard
May 27, 2014 4:19:55 PM

HCCrain said:
Pinhedd said:
eSATA is logically identical to SATA. The only difference between SATA and eSATA is that eSATA specifies a more robust cable and connector (as it's expected to be moved, inserted, and removed more often) and tighter electrical tolerances. Many cases include an optional back panel connector which acts as a mechanical SATA to eSATA adapter. That is, it's eSATA facing externally, and SATA facing internally. You can connect this connector to an internal SATA port without issue. As long as HotSwap is enabled for that port, it should work just fine.

Understand the equivalence. The question I asked r/t the way the SATA connection is made. I installed that back panel connector on two Optiplex 755 systems. But in each case, the internal cable went directly from the back panel connector to a socket on the mother board. The hardware on the back panel was basically to prevent pull on the mobo socket. We're not seeing newer motherboards with that huge socket. Husband is proposing dropping in a PCIe card connector (e.g. newegg item 9SIA3M11D06243).

Doesn't seem like an equivalent connection, but it would be ok if the transfer speeds were equivalent. Do you think they would be?

Thanks.



That's the connector that I'm describing. It's just a mechanical bridge interface which exposes an eSATA mechanical interface externally and a SATA cable internally which connects to a SATA port on the motherboard. Some older designs, perhaps those with OEM specific motherboards from Dell or HP may use breakout headers specifically designed for use with that specific back panel connector rather than conventional SATA ports; this may have been what you worked with on the Optiplex machines. If you have unused SATA ports on the Intel PCH (chipset) storage controller, this is by far the best and most cost effective solution.

Here is a link to what I am describing

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Add-in controllers are also an option, but most dedicated eSATA HBAs are absolute trash. There are a few from manufacturers such as StarTech and Vantec but the quality is less than stellar and the feature set just can't hold a candle to Intel's PCH storage controller.
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