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SATA IS it only 1 drive per PORT?

Last response: in Storage
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May 17, 2007 2:43:03 AM

The S in SATA stands for "Serial" right? With IDE drives the ribbon cable accepted 2 drives, master and slave so we got 2 drives per port. With SCSI we could have up to 7 devices with cables from drive to drive and we got up to 7 drives per port. So now we have SATA and as best I can tell we only get 1 drive per port. I haven't found any cables that allow multiple drives per port. Don't get me wrong I love the new interface, the connection is easy and relatively fast especially considering the price.

So, the question is, Can we attach more that one drive per port with SATA?

If yes, where do we get the cables.

More about : sata drive port

May 17, 2007 9:52:52 PM

SATA is only 1 drive per channel, except with a port multiplier, where i think the limit is 12 per channel.

most of the port multipliers that i have seen personally are made for eSATA, rather than SATA. they've run $250+ and use a PCI-e slot.
May 18, 2007 1:56:35 AM

One device per port, and I personally dislike it. For one or two drives it's nice but for more than that you just get more clutter, when I used to run SCSI I had 1 ribbon cable for all of my drives, rather than the 8 SATA cables I have now, and that one cable was a lot easier to hide.
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May 18, 2007 7:17:09 AM

Thank You for the response! So, a new drive tranfer specification came to be and we can hook up less drives per cable than what it replaced (IDE)? Thanks again for the response. So, Motherboards that can support more than 6 SATA drives are a consideration against those that support less? Interesting, I expect more SATA drive ports on Mother boards soon.
May 18, 2007 7:59:45 AM

Average is 8 these days. 4 native and 4 through the SB.

Technically 1 drive per port is how it is designed, but high end RAID cards are designed differently. They use 4 ports to run 8 hard drives, it is strange but it is technically feasible.

When are you going to use 8 ports anyways? I know some people like to have lots of hard drives, but come on 7 hard drives? that is way out of the norm, but not unheard of.

I use 4, 3 hard drives and one optical drive.
May 19, 2007 9:46:16 PM

Quote:
Average is 8 these days. 4 native and 4 through the SB.

Technically 1 drive per port is how it is designed, but high end RAID cards are designed differently. They use 4 ports to run 8 hard drives, it is strange but it is technically feasible.

When are you going to use 8 ports anyways? I know some people like to have lots of hard drives, but come on 7 hard drives? that is way out of the norm, but not unheard of.

I use 4, 3 hard drives and one optical drive.


Thanks for the response! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Right now for the bang for the buck for storage and relative speed SATA has become the default standard. As for the number of drives I'm always buying drives on sale and I recently built a PVR with HD. Believe me you can eat storage like candy wth HD. So I was just making sure what the limitation was for SATA. I also have had a good experience with ASUS MB using the Nvidia chipset for raid mirroring. So 8 drives becomes only 4 under mirroring. Now I need to compare prices for some of the larger scsi drives and their controllers. Unless scsi prices have come down considerably I'll probably stick with SATA. Thanks Again for the feedback.

Another question: has anybody had any good experiences with a particular SATA controller card that can run in a standard PCI slot. Also in this case I woud use Linux on an older cpu/machine, so if you have had good luck with a particular SATA controller card under linux I'd love to know. Thanks again to all who have contributed.

BTW, Aventinus is a Fantastic Beer and is regularly served at my favorite bar.

:D 
May 19, 2007 11:17:02 PM

Quote:
One device per port, and I personally dislike it. For one or two drives it's nice but for more than that you just get more clutter, when I used to run SCSI I had 1 ribbon cable for all of my drives, rather than the 8 SATA cables I have now, and that one cable was a lot easier to hide.


With scsi drives, i think you need specfic motherboards or addittional interface card. the cost/GB of scsi drives are much higher than raptor drives.

For the price of 7 scsi drives you get 7 SATA drives with double the capacity and a cable tidy kit and still you gonna save some money

I built PCs with 1-4 scsi drives and i think that it is easier hide hide SATA cables than IDE or SCSI cables because they are more flexible and are much longer(of course not the standard ones)
May 19, 2007 11:39:02 PM

Ah, well then I definately see you using up 8 ports. Recording HD on "value" drives will fill up your ports quickly. I use the term value meaning not the highest data density availible (sheer cost is often prohibitve for most, including me hehe) not because they are cheap. Your mirroring then curtails it further (not necessarily a bad idea though, that is for another day).

Adaptec 4 Port Internal RAID card

Adaptec is a well known brand in the controller segment, as well as High Point, Areca and LSI. Those are the brands I know. I do not have experience with this specific controller, but Adaptec is generally quality stuff. Do some research of your own because I don't know all the players.

I don't like SCSI drives because they are just too expensive for the marginal benefits at best. They are extremely good in multiuser environments but a typical single user won't see jack for benefits. If you go SCSI that is your call, I just want you to know that it won't be much different, if you notice any difference at all, besides your credit card bill. :lol: 
May 20, 2007 12:27:27 AM

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of SATA vs ATA (or P-ATA) was that the data is transfered in SERIAL (one line for data transfer) instead of multiple lines (parallel). The reason wht SATA is faster, because the frequency of the transfer has been increased. I do not believe that the S in SATA stands for serializing multiple drives in a chain (like in SCSI).
May 20, 2007 12:38:13 AM

Quote:
I do not believe that the S in SATA stands for serializing multiple drives in a chain (like in SCSI).


Standard SCSI is not serial either. Ultra320 and its predecessors were all parallel SCSI. Serial SCSI devices are known as SAS, Serial Attached SCSI.

The benefit of the serial technology is you have guaranteed available bandwidth per device. So, in Ultra320, you have 320MB/sec available for all devices. However in SAS, you have around 3GB/sec per device (~ 375MB/sec) unless you are using wide devices in which you can have up to 12GB/sec (~ 1500 MB/sec).
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