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ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe - Intel or Marvell Serial ATA?

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August 25, 2011 6:56:51 PM

Well I know just enough about building systems to be dangerous and get myself in trouble....but hey at least I am jumping in and trying it.

Putting together a build today and had a couple of questions come up, figured I could guess or ask folks with the knowledge here! While guessing is fun, it's not always rewarding!!

This is a new build. ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe MB. I have a 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD which I want to use for my main drive, loading games, etc.. and then I have a WD 7200 RPM 6GB/s 2TB drive that I want to use for storage (music, video, etc...).

This board has the Intel Z68 Serial ATA 6 GB/s connections and also the Marvell Serial ATA 6 GB/s connectors.

Do I hook both the SSD drive and the 2TB storage drive to the Intel Serial ATA? I thought I read somewhere that it was faster than the Marvell? Or do I need to run the SSD to the Intel and the 2TB storage drive to the Marvell?

Also I have a blue ray burner with an SATA III connection, do I plug that into one of those slots also? The manual is not very clear on that part. I do have Intel 3 GB/s SATA open slots also.

Lastly, anyone really familiar with this board, the front panel of my case has a eSATA connection that I would like to hook up, yet the manual doesn't list this as an option and I don't see a specific label for it.....can this also just plug into one of the SATA connections (like the Intel 3 GB/s options) or does it require a special spot?

Oh, one more (sorry).....all the case fans had power plugs on them for directly connecting to a PS - but the MB has the option of having the fans powered from it (and I assume to be able to control RPM). I assume the best option is to remove the power plugs and hook the fans directly to the MB using the 3 prong connections?

Sorry for all the questions, I read and read and read but I can't always find the best answers.

Thanks in advance for any input, hoping to get this fired up by tonight.
a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 7:42:32 PM

The Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports have better performance than the Marvell SATA 6Gb/s ports.

Connect your SSD to one of the Grey Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports.
Connect your 2TB HDD and your Blu-ray burner to one of the Blue Intel SATA 3Gb/s ports.

Connect the front panel eSATA on your case to one of the Green JMicron eSATA ports on your motherboard.

Other Forum members should be able to assist you regarding your fan connections.

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a c 75 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 7:42:36 PM

I believe that the Marvell is controlling the SATA 3 (6.0Gb) port since we haven't released our own SATA 3 controller yet. The SATA 2.0 (3.0Gb) ports are going to be controlled by the Intel® Controller. So unless this board has more than 4 sata 2 ports they will be controlled by the Intel controller.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 7:48:59 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
I believe that the Marvell is controlling the SATA 3 (6.0Gb) port since we haven't released our own SATA 3 controller yet.


The ASUS website & page 2-5 of the motherboard manual indicate that ports SATA6G_1 & SATA6G_2 are Intel 6Gb/s.
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August 25, 2011 7:50:31 PM

Dereck47 said:
The Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports have better performance than the Marvell SATA 6Gb/s ports.

Connect your SSD to one of the Grey Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports.
Connect your 2TB HDD and your Blu-ray burner to one of the Blue Intel SATA 3Gb/s ports.

Connect the front panel eSATA on your case to one of the Green JMicron eSATA ports on your motherboard.

Other Forum members should be able to assist you regarding your fan connections.


Thanks for the input.

Won't hooking my 2TB HDD to a 3 GB/s port hinder data throughput as compared to a 6 GB/s connection I have open? (either Intel or Marvell).

I may be out of luck on the front panel eSATA as I don't see a Green JMicron eSATA port on the MB.
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:00:36 PM

:) 
Big Jeff said:
Thanks for the input.

Won't hooking my 2TB HDD to a 3 GB/s port hinder data throughput as compared to a 6 GB/s connection I have open? (either Intel or Marvell).

I may be out of luck on the front panel eSATA as I don't see a Green JMicron eSATA port on the MB.


