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Good SATA controller cards

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October 28, 2010 2:11:46 AM

Does anyone have suggestions for a good SATA controller card (or cards)? I have both PCI and PCIe x1 slots left on the motherboard in question, and need to add 4 ports. 2 will be used for optical drives, and 2 will be used for HDDs. One HDD will be for programs in Win 7, (with SSD Boot) and one will be for storage only.

I am fine using two cards, but if this is the case, they will need to be one PCI and one PCIe x1.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
a b G Storage
October 28, 2010 2:29:02 AM

Are you looking for a RAID card or just a controller? Also, SATA III or not? Budget?
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October 28, 2010 8:55:57 PM

SATA III would be bottlenecked by both interfaces anyway, so I'd rather stay away from that - all it will do is be more expensive.

I don't ever plan to do RAID with the card or cards, but I believe that many of the cheap cards have multiple firmwares that support both RAID and non-RAID. At the very least, I need it to function as a non-RAID controller, but RAID capability would be a nice extra if it was possible.
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a b G Storage
October 29, 2010 12:13:26 AM

^ In that case this would be my first choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'v used it and it works quite well with Linux (Fedora/OpenSUSE). I have not tried this with Windows, but it should work fine.

If that is too pricey, then you will need 2x controllers that support 2x SATA. If you do go this route, it would be about the same price for 2 good controllers. The key word is good. There is a difference between performance of these RAID cards.

If you are not interested in RAID: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Grab one of those and a comparable PCI type one. Either way it would come to about the same price as the Rocket RAID controller that I linked to.

Note: I'm assuming you are running Vista/Win 7 x64. Many cards don't have x64 support.
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October 29, 2010 2:24:16 AM

I plan to dual boot XP and 7 x64.

Does the second card run the SIL 3132 chipset? If so, are all of the cards that run that chipset comparable in performance?

I need something with a full sized mounting bracket - would this work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I bought that card, I would need a second card. If I was only planning to hook DVD burners up to the second card, would I see any improvement from SATA II vs SATA I? SATA I cards tend to be a bit cheaper.
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a b G Storage
October 29, 2010 1:17:13 PM

^ That should work. As far as SATA vs SATA2 goes, for DVD no, you won't loose any performance. But DO make sure that card works with x64. I did not see Win 7 or x64 support listed.
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October 29, 2010 7:55:14 PM

Am I correct in assuming that current DVD burners only use the SATA 1 interface, or will I have to jumper my drive to work with a SATA 1 card. Reviews on Newegg indicate that the card I was looking at did work in Win 7 x64, is there anywhere else you'd recommend I look to ensure compatibility?
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a b G Storage
October 29, 2010 8:30:50 PM

^ SATA II ports are backward compatible with SATA 1.x devices. There shouldn't be any need to mess with jumpers,etc.

Quote:
Reviews on Newegg indicate that the card I was looking at did work in Win 7 x64, is there anywhere else you'd recommend I look to ensure compatibility?

Be careful listening to Newegg review, take them with a grain of salt. Don't trust them 100%. The best place is to check the manufacture website and/or email them and ask.
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October 29, 2010 11:57:51 PM

The SYBA website lists the cards of theirs I was looking at as compatible with Windows 7, but it makes no mention of whether it has x64 support.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.syba.com/index.php?controller=Product&action...

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681512402...
http://www.syba.com/index.php?controller=Product&action...

If you have any knowledge about these cards, it would be appreciated. I'll keep looking on my own as well, and if I find anything, I'll post back.

Thanks for all your help so far.

Edit: Looking for non-RAID support for Win 7 x64
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October 30, 2010 2:00:28 AM

Found drivers for the PCI-e card on the SYBA website:

http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=536

Still looking for drivers for the PCI card. I've found 32 bit, but not 64 bit - I assume I can't use the 32 bit drivers like I could run a 32 bit program.

Anyone know where I can find 64 bit drivers?
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October 30, 2010 2:13:12 AM

Think I found a driver that might work. It's the driver for the chip itself, off of the Silicon Image website. Can anyone confirm that the "SiI 3x12 64-bit Windows BASE Driver for Windows 7" is the correct driver for my needs (non-RAID, Win 7 x64, optical disks)

Thanks in advance for any help about this.

Edit: Forgot URL: http://www.siliconimage.com/support/searchresults.aspx?...

Takes a long time to load, but is not broken.
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a b G Storage
October 30, 2010 2:18:31 AM

^ I think that should work. If it fails, you can always return it or put it in an older XP system.
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October 30, 2010 4:27:11 AM

It's a $15 card, no real loss if I never get it working - I'll just have to rethink my next purchases. Thanks for all your help.
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a b G Storage
October 30, 2010 11:28:21 PM

^ Btw, if it works, just let us know.
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