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Linux > All
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Discussion Starter #1
I need to add 8 sata ports to my htpc / server. I'd like to upgrade to a case with 3 external 5.25 bays, using 2 of those bays for 2.5 hotswap backplanes (4 drives per 5.25 slot). The motherboard has 4 sata ports. I need a controller card with 8 ports, however I don't want a raid card. I'm running snapraid with mergerfs on Debian.

What card would be the right choice for this. I have a single PCEx3.0 slot available. If it needs to be a raid card, will it work just as as extra sata ports without using the raid built in to the card?
 

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Premium Member
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Your best bet is to get a cheap raid card such as the LSI 9211-8i, flash it to IT mode and then you can use it like a regular SATA expansion card. You just need two SAS cables and those will split off in to an extra 8 SATA cables total.

You can get them pretty cheap on ebay and they usually sell them pre-flashed to IT mode if you search for it.
 

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Mr.4way SLI
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The adaptec 7805 is a nice X8 cards and can run up to 256 drives if it was needed. Cool part is they have every kind of setup you can think of from just normal disks to any raid config you could ever want.
 

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Politically incorrect
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There are quite a few inexpensive PCI-E SATA cards if you only need 8 SATA ports on Newegg.
 

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Linux > All
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Discussion Starter #5
I'll look into the LSI card. The ones I find on Newegg are all 4 port. Haven't found anything > 4 without it being a dedicated raid card. Don't want to use their raid. I only have the single pcix3.0 slot so I can't put a few cards in.
 

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id pickup a used ibm m1015 (9211-8i based on the LSI SAS2008 chip) and flash to it IT mode as recommended above. Its an Hba so no hardware raid involved. This will pass the hard drives and all smart data thru to the Os you are using. You can find them now in the $40-60 range on ebay.

Pickup 2 sas to sata cables and you have 8 drives ready to go.

If you need additional you can pick up a sas expander hook the card up to that and expander your storage even more. (most dont even require a pcie port just power)
 

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Senioritis Member
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You can get cheap cards with 4, if you have 2 pci-e slots.

Syba makes some cheap stuff that doesn't do raid

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...NS6294&cm_re=syba_sata-_-16-124-087-_-Product

I have the below, to be fair it's running on Windows 10

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...124093&cm_re=syba_sata-_-16-124-093-_-Product
Both of those are junk. They are running only one PCI-e lane, nowhere nearly enough bandwidth to fully support four SATA III ports.
 

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Both of those are junk. They are running only one PCI-e lane, nowhere nearly enough bandwidth to fully support four SATA III ports.
Never claimed it to be the fastest, but most people aren't pushing 100 MB/second writes all day long, so an enterprise grade (IBM, LSI, etc) raid card isn't necessary.
 
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