So I'm thinking about building a small file server/htpc/light gaming computer, and trying to decide between mini ITX motherboards. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the Fractal Design Node 304, which has 6 internal 2.5/3.5 bays. I'm going to do a primary SSD drive, and a number of WD Red's as my media secondary drives in a raid config.
My question is, can I use the mSATA port in this ASRock as one of my secondary array drives?
Because the mSATA is only 3 Gb/s, I would want to use one of the 6 Gb/s ports for the primary SSD to take full advantage of the speed. That would leave me with 3 others to use in my RAID config, and so I'd have an entire bay of that case unusable unless I could use that mSATA for a fourth HDD to add to the RAID array.
Hi. I have this board in a PC-Q25B, which also has a lot of hdd bays. I am dual booting off two different SSDs, and wanted to have the SSDs plugged into the SATA3 ports, but I still needed another 3 ports for regular HDDs. I used the msata-to-sata card that comes included with Syba SD-PEX40055 HyperDuo to convert the msata to a regular sata port. I currently have a 2TB Western Digital HDD installed in it now, and it works fine. The card offered just enough clearance for me because the SATA port plugs in parallel to the motherboard (not orthogonally like another adapter I found). Just keep in mind that it points towards the back of the case. This was not a problem for me because I was able to loop it behind the panel the motherboard mounts on because of a gap between the panel and the back of the case. Also, you will need a msata screw (size M2x3), as the screw in the Syba does not fit this board.
Also, you could use this adapter, but, for me at least, it would have required cutting a hole in the motherboard mounting panel where the msata card would point out. I still think I would have had issues with the side panel of the case.