Recommended controllers for Unraid


Recommended Posts

On 10/7/2022 at 9:22 PM, dopeytree said:

Just future proofing...  is there any LSI card that would make use of a 16x slot for bandwidth?

 

If you factor in below it would give 4GB/s on gen1 x16 so 500MB/s if we go for a 8port sas card. If not then x8 would dish out speed to cope with spinning drives but not 8x SSDs.

 

I ask because on many motherboards when using the 2nd m.2 slot the gen3 x16 card becomes a gen1 x16 card and the 2nd m2 becomes a gen2 instead of gen3.

The gen4 x16 slot has a graphics card in.

 

329321498_Screenshot2022-10-07at21_24_49.thumb.png.8dec7e99f9bb1be05adbcac03b6476c8.png

 

On 10/8/2022 at 9:12 AM, JorgeB said:

Never seen something like that, it can have fewer lanes, it won't change the PCIe generation.
 

 

@JorgeB could I get your take away from the spec sheet.

 

Is it saying that the 2nd x16 is actually a x4

and when used with a 2nd m.2 the 2nd x16 (but actually x4) becomes a x1 slot?

Where would that leave me bandwidth wise.

It's a pcie 3.0 slot so a x1 would be 984.6 MB/s..

 

If thats the sacrifice it's not worth running the 2nd m.2 nvme right? better running a LSI card at x4 and chuck a sata ssd in there for 1st nvme's mirror?

Link to comment
9 hours ago, dopeytree said:

Have you used all your motherboard's fan connectors at the moment?

 

Might be able to add another fan.

Motherboard has more free fan connectors.

But the tower case has no place to screw another fan onto the side of the case, which could blow air to the cards from top direction. 

 

I'm thinking on top cooling fan like this:

Vertical heat dissipation of North South Bridge, Support 12cm 14cm cooling fan:

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mtUjYPK

-1402571624-204417280.thumb.jpg.f15e9ca7fcbc24ebea9257f89bea6519.jpg

This might be placed over the LSI card to provide further cooling. 

Edited by klor
  • Like 1
Link to comment
17 hours ago, dopeytree said:

Is it saying that the 2nd x16 is actually a x4

Correct, and it's a PCH slot, i.e., it shares the DMI bandwidth with the onboard SATA controller, one m.2 slot, other PCIe slots, etc.

 

17 hours ago, dopeytree said:

and when used with a 2nd m.2 the 2nd x16 (but actually x4) becomes a x1 slot?

Yes, if the m.2 slot is set to x2.

 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, klor said:

Why the raid controllers are not recommended?

To work properly Unraid requires direct access to the drive (like most software base NAS OS).

RAID controllers do not allow that as they act as a abstraction layer between the hardware and the software.

 

Even JBOD mode have downsides. That's why the recommandations are for regular SATA controllers or HBAs in IT mode.

@JorgeB, it might be relevant to add a word on the first post on that ? That could be used as an easy reference in the future.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
5 hours ago, ChatNoir said:

To work properly Unraid requires direct access to the drive (like most software base NAS OS).

RAID controllers do not allow that as they act as a abstraction layer between the hardware and the software.

So I should go with LSI 9211-8i in IT mode. 

 

Just one thing I remember, that my Areca raid card had the option to set pass through mode for each drive attached.

So the OS has direct access to the drive attached to Areca raid card with pass through mode. 

 

Likely I will stick with LSI 9211-8i, but still curious if the pass through mode in Areca cards are something similar like IT mode in LSI. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, klor said:

So the OS has direct access to the drive attached to Areca raid card with pass through mode. 

"direct access" can have different meanings to different companies. It may be equivalent to IT on some, but not others. The issue is without testing your specific card and settings it's tough to make recommendations, so the safe thing is to specify HBA IT only.

 

It's entirely possible to think everything is fine until you replace the controller and find your partitions no longer align, and come up invalid. We see that scenario fairly regularly.

 

Slight serial number modifications are common as well, so Unraid loses track of which disk is assigned to which slot, causing needless stress as a new config is needed to put them in their slots and tell Unraid everything is fine, go about your business with these new serial numbers.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
31 minutes ago, JonathanM said:

Slight serial number modifications are common as well, so Unraid loses track of which disk is assigned to which slot, causing needless stress as a new config is needed to put them in their slots and tell Unraid everything is fine, go about your business with these new serial numbers.

Yes, these are common symptoms for external USB devices, so I can imagine this for some raid cards, too. 

 

Thank you for for the detailed explanation, I learned a lot again. Thanks!

 

So I go with LSI 9211-8i using IT mode.

 

Can I boot up from disks connected to LSI 9211-8i?

Are the disks shown in the BIOS, UEFI or appears just within the card settings?

 

(I know Unraid boots from flash drive, but I need universal hw configuration, which can be used for multiple purposes, if needed later)

 

Link to comment

Deffo learnt a lot in the past few weeks. I have a great little 8bay nas setup using the 560m chip but I kinda wish you could turn off some of the usb3 lanes and take to pcie. as that would probably give an extra x4lanes in total. Its just silly to have to choose between an m2 slot or utilising pcie slot.

 

It also seems bizare that a i9 has same cpu pcie lanes as an i3 cpu.

 

Any future server build would be using any of the Z590/Z690 type motherboards with more pcie lanes or use a xeon suitable board with even more lanes.

Edited by dopeytree
Link to comment
On 6/6/2022 at 9:37 AM, ChatNoir said:

This is exactly what is recommended against. It uses a JMB575 port multiplier that is known for bad performance. Since you would be using that on a single 2.0 lane, I would guess that is would be even worse.

