It seems the ABIT have 3 old PCI slots, two PCI-Express x16 slots (the second is supporting Crossfire and is using x4), and one PCI-Express x1 slot.
The first PCI-E x16 slot is being used by the 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. The x1 slot is being used by the Blackmagic Intensity Pro capture card.
That means I only have one PCI-Express slot (using x4) and 3 old PCI slots.
So I need at least one SATA controller (PCI-Express) capable of handling 8 internal SATA drives.
If that's the case, what would you recommend? Unfortunatelly the PCI-E SATA controllers are very expensive, that's why I need to know if they are the best choice for me instead of that cheap PCI model from PROMISE.
I need to use at least 5 more drives, that's why I was going to buy two PROMISE cards. The total cost should be US$ 120. What I don't know is the impact I will suffer from using this old technology, instead of using a PCI-E SATA controller card.
So you are not going to use RAID correct? If you just want drive letters and added drives then your route of adding 2 - 4 port cards is probably the best option in terms of cost. If you want speed and dont mind spending a little more money you could buy an 8 port PCIe RAID controller and just configure each drive as a simple volume (or whatever procedure the RAID card uses, some use the term JBOD, others force you to setup single drive RAID 0 for each drive). This would make disk manager see each individual drive. PCIe is 250MB a second per lane, bi-directional. PCI depends on what version the slot is but could be as slow as 33MB per second. Depending on what drive you use, and what PCI slot you have, you may have a bottle neck on the PCI slot. Todays average SATA drives are nearing 100MB per second speed, some even go over 100MB per second. See the hard drive charts for more info or to see what yours are.
I think you get what you pay for with the cheap promise..
With so many drives the pci bus will def. be a bottleneck. You need more bandwidth or your HD speed will suffer.
I think Intel matrix raid handles 6 drives or more, and is not connected via the pci bus, so a new motherboard might be a cheaper option than a pci express controller with support for 8 drives..?