No, you won't lose any performance connecting your HDD to the 3Gb/s port. A single HDD cannot spin fast enough to saturate a 3Gb/s port, let alone a 6Gb/s port. Single HDDs maybe 6Gb/s "Compatible" but they are not 6Gb/s "Capable" :) 

The eSATA port on motherboard is labeled ESATA3G. See page 2-2 of your motherboard manual for the location.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:09:39 PM

Guys, forgive me I am sorry I hadnt read that we had released our SATA 3 (6Gb) controller yet but after digging on our newest released board (which I happpen to be using) the Intel® Desktop Board DZ68BD. It doesnt list the Marvell Controller on it all. So it looks like the Intel SATA 3 (6Gb) controller was released with the Z68 chipset, which I wasnt informed about.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:14:12 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Guys, forgive me I am sorry I hadnt read that we had released our SATA 3 (6Gb) controller yet but after digging on our newest released board (which I happpen to be using) the Intel® Desktop Board DZ68BD. It doesnt list the Marvell Controller on it all. So it looks like the Intel SATA 3 (6Gb) controller was released with the Z68 chipset, which I wasnt informed about.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team



No problem!
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Best solution

a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:14:44 PM

Intel Chipsets
ref {Z68} - http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/mainstr...
ref - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsets#Cor...


Use the Intel SATA3 ports for SSD, and use Intel SATA2 ports for HDD. Regarding any HDD don't confuse Interface '6 GB/s' or '3 GB/s' etc with speed. Typically the Intel SATA2 {3 GB/s} Interface renders faster Writes for a HDD. Further, the Marvell 912X is x1 PCIe lane {360 MB/s~390MB/s} whereas the Marvell 918X is x2 PCIe lane {550 MB/s~580MB/s+}. Your HDD at best is 120MB/s~145MB/s assuming 7200 RPM.

Intel® Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
{RST} Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
{SRT} Support Intel® Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family

Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue

JMicron® JMB362 controller : *2
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red
1 x Power eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), green
*2: These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.

Though I don't like JMicron it's work and offers plenty of speed for ANY HDD, not the case for most SATA3 SSD.
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August 25, 2011 8:17:09 PM

Dereck47 said:
:) 

No, you won't lose any performance connecting your HDD to the 3Gb/s port. A single HDD cannot spin fast enough to saturate a 3Gb/s port, let alone a 6Gb/s port. Single HDDs maybe 6Gb/s "Compatible" but they are not 6Gb/s "Capable" :) 

The eSATA port on motherboard is labeled ESATA3G. See page 2-2 of your motherboard manual for the location.



Thanks again Dereck.

I know the MB has the ESATA3G on the back port from the MB. Is there one ON the board I am missing? I have a front port eSATA on my case I was trying to hook up via the cable they provide from the front panel. Thus I was looking for some type of hook up on the board to activate the front port.

It's not a huge deal, I just didn't like having a port on the front of my case that was not active. I assume hooking this cable to one of the 3 GB/s Intel ports on the board won't work? The cable will plug into those slots. Is it possible the cable is SATA but the font panel is eSATA? Is eSATA just a different connection type to SATA or different some other way? I am not familiar, sorry.

Christian, now that we established the Intel 6 GB/s SATA 3 controller is out......is it the better option for me than connecting to the Marvel controller? I would assume yes.........

Let's hope this thing doesn't go BOOM or smoke when I power it up here shortly!! :) 

Thanks again for the help and input.
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August 25, 2011 8:26:25 PM

jaquith said:
Intel Chipsets
ref {Z68} - http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/mainstr...
ref - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsets#Cor...


Use the Intel SATA3 ports for SSD, and use Intel SATA2 ports for HDD. Regarding any HDD don't confuse Interface '6 GB/s' or '3 GB/s' etc with speed. Typically the Intel SATA2 {3 GB/s} Interface renders faster Writes for a HDD. Further, the Marvell 912X is x1 PCIe lane {360 MB/s~390MB/s} whereas the Marvell 918X is x2 PCIe lane {550 MB/s~580MB/s+}. Your HDD at best is 120MB/s~145MB/s assuming 7200 RPM.

Intel® Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
{RST} Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
{SRT} Support Intel® Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family

Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue

JMicron® JMB362 controller : *2
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red
1 x Power eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), green
*2: These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.

