Which sata controller card to buy for Asus Prime B350-Plus

Hello, recently my main node has gotten full and I am looking to add another hard drive to my computer, my motherboard (Prime B350-Plus) already has all sata ports populated.

I was looking to get the card in the link below but I am worried that if for ports on it are full, will it give any bottlenecks in performance considering it is only PCIex1 or am I overthinking.

https://www.amazon.com/IO-Crest-Controller-Non-Raid-SI-PEX40064/dp/B00AZ9T3OU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=sata+expander&qid=1594077453&sr=8-2

I had a similar issue and chose this brand and model since it supports PCI v2.0 x4

Here is the manufacturers web site:

http://www.ziyituod.net/ProDetail.aspx?ProId=112

1 Like

In the thread title you say SATA expander, in your thread body you talk about an HBA; which one do you need?

Also SATA uses port multipliers, not expanders.

hello, not sure what an HBA is. I just need more sata ports on my desktop computer.

HBA means Host Bus Adapter so technically you want an HBA or SATA Controller Card. The cards you and I linked to will do exactly that - provide more SATA ports for more SATA hard drives.

These cards in the links do not support RAID, which is much more expensive. I went from 4 SATA ports on the motherboard to a total of 10 internal SATA 6 Gbps ports. Great way to add more capacity.

Okay got it. so what do you look for when buying sata controller cards? Just look for something with sata 3?

You could get a used SAS HBA instead off eBay or somewhere else for the same price. Without the cables though, that’d be a bit extra.

Yes, technically SATA3 but also known as SATA 6 or 6 Gbps.

You need an appropriate slot, PCIe v1 or better. The card you listed on Amazon is PCIe v2.0 x1. The one I posted is v2.0 x4 which has a higher throughput due to more channels. You need to look at what slots are available on your motherboard. The motherboard user guide will identify each slot and capability. Usually the x16 slot is used for a graphics card, if needed. Then you might have a couple x1 slots and a x4 slot.

Thank you everyone for your recommendations, I think I will go with the card recommended by @stuberman.

1 Like

Stop. Don’t ever purchase SATA controllers, they’re a very niche product and they’re all bad. Get a used enterprise SAS HBA - lsi9211-8i, lsi9207-8i or any of the OEM variants. You’ll pay $20 for the HBA and $10 for a pair of breakout cables. This card will give you 8 SAS/SATA ports and will be more stable and predictable compared to a random sata controller.

2 Likes

go for the quality item:

1 Like

actually if you intend running sata on sas controllers then at best you won’t get the full advantage of what sata can do and at worst will run into incompatibility issues.

that said, i’m running sata on lsi 92xx something not important… might be the 9211 since it has the 2300 chip… it’s not however recommended practice to run sata on sas controllers… i’ve had a lot of trouble because i ran sas with sata on the same backplane…

so afaik after much research and after owning 4 different raid controllers over the last 2 year…
sas should not run sata… it can and in most cases successfully, but it’s by far not a recommended practice and the list is very long of people having various reasons because of it.

runs fine for me tho… but got two different brands of drives and most of them basically the same model… so i cannot really say one way or another only share what i’ve learned from a lot of research into storage topics… and when many people that deal with the stuff every day seems to say the same thing… there is often something to the story…

sas also offers a ton of extra advantages… so if one can run sas, one should run sas…

i mean seriously… did you know that sas cables have extra wires… just for redundancy… so a bad connection won’t even disconnect your disk… you can literally cut a wire and it will not care…

aside from that you have expanded diagnostics, added data integrity checks, higher reliability, better speeds… and the list just keeps going… SAS is the way to go for 24/7 uptime… sadly i’m all sata… even tho i have 2 sas drives in a mirror… 300$ drives i bought on the cheap by somebody that couldn’t use them with his hardware… all my future purchases will be focused on SAS drives, if possible… the price doesn’t always permit it…

but the advantages are long… and meaningful…

@xyphos10 not that i know if this is the right choice… but if i wanted to expand a consumer grad pc, with more sata drives… i would simply add a sata multiplier… it’s cheap and for hdd speeds… well if you don’t have a horrible outdated system… you will have like easy 600MB/s thats like 3 - 6 times what you hdd’s can manage anyways… and thats on like each cable… with a sata multiplier you can simply expand them… much like a switch for a network… or a powerbank for electricity…

