Recommended controllers for Unraid


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This thread is meant to replace the now outdated old one about recommended controllers, these are some controllers known to be generally reliable with Unraid:

 

  • 2 ports: Asmedia ASM1061/62 (PCIe 2.0 x1) or JMicron JMB582 (PCIe 3.0 x1)

 

  • 4 ports: Asmedia ASM1064 (PCIe 3.0 x1) or ASM1164 (PCIe 3.0 x4 physical, x2 electrical, though I've also seen some models using just x1)

 

  • 5 ports: JMicron JMB585 (PCIe 3.0 x4 - x2 electrically)

      

        These JMB controllers are available in various different SATA/M.2 configurations, just some examples:

        imagem.png.25fbf9fd5cef4788954a34bc25643831.pngimagem.png.95f98d809055410b3cd54c5ff71daf03.pngimagem.png.c7bd78720abd368a47f4bb615a3e0e1b.pngimagem.png.f8e1d2d5a8fad25f23333fb712668a2e.pngimagem.png.932bb7805a271ad80717491829e87636.png

 

  • 6 ports: Asmedia ASM1166 (PCIe 3.0 x4 physical, x2 electrical)

 

         These exist with both x4 (x2 electrical) and x1 PCIe interface, for some use cases the PCIe x1 may be a good option, i.e., if you don't have larger slots available, though bandwidth will be limited:

 

imagem.png.685d7a377aa745d2893f59597a6c8a7b.pngimagem.png.d5d4f9097e05629bf0b49a34e98a70b9.png

 

  • 8 ports: any LSI with a SAS2008/2308/3008/3408/3808 chipset in IT mode, e.g., 9201-8i, 9211-8i, 9207-8i, 9300-8i, 9400-8i, 9500-8i, etc and clones, like the Dell H200/H310 and IBM M1015, these latter ones need to be crossflashed (most of these require a x8 or x16 slot, older models like the 9201-8i and 9211-8i are PCIe 2.0, newer models like the 9207-8i, 9300-8i and newer are PCIe 3.0)

 

        For these and when not using a backplane you need SAS to SATA breakout cables, SFF-8087 to SATA for SAS2 models:

        imagem.png.93b0d1c5e0a210caf8486978d2b38f4b.png

 

        SFF-8643 to SATA for SAS3 models:

        imagem.png.503951673ec41233ef5a3fff6bae33f5.png

   

 

 

  Keep in mind that they need to be forward breakout cables (reverse breakout look the same but won't work, as the name implies they work for the reverse, SATA goes on the board/HBA and the miniSAS on a backplane), sometimes they are also called Mini SAS (SFF-8xxx Host) to 4X SATA (Target), this is the same as forward breakout.

 

 

 

If more ports are needed you can use multiple controllers, controllers with more ports (there are 16 and 24 port LSI HBAs, like the 9201-16i, 9305-16i, 9305-24i, etc) or use one LSI HBA connected to a SAS expander, like the Intel RES2SV240 or HP SAS expander.

 

imagem.png.62c7094ad6bad08cb6196fa8df2413fa.pngimagem.png.4a512f1d86df29030a66f52df4a0e89f.png

 

 

P.S. Avoid SATA port multipliers with Unraid, also avoid any Marvell controller.

 

For some performance numbers on most of these see below:

 

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  • JorgeB changed the title to Recommended controllers for Unraid, last updated 02/2021
  • JorgeB changed the title to Recommended controllers for Unraid
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  • JorgeB unlocked this topic
  • 3 weeks later...

I recently bought a 4U 24 bay Supermicro system off a friend, but am unable to get unRAID to see any of my hard drives. The RAID controller is a LSI Megaraid 9265-8i, and there doesn't seem to be any conclusive information out there for putting that card into IT mode. The card is connected to the backplane with a single SFF-8087 cable, though the card has two SFF-8087 ports; the 20 or so SATA drives I have installed are visible in the controller UI, but it seems like the only solution to let unRAID see them is to create single-disk RAID volumes, which seems like a bad idea. According to unRAID, my motherboard is a X9DR3-F.