Though I don't like JMicron it's work and offers plenty of speed for ANY HDD, not the case for most SATA3 SSD.


Thanks Jaquith.

I have the SSD on the Intel 6 GB/s now.
I switched the HDD to the Intel 3 GB/s (and yes it's a 7,200 RPM drive).
I disconnected the front panel eSATA port/cable from the Intel 3 GB/s port - probably won't work from what I am reading and no reason to risk messing something up.

Thanks again, much appreciated.

Nobody has input on my fan question eh? Well I am about to fire it up, will see how they run.
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:36:14 PM

No, there is no eSATA connector on the MB.

I also have a MB with just a back panel eSATA port. My pc case is a Corsair 600T with a front port eSATA. I have a cable that connects to the back panel and then goes inside the case and connects to the front port. There is a built-in hole in the 600T that makes this easy.

You need an "eSATA to SATA" cable if you don’t want to do what I did.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:45:44 PM

Dereck47 said:
No, there is no eSATA connector on the MB.

Ahhh, yes there is.

ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

The specs were a copy/paste. ;) 

The eSATA Ports are located at the MOBO's rear I/O and not internal. Internally choose any of the '4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue' SATA ports. eSATA is for an external i.e. backup HDD.
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 8:50:13 PM

jaquith said:
The eSATA Ports are located at the MOBO's rear I/O and not internal.



Yes, that was the point I was making. Sorry, if it wasn't clear. :) 
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August 25, 2011 8:53:49 PM

jaquith said:
Ahhh, yes there is.

ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

The specs were a copy/paste. ;) 

The eSATA Ports are located at the MOBO's rear I/O and not internal. Internally choose any of the '4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue' SATA ports. eSATA is for an external i.e. backup HDD.



Thanks again Jaquith.

To make sure I read you right.....I can take the cable from my case front ports which goes to the eSATA front panel port and connect that cable to one of my blue SATA 3 GB/S ports? I have two of those open so assuming it's not a problem I might as well connect it up.

So "eSATA" just means "external"....it's really an SATA connection but just outside of the case?

Good information, thanks again. I always get nervous on these builds (this is my 3rd one) but it's fun when they finally come together (assuming it works!).

Thanks again.
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 9:07:21 PM

Big Jeff said:
To make sure I read you right.....I can take the cable from my case front ports which goes to the eSATA front panel port and connect that cable to one of my blue SATA 3 GB/S ports?


No. You need an "eSATA to SATA" cable to do that.
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August 25, 2011 9:15:42 PM

Dereck47 said:
No. You need an "eSATA to SATA" cable to do that.


I think that is what the case is basically providing though.

The cable coming from the front panel (going to the eSATA on the front panel) plugs right into the Intel 3 GB/s SATA connection on my MB. So basically I guess it's like a "eSATA to SATA" cable isn't it? Just the eSATA in this case is attached to the front of my computer case!

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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 9:33:20 PM

Two examples for 'eSATA aka External SATA' use:
1. Backup HDD - External HDD eSATA <-> eSATA patch cable <-> MOBO I/O eSATA port(s).
2. CASE eSATA - In this instance your 'Case' or 'Front Panel' will/should have a SATA connection to directly connect to your MOBO's SATA port. Also, if powered typically a Molex to connect to directly to your PSU.

This is what an eSATA looks like:
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a b V Motherboard
a b å Intel
August 25, 2011 9:33:27 PM

Big Jeff said:
I think that is what the case is basically providing though.

The cable coming from the front panel (going to the eSATA on the front panel) plugs right into the Intel 3 GB/s SATA connection on my MB. So basically I guess it's like a "eSATA to SATA" cable isn't it? Just the eSATA in this case is attached to the front of my computer case!


You're probably right. The cable on your case should plug directly to the 3Gb/s port. If it doesn't then you know you need the adapter cable.
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January 4, 2012 8:48:08 PM

As for your question about the fans, It's really up to you. Personally, I'll prefer to connect them to the MB because I'll be able to control its speed, or (power fans can't be controlled) at least be able to monitor them. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about not being able to control the speed of the power fans. Just got the same MB 2 months ago and I hate reading manuals. =X)
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