 

On the very same page you linked, I saw options for only ASM1166 or ASM1061 on a x1. You should go with that.

https://www.amazon.com/MZHOU-Profile-Bracket-Support-Devices/dp/B097RBLM9G/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=MZHOU%2BPCIe%2BSATA%2BCard&qid=1654493546&sr=8-3&th=1

 

I got the MZHOU card you linked, but sadly it doesn't work. It's not even detected by my motherboard, I think. Can't find it anywhere in the bios. I upgraded my entire server (which I was planning to do anyway), so I got a new motherboard, but this one doesn't detect it either... The led on the card does light up showing one drive is connected to it, but I can't see anything in the bios or in Unraid. Am I mistaking that these cards are plug and play? Do I need to change some bios setting or something?

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, Aemstel said:

 

I got the MZHOU card you linked

Just to clarify, I did not try that card myself, my answer is purely based on what is indicated on the Amazon page. I edited the original post to reflect that.

 

It might be a defective part or you might be limited in the number of PCIe lanes available on your system.

What is plugged in your motherboard ?

Link to comment
1 hour ago, ChatNoir said:

Just to clarify, I did not try that card myself, my answer is purely based on what is indicated on the Amazon page. I edited the original post to reflect that.

 

It might be a defective part or you might be limited in the number of PCIe lanes available on your system.

What is plugged in your motherboard ?

 

In the PCIe slots you mean? Nothing, just the MZHOU card. I'm using iGPU.

 

Planning to try this one now: https://www.delock.com/produkt/90395/merkmale.html

 

edit: changed my mind and ordered this: https://www.amazon.com/BEYIMEI-Controller-Expansion-Non-Raid-Converter/dp/B098QMGMF3/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=ASM1166&qid=1633703772&sr=8-6&th=1

 

When I've tried it, I'll report back here to say if it works.

Edited by Aemstel
Link to comment

Yes, the BEYIMEI controller works! Disk is clearing now :)

That disk clear looks like it's going to take ages. Can I use the array while it's doing this?

 

Update: for anyone considering getting this controller, be aware that it has a very bright blue LED that sometimes starts flashing. I think it happens when the drives are spun down.

Edited by Aemstel
  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

For all the guys looking to find out why the h*** there newly bought ASM1166 based PCIe-SATA expansion card is not even recognized in there PCs - i have a small but very helpful tip for you: There is a compatibility problem between cards with this chip working on an old firmware version and Intel 6xx chipsets.

 

If you got hands on a device that may seem to fall under this problem, try to do the following to get rid of the old firmware and update to the new one:

- install the card in a PC which detects the card correctly

- google for "Asmedia ASM-2116/116x Sata 6G Controller Firmware Version NC"

- download the firmware flash package

- flash the firmware according to the manual included.

- put the card back into your mb where you initially wanted it to run

- voila.

 

As an example: I recently bought a generic ASM1166 based card from Amazon (several sellers sell exactly this (https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B08L8ZSKXW/) card with old firmware, some with the updated fw). B660 chipset mainboard said no to the card. Put it into my old Ryzen RIG, flashed the card with this generic? ASM1166 fw, now it works flawless in combination with B660 / Proxmox passthrough to Unraid VM without any errors for 3 days now.

 

Notice for all power saving friends (e.g. @mgutt): I did a "powertop --auto-tune", which also activated several power saving features on pcie and sata links. But this is the first card, beside some power hungry LSI raid cards, where I issued that command and nothing breaks afterwards. Until now, I can highly recommend this model for expansion, expecially for working very energy-efficient. Mind the fact that the card is only using PCIe x1.

 

Hope this may help someone in need.

 

Cheers :)

 

 

screenshot.png

Edited by da_stingo
text somehow missing / affected chipset edited
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
On 10/29/2022 at 10:31 PM, da_stingo said:

For all the guys looking to find out why the h*** there newly bought ASM1166 based PCIe-SATA expansion card is not even recognized in there PCs - i have a small but very helpful tip for you: There is a compatibility problem between cards with this chip working on an old firmware version and Intel 6xx chipsets.

 

If you got hands on a device that may seem to fall under this problem, try to do the following to get rid of the old firmware and update to the new one:

- install the card in a PC which detects the card correctly

- google for "Asmedia ASM-2116/116x Sata 6G Controller Firmware Version NC"

- download the firmware flash package

- flash the firmware according to the manual included.

- put the card back into your mb where you initially wanted it to run

- voila.

 

As an example: I recently bought a generic ASM1166 based card from Amazon (several sellers sell exactly this (https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B08L8ZSKXW/) card with old firmware, some with the updated fw). B660 chipset mainboard said no to the card. Put it into my old Ryzen RIG, flashed the card with this generic? ASM1166 fw, now it works flawless in combination with B660 / Proxmox passthrough to Unraid VM without any errors for 3 days now.

 

Notice for all power saving friends (e.g. @mgutt): I did a "powertop --auto-tune", which also activated several power saving features on pcie and sata links. But this is the first card, beside some power hungry LSI raid cards, where I issued that command and nothing breaks afterwards. Until now, I can highly recommend this model for expansion, expecially for working very energy-efficient. Mind the fact that the card is only using PCIe x1.

 

Hope this may help someone in need.

 

Cheers :)

 

 

screenshot.png

 

 

 

Hi all,

 

That was exactly my problem.

The card finally works.

 

BEYIMEI PCI-E 4X zu 6-Port SATA3.0 Erweiterungskarte,6 Gbit/s SATA 3.0 PCIe-Karte,PCIe zu SATA-Controller-Erweiterungskarte (ASM1166)

 

Thank you for the effort.

 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.