I see 4 SATA ports, not 6?

Hi guys

I'm a novice PC upgrader and I've bought 2 extra 3TB internal SATA hard drives to store my photos and now I find my mobo is not as I thought, so I need a bit of advice please.

My PC has an ASUS M4A79XTD EVO Motherboard - http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A79XTD_EVO/#specifications. The manual says:


SB750 Chipset:
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports Support RAID 0,1,5,10,JBOD

Marvell 88SE6121 SATA controller:
1 xInternal SATA 3Gb/s port(black)
1 xExternal SATA 3Gb/s port (SATA on-the-go)

I can't find the 6 SATA ports as stated though, only 4 blue ones (SATA1-4) and a black one marked SATA_E1 as per photos here: http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/articles/2009/12/20234056202l.jpg and here: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/fullimage.php?image=19618

SATA 1 & 2 are already in use by my system hard drives in RAID1, SATA 3 is being used by a blu-ray drive and SATA 4 by a DVD burner, so I don't know where to plug my 2 new 3TB SATA drives.

Any idea why the specifications state 6 x SATA ports?

Where do I go from here? What should I use the SATA_E1 port for?

I might be able to squeeze a PCI2 to SATA card in, but my 2nd ATI Radeon HD5770 graphics card is going to make access to the only free PCI2 slot very tight! Are there speed implications in using a PCI2 to SATA card?

Additionally, I believe I'd need to run a new power cable to power the drives. There's a black 8-pin port that's free on my 950 watt X-Power Pro GTX Extreme 950 and I'll need how that's done please?

Your help would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
5 answers Last reply
More about sata ports
  1. They are right next to the eSATA port on the edge of the board sitting vertical, they are black, and to the right of the ports are the numbers 5 & 6. It shows them in the photo link you posted.
  2. DOH - what a muppet! The labels SATA5/6 were obscured by the cables for SATA1-4 and I didn't know ports could sit vertically so I missed them. Feel free to laugh heartily, that's what I'm doing, I've wasted 3 hours trying to figure out what to do! Thank you so much for replying.

    Still, that's why we have this brilliant forum isn't it. One has to learn at the beginning. Some people with no experience wouldn't even try to open up their PC and work on it would they.

    I've also found some 4 pin connectors to connect power to the drives now, they're tucked away really tidily near the PSU

    I've got another question, I'm a bit reluctant under the circumstances, but here goes:

    My case is a Thermaltake Element S, it has a 12mm fan at the bottom front that's noisy and I'm considering changing it (although it sounds better now that I cleaned it and put a tiny drop of oil down the shaft). I can get at the fan real easy by pulling off the front covers and removing the fan cage, but I can't seem to trace the power cable to it's conclusion because things are in the way. Any ideas?
  3. I would leave it alone until you have to change it out, then trace your wires to connection point, I have had northbridge fan that was noisy, and oiled the shaft around 4 years ago and it is still running without any problems.
  4. Thanks knightdog56, that's exactly what I'll do, the people at meshcomputers.com were certainly tidy when they built my PC, what with most of the cables sheathed and tied together with cable ties and clipped to the case too, unthreading that fan's power cable might be a headache, so no point doing it unless it noises up again. I've wised up now though to the fact that I can see more and access things easier by taking both sides off the case rather than just the lid side.

    Anyway, I haven't fitted the drives yet, I've had to leave the PC alone for a while. I have noticed however that there's yet another SATA cable in the SATA5 port as well. It seems to go to the top front of the case. Would it be for the external E-SATA port that's up there, a port which I've never used? If so, I'll try and move that to the SATA port marked SATA_E1 which the manual says belongs to the Marvell 88SE6121 SATA controller and then put the 2 new drives on SATA 5 and SATA 6.

    Thanks again for all your help.
  5. Sounds excellent, have a good day.
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