 

Can anyone recommend an easy to find on ebay replacement card that would fit my use case?

 

Cheers.

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  • 1 month later...

I looked over the old thread and this one, am I safe to assume that chipset is all that is relevant (vs brand)?

 

In canada some of the JMB585 chipsets are expensive, so I found this one for a more reasonable price:

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Andifany-5-Port-SATA3-0-Converter-Chipset/dp/B08XV54NQ1/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=JMB585+Chipset&qid=1628528009&sr=8-9

 

This should work based on anyone's experience?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking for a new LSI 9211-8i or 9207-8i, founded on eBay 2 China sellers that sells new, open box cards for 70-80$,but I'm not sure if thouse cards that from thouse sellers are real original geniue cards for 70$.

 

American sellers sells used cards for this price + shipping and new cards for 170$.

 

Becose I know you can get there is LSI 9211-8i or 9207-8i card without the logo of LSI on card, or even with LSI Logo but also like fake card, you can see on pcb, however they can work well I hope?!?

There is video on YouTube for LSI contrafakt card, from usa seller eBay seller that sells real card but used. 

 

can some one who buyed from China sellers for 70$ to post a picture of card that recevied? Or confirm that it's original cards?

Edited by Masterwishx
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1 hour ago, JorgeB said:

It says the same in this thread, so you should avoid that one.

Ok, so how do I tell the difference between a "port multiplier" and whatever it is that should actually work well with unRAID? $70 later and I didn't even know there was a difference. :(

 

EDIT: My MB has 6 SATA ports, but my case (Fractal Design's Node 804) has room for 12 SATA drives, so I'd ideally want a card that has at least 6 SATA ports. Where I live though, Amazon offers free shipping on orders over $65, but my country applies import tax on items over $75 (incl. shipping), so.... 🤷‍♂️

Edited by Sandwich
Additional info about SATA expansion card requirements
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12 hours ago, Sandwich said:

This card has a "JMicron JMB5xx chip"; should it work well? I was told in another thread that it's best not to use "port multipliers"...?

In any case, this card is not recommended for two reasons:

  • the marvell controller
  • the port multiplier
34 minutes ago, Sandwich said:

Ok, so how do I tell the difference between a "port multiplier" and whatever it is that should actually work well with unRAID? $70 later and I didn't even know there was a difference. :(

Look for a card using the chips recommended in the first post as a starting point. Also check that the number of ports is appropriate since port multipliers are not always stated in descriptions.

For example, a card with a ASM1064 and 4 SATA ports is OK ; if it has 6 or 8, there is probably a multiplier.

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12 minutes ago, ChatNoir said:

Look for a card using the chips recommended in the first post as a starting point. Also check that the number of ports is appropriate since port multipliers are not always stated in descriptions.

For example, a card with a ASM1064 and 4 SATA ports is OK ; if it has 6 or 8, there is probably a multiplier.

Ok, so let me see if I have this straight. The chipsets listed have proven to work well with unRAID, but they still can be "abused" or "taken advantage of" by use of a port multiplier (Q1: would the port multiplier adversely affect ALL ports on such a card, or just the "extra" ones? Q2: If the latter, is there a way to tell which ports are which?). So I should look for a card where the number of SATA ports matches the number of connections natively supported by the chipset (Q3: What's this stuff about physical vs electrical?).

Since I ideally want a 6+ port card, would this be a wise purchase? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L78QHSJ

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2 hours ago, ChatNoir said:

Seems expensive, some US based reliable sellers seem cheaper than that.

https://www.ebay.com/str/theartofserver/LSI-SAS2008-2004-2116-HBAs/_i.html?_storecat=33855033012&_bkw=9211

Yea this is guy that having cool youtube channel and explaned about some fake card with LSI Logo...

i meaned they sell used card for 70-80$ + 30 $ shipping like in this store but its real cards...

and here is also used , and this new cad for 120$+30$ shipping...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/313455811862?hash=item48fb6c1d16:g:QToAAOSwhsZgT3Up

 

So its my first time buying and im a little confused or to buy from china new "fake maybe"

or buy used for this price + shipping (how it can be degradeted after servers use ?!?) , or maybe new for higher price ?!?

