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Storage SATA III PCIe card suggestions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ModSquid, 3 Feb 2021.

  1. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Hey all!

    Hope all is well. I've run out of 6Gbps sockets on my board and have decided to retain my current setup for now to avoid excessive expenditure. That means my refit needs more SATA ports as I'm running 4/5 SSDs and 2/3 HDDs (not all switched on at once) - can anyone recommend a decent add-in card?

    The board I'm on is an Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z which has 2x native 6Gbps sockets, 2x (Marvell??) 6Gbps and 4x native 3Gbps (using for card reader, CD drive etc., but unfortunately the HDDs too). I found some on this Amazon search, but didn't recognise half the names. Think 4 port (for £27, or for £26) or 6 port (for £42 or for £39) should do it. Can you really go that far wrong with a non-mainstream brand?

    Secondary question for bonus points - I currently have the SSDs hooked up to a front bay 4-switch panel so I can isolate them (some run software that only works on Win 7, but if these are active when I boot into W10, it tries every damn time to reconfigure them) and disable the HDDs as required in Disk Manager. If I grab some SATA power splitters and wire two drives to one front panel isolating switch so I can disable two at a time (obvs when powered off), is this likely to cause issues?

    Thanks in advance chaps - appreciated!
     
  2. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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  3. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Cheers jinq-sea - nice one. I'll have a proper look again, but one thing that sent me off down a rabbit hole was its mention of port multiplication. Do you know much about that and is it something I might find useful?

    I did the whole Wikipedia thing but couldn't decide how this would work, especially since the StarTech part wasn't clear on how it could achieve multiple drives "with one cable". So I then had a look and found this which made more sense - connect multiple drives to that board, then one lead to the StarTech, which supports passing the multiples through one of its ports and then the PCIe. Does that sound about right? But then you have to use the other three ports individually?

    EDIT: obviously assume the connected multiple drives on one port would share the bandwidth or need to be in use separately if full bandwidth required.
     
  4. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Why do you want your hard drives specifically on SATAIII would be my question? You won't really get any performance benefit over SATAII which means your current board has enough SATA ports for all your SSDs and HDDs combined :)
     
  5. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    That's an interesting question. I just assumed that the multiple drive thing applied to controllers which need a breakout cable to connect multiple drives like in a RAID controller scenario. That Startech board just has 4x SATA connections on it which I just assumed you'd connect up as normal.
     
  6. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Hey Noiz, been a while! Hope all is well.

    Good question - only because I was looking at the specs of what I had whilst they were all on the desk and a few of the Barracudas say they're SATA III, so I assumed I must be bottlenecking them. Do they not use all that bandwidth then?

    The models I have are ST(2&3)000DM001 7200.14s, 2 & 3TB, plus a more recent 4TB ST4000DM004 and a single Spinpoint HD103SJ that may not get included as yet.
     
  7. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Yeah, it confused me as well. That Zerone Splitter seemed to make sense - although I admittedly have no knowledge of RAID at all (0 RAID knowledge...badoom-tssh! Sorry...) so don't know how it compares. If the Startech board uses its chipset to handle one incoming signal from multiple drives it would seem to work.

    Saying that, if Noiz's point holds, I may not need that after all.
     
  8. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    It's all good thanks! What about you?

    Yeah, it's a little naughty. The interface is capable of SATAIII speeds, but the drives themselves can't saturate SATAII really. You won't lose anything on hard drives by using SATAII, not on decent boards anyway. SSDs are obviously a different matter! That Spinpoint must be a classic by now! :hehe:
     
  9. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    I'm a wee bit confused - you're looking for more SATA3 6gbps ports but you're considering 4x1 splitters and PCIE 1x cards?
     
  10. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Yeah, I'll be honest - I'm so swamped with parts from three machines across the schoolroom table at the moment that I can't see my SATA from my elbow.

    Not all disks will be active at the same time though, due to Win10 being abusive to Win7. That said - and due to Noiz's input re: interface speeds etc. - I think I'll have enough ports to hook everything up straight to the board, which is obviously good news.

    I'm thinking W7x32 and W7x64 on one SSD; W10x64 Ableton on one SSD; W10x64 general/games on one SSD; 3TB Barracuda for other Steam installs; 4TB Barracuda to back up all OSs and then I think the rest of the backups I should then be able to manage either by additional hard drive that I can switch on and off as required, or via USB caddy.

    It was either this faff or spend hundreds on new kit I could barely justify. The bit massive to the rescue again!

    Out of interest, why the note about PCIe cards though? I'm sure I should look this up, but is bandwidth less than a SATA port (especially if not all active at once)? Also, if anyone knows, will using power splitters affect anything, assuming both attached disks are either both on or both off at the same time?
     
  11. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    [​IMG]

    Power splitters aren't really an issue with the number of drives you're dealing with.
     
  12. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    I think I've found the answer to the issue with Win10/7 not getting along on good terms:

    https://www.prime-expert.com/articles/b26/stop-disk-check-from-running-on-every-boot/

    Can anyone see an issue with following the advice here and amending the registry to revert Win10 back to the 1.1 NTFS? Otherwise, I think I'll give this a go and potentially have lots less faff with the power switch box.

    I could then set a partition of the Win7x64 disk aside to speed up the games HDD with Intel SRT (but both Win7 disks would then be on all the time).
     
  13. creative

    creative 500rwhp

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  14. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Ah, nice one! Cheers - have bookmarked the page in case I go that route.

    As for VMs, only reason is because I've never tried and know nothing about how to implement them/resources required etc. (I've heard they require large amounts of RAM, don't know if this is only when running the VM. I only have 16GB). Do they take up the same space on the disk as a normal install, or do they leverage "live machine" Windows resources, like library files etc.?

    I did have a quick look online, but there was a fair bit of differing opinions in terms of best way to go. Would you happen to know a good resource where I can start?
     
  15. creative

    creative 500rwhp

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    Vm's these days are pretty much a couple of clicks to setup. You assign the amount of resources it needs and it will only use ram and cpu when its spun up, turn it off and your host machine works as normal. Best bit about VMs is the ability to change configurations after the fact. assigned to much ram.. just edit it and remove some, need more cpu, edit it and add some.. need 7 different machines, just create them and away you go. definitely worth looking into as it sounds like a real faff how you have it setup now. :)

    check out virtualbox and see how you go.

    I have been playing with ESXI and have about 7 or 8 vms setup just for fun ( mostly different linux flavours as I am try my hardest to learn it... ) I even have an XP machine just for nostalgia! lol
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2021
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  16. ModSquid

    ModSquid Modder

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    Ah, cheers bud - that's pretty useful! I checked them both out and Virtualbox definitely seems like more the one for me. ESXi looks too complicated and above what I need to do (ie. run the odd program now and again from a Win7 OS) so I'll download Virtualbox and check it out on the main 2TB SSD before installing the others. It may be that I can just get rid of them, as suggested.

    You're right though - making things a complicated faff seems to be my MO! Probably why I'm on here asking daft questions so much of the time...:rollingeyes:

    Appreciate the assistance, everyone!
     

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