that way you utilize your existing hardware (your sata controller) which will manage it, and if that is a good controller and runs well why find something else… ofc if you have issues with your controller … then you should get some sort of sata or sas HBA
another advantage is the sata port multiplier is dirt cheap… ofc you shouldn’t buy the cheapest junk… because thats just asking for trouble… get a proper one… even tho i’m not sure it matters much… basically no hardware in it at all afaik… but not 100%

really the only realistic limitation you can run into is when you get like 2-3 drives on each cable… at one point your controller will not want to control more drives or more space… or you run out of bandwidth… but running a storj node on it… well data is pretty limited… and it has to go through the internet… so really not that fast… the most important thing you need is iops which there is plenty off in regular sata, atleast when dealing with hdd’s tons and tons… could run 20 hdd on each cable …

bandwidth… well after 2-3 maybe 5-6 drives you will most likely run into issues… i mean 600mb/s … split on 6 drives … well still 100mb/s + overhead + i cannot remember if the 600mb/s is per sata controller or per sata port… for sata 2.0… new boards will have sata 3 which is 1200mb/s so even less of a limitation…

really the only limitation your current computer is most likely how many drives your case will hold and after that how many hdd your psu can handle… :smiley:

ofc if you got a cheap mobo… you might be better of with a HBA… i didn’t look up your mobo… you know what you paid… if its was cheap then buy a proper HBA, if it was expensive then just do sata multipliers (it will also cost you far less)

IMHO - this is absolutely normal practice.

Right now, on my desk i have HP ProLiant server. As you can see it have couple of SATA’s, but main connector is SAS, and the main disk array is from SATA drives. This is not modified server. It came like this from HP. So if there would be that much incompatibilities or troubles, manufacturers would not go for this option.

I have like 3 or 4 pcs of LSI 9211 controllers, all of them work with SATA drives with no problems.

If you have any competence arcticles about SAS -> SATA problems, or NOT recomendations for using such a configuration, please share. Would be nice to read it… …and pass to HP, so they could read and learn how to build a servers :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

1 Like

Yeah, because these are SATA+SAS controllers. Why would one not expect them to work with SATA?

well hp is also kinda regarded as a low tier server brand… since their support and feature sets often is basically blackmail to squeeze the companies using them for more money in the later life of the server…

even tho very popular, but then again i almost went with a hp server when i bought mine, and maybe i would have been better off… i sure didn’t save any money on my hdd trays… those cost a pretty penny when they aren’t mass produced on the same level as supermicron.

still kinda new to the server world, but yeah i also have a sas to sata splitter cable, doesn’t mean it’s good… not sure if i can find the forum posts i read… it was during a long research on why i was having trouble with my backplane… and getting disk errors… turned out that mixing sas and sata on the same backplane also causes issues…

and that was also where i learned that even tho sata can work… they don’t get all their features and usually will run slower, something like that… sas is made for sas drives… sata is made for sata drives… no big surprise there…

one of them just offers support for both… “support” it’s not built for that purpose… its a sas controller not a sata / sas controller… and sas and sata are worlds apart

sorry i looked, like i said… it was part of a long path to figuring out what was wrong with my own system… and the place i found the answers, a guy had been dealing with issues on his raid for ages and ended up finding out that it was because he was running sata drives on a sas controller /backplane… and the guy who explained what was wrong said… you can run sata on sas, but really you won’t want to if you can avoid it… it’s not without trouble if one does it on a large enough scale…

i suppose thats why its not done in enterprise… ofc that may also change… but apperently sata and sas are two very different techs… and i know if i can afford it i will only buy sas drive in the future…

they just have so many features and advantages that sata doesn’t have, only thing sata has is that they are cheap… and we all know what happens when one is being cheap…

YES THATS RIGHT… you save more money…

but you almost more often than not end up buying the same thing twice… because it broke…

i’m running sata on sas… seems to work just fine… just don’t mix sas and sata on the same backplane / port / channel / raid array … but it works fine…
but all the extra hours i spent of dealing with problems… shouldn’t have gone all sas… but going forward ill try that…

Is there a single SAS controller worth mentioning that does not support SATA?

The connector is SFF-8087

What is does is provide 4x SATA from a single cable since this cheap HPE server lacks a proper backplane

There is no SAS involved whatsoever