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SATA Controller card (PCI vs PCIe)

Last response: in Storage
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June 20, 2011 10:58:44 AM

Hey you guys,

first off, I'd like to tell all of you that I love you guys and this forum for helping out everyone in need.

So here's the thing. I have a GIGABYTE GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 motherboard. it's got 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slots (one running at x4, Support for ATI CrossFireX technology); 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots; 3x PCI Slots.

It only has 5 onboard SATA ports. I need to connect up to 12 SATA hard drives to this computer. So far 5 down, 7 to go. All of them standard 2 TB Seagate hard drives, 5900 RPM.

My question is this: What kind of SATA controller card would be best for my motherboard so that I can connect more hard drives (in non raid array) to my computer. I'm not using the PCIex16 slots cuz the motherboard has onboard graphics. I haven't used any of the slots of anything. This computer is basically just a server computer hooked up to a TV via HDMI for media viewing.

Someone help pls? I'm getting really confused reading between PCIe x 4, PCI, PCIe x 1, etc etc etc.... I'm worried about bottlenecking the PCI slots and getting really really slow transfer/read speeds from the hard drives that would be connected to the controller cards. So would it be better to get two controller cards on PCIex1?

I mean in a nutshell, I just need... controller cards that will make the hard drives connected to it seem as if it were connected to the mainboard.

Thanks a bunch you guys!

Best solution

a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 11:43:10 AM

Yes, you can use pci to sata adaptor, although you can really only put 2 recent terabyte size drive on each pci card because pci is like 266MBps. But you have 3 of those, so 6 drives in total. pci-e 2.0 1x lane has 500MBps bandwidth, 2x lane = 1000MBps, 4x lane = 2000MBPS, 16x = 4000MBPS. So use 1 pci-e 2.0 1x can put 4 recent terabyte size drive. That is ten drive for you already. If you ever runs out your pci-e, you still have the option of port multiplier to split a sata port into multiple ports.
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June 21, 2011 1:45:51 PM

so ideally, i guess i can get two pcie 2.0 1x cards, would it be ok to get the ones that can hook up two or even FOUR sata ports on them? and then only hook up one sata hard drive per PCI slot?
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a b G Storage
June 21, 2011 1:52:07 PM

Yes. So 2 pci-e with 2 drive each giving you 4 and and 3 pci with 1 drive each giving you 3. Total of 7 and will guarantee you absolutely no bottleneck. You can also get a pci-e x4 card for the x16 slot running at x4 or 16 so all 4 drives goes into it. Even a x16 card for all 7 drive to connect to, if you find one. The setup is really flexible. But most consumer card are x1.
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June 21, 2011 11:08:43 PM

Best answer selected by funkymoneky.
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