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SAS HDD expansion cards and RAID

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January 12, 2013 6:02:49 PM

Hello everyone, I am not at all new to the world of computers, although I would like some insight into a problem I am currently facing. For a computer build I am nearly finished with, I purchased an SAS HDD instead of an SATA one, and later discovered that my motherboard (GA-990FXA-UD7) does not support SAS connection, only SATA. I want to keep this beast of an HDD, and so I've been looking for solutions to my connection problem, as SAS is not compatible with SATA ports.

I know about RAID and I know about SAS PCIe expansion cards. My question is, if I use a PCIe expansion card for SAS, will that alone add SAS support to my motherboard or is RAID necessary to make it work?
a c 86 G Storage
January 12, 2013 7:18:33 PM

Raid has nothing to do with sas, so an affordable sas controller will only add a number of sas ports to your build. It may say something about raid, but that is the same software raid as for the sata ports on your mobo. Is it your boot device? Then make sure you get a bootable sas controller. And have fun with the extreme noise from the disk!
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January 13, 2013 3:46:21 AM

Quote:
an affordable sas controller will only add a number of sas ports to your build

So I can just install a pcie card with an internal SAS port and be able to boot my system with the HDD?
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a c 86 G Storage
January 13, 2013 7:19:38 PM

It needs to be a bootable controller! The controller needs a boot rom, but it seams like even the cheapest like the Promise FastTrak TX2650 have that these days. Keep an eye on the ports on the card! Some of them don't have the the native SAS ports, but SFF-8088 instead and no adapter cable included.
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January 14, 2013 1:06:51 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is what a few hours of research led me to. It has 8087 ports x2, and supports many raid configs. Works well in benchmarks. The question is do I need to be able to boot into an OS to install this card or can I set it up within the BIOS? I don't have another HDD to use as a temporary setup to get it going, so it's all or nothing unless I purchase a cheap test HDD before which I don't mind doing.
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