 

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11 minutes ago, Masterwishx said:

i meaned they sell used card for 70-80$ + 30 $ shipping like in this store but its real cards...

and here is also used , and this new cad for 120$+30$ shipping...

He tests all cards before selling it, so it should work.

Did not buy from him because shipping + taxes to Europe did not make sense. If I was is the US, I would not bother and go with the Art of Server, but my money, my decision. ;) 

 

On my card, I just checked and changed the thermal paste on the radiator that was super old and dry. :) 

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2 hours ago, Sandwich said:

Ok, so how do I tell the difference between a "port multiplier" and whatever it is that should actually work well with unRAID?

Look for the chipsets listed above JMB585 is fine, JMB5xx can be a lot of things, including JMB575 which is a port multiplier, a big clue in the controller you mentioned is that there's also a Marvell SATA controller, so that JMB5xx can only be a port multiplier.

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48 minutes ago, Masterwishx said:

 

im from Israel ,so i need to pay from usa for shipping too :( , but from china somehow freeshiping ...

אמזון שולחים הרבה מוצרים לארץ בחינם אם זה מעל $65. בנוסף, לא צריך לשלם מס ייבוא על חבילות שערכם (כולל עלות המשלוח) מתחת ל- $75. בהצלחה אחי!

 

 

Edited by Sandwich
RTL issues
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6 hours ago, Sandwich said:

...
Since I ideally want a 6+ port card, would this be a wise purchase? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L78QHSJ

No !!!!  NOT that card.  Unless you really want/need to restrict yourself to a x1 physical slot; hence limiting your total throughput to ~850 MB/s.

 

If you have a x4 physical slot (which is at least x2 electrical) this one looks like an excellent value:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001269633905.html

getting full PCIe3 x2 throughput of ~1700 MB/s (at < 30 $USD)

 

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1 hour ago, UhClem said:

No !!!!  NOT that card.  Unless you really want/need to restrict yourself to a x1 physical slot; hence limiting your total throughput to ~850 MB/s.

 

If you have a x4 physical slot (which is at least x2 electrical) this one looks like an excellent value:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001269633905.html

getting full PCIe3 x2 throughput of ~1700 MB/s (at < 30 $USD)

 

Well, I can easily ensure that it only ever has HDDs connected to it, and since those max out at what, 150MBps under ideal conditions? 150*6 = 900MBps, so an ~850MBps limit probably wouldn't ever be reached or noticed... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

That said, that AliExpress card looks fine by me; how confident can we be that it's actually what it says it is?

My MB is a GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5, with no PCIe slots occupied other than the 1x slot currently taken by the apparently-crap SATA card I already bought lol.

Edited by Sandwich
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2 minutes ago, Sandwich said:

Well, I can easily ensure that it only ever has HDDs connected to it, and since those max out at what, 150MBps under ideal conditions? 150*6 = 900MBps, so an ~850MBps limit probably wouldn't ever be reached or noticed... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

I have some 4TB's that do 200 MB/s (typical 4TBs max ~150-160); typical 8TBs ~200; 12TBs ~240; 16TBs 260+ .

[ Kafka wrote: "Better to have and not need, than to need and not have." ]

Quote

That said, that AliExpress card looks fine by me; how confident can we be that it's actually what it says it is?

170+ orders & 60+ reviews (@4.8/5) [for what it's worth ??]

 

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3 minutes ago, Sandwich said:

China.

 

That said, given the very reasonable price, I'm willing to risk it. ;) Thanks!! I'll try to report back when I test it out.

Understood. Given the ~20 (non-empty) reviews [mostly Russia/E. Eur], the product is as-advertised and functions properly; only negative appears to be seller's (lack of padded) packaging. I'm sure the community will welcome your report. Mazel tov.

 

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