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elnevera

PCI-e Sata expansion card

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Hi

 

I was hoping to get some recommendations for a reliable cheap(ish) sata expansion card?

I am hoping for 4 sata 3 ports and maintain the read/write speeds that I get to the other disks plugged into my board (Gigabyte - GA-H87M-HD3 Micro ATX LGA1150).

 

I have seen plenty based on the marvell 88se9215 chipset that range from £15 up to £50 at various places and various brands but they all look the same and appear to be PCI-e x1 and I'm not sure if i'd get the same performance as my other drives.

 

The board has 6 sata 3 ports in which I have 4 x 4tb HDD's and 2 SSD's (240gb and 128gb) and an alternative would be to get some kind of PCI-e card that I can sit an ssd or m.2 drive onto and free the 2 on board sata ports for my other 2 2tb drives.

 

Hope that all makes sense, I'm not sure what the best route is.

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There aren't very good 4 port controller options. Marvell controllers are not recommended for some time, they might not even work with newest Unraid v6.7, if 2 ports are enough you can get an Asmedia controller, for more than that an 8 port LSI HBA is the best option, they can be found used on ebay starting at around $40/50.

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Thank you.

I'm looking into the LSI HBA types now as it does look like a great option and will offer even more ports in the future if needed.

 

The bit that is confusing me is the IT mode flashing thing. Is there anything to avoid when looking for these cards?

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Here is a good list with some explanations about whether a model will need to be flashed or not:

 

https://wiki.unraid.net/Hardware_Compatibility

 

This is the one I bought:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-LSI-6Gbps-SAS-HBA-LSI-9211-8i-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID-low-profile/163558361429?hash=item2614d68955:g:I08AAOSwY7lcb1sJ:sc:USPSPriorityMailSmallFlatRateBox!45230!US!-1

 

This seller is rock solid and it’s worth the price for someone else to do the flashing if you don’t feel confident. Also, you’ll need some forward breakout cables as well. These are of really good quality and worth not skimping on:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B012BPLYJC/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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2 hours ago, ramblinreck47 said:

Here is a good list with some explanations about whether a model will need to be flashed or not:

 

https://wiki.unraid.net/Hardware_Compatibility

 

This is the one I bought:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-LSI-6Gbps-SAS-HBA-LSI-9211-8i-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID-low-profile/163558361429?hash=item2614d68955:g:I08AAOSwY7lcb1sJ:sc:USPSPriorityMailSmallFlatRateBox!45230!US!-1

 

This seller is rock solid and it’s worth the price for someone else to do the flashing if you don’t feel confident. Also, you’ll need some forward breakout cables as well. These are of really good quality and worth not skimping on:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B012BPLYJC/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks very much for that - most useful.

 

I'm looking at this one, I have excluded any from China as I guess they are nearly half price for a reason.....

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LSI-SAS9211-8i-8-Port-6Gb-s-SAS-SATA-HBA-Intergrated-RAID-PCI-e2-x8/333104114349

 

As for cables, I did a search on Amazon ordered by Average Reviews but the reviews are a bit thin on the ground. This one was top of the list

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VanDeSaiL-Mini-SAS-Internal-SAS-Breakout/dp/B01HZFUNVS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1551889440&sr=8-2&keywords=SFF-8087+to+SATA

 

Any thoughts on those?

 

Cheers

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23 minutes ago, elnevera said:

Thanks very much for that - most useful.

 

I'm looking at this one, I have excluded any from China as I guess they are nearly half price for a reason.....

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LSI-SAS9211-8i-8-Port-6Gb-s-SAS-SATA-HBA-Intergrated-RAID-PCI-e2-x8/333104114349

 

As for cables, I did a search on Amazon ordered by Average Reviews but the reviews are a bit thin on the ground. This one was top of the list

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VanDeSaiL-Mini-SAS-Internal-SAS-Breakout/dp/B01HZFUNVS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1551889440&sr=8-2&keywords=SFF-8087+to+SATA

 

Any thoughts on those?

 

Cheers

Both the 9211-8i and the cables you picked looked good. The seller for the HBA card has a perfect rating and lots of reviews. Looks legit to me. The cables are very similar to the ones I have. Just make sure you don’t bend them too much when using them. They are a little brittle and can break. As long as you’re not too forceful with them and doing crazy bends, they should work well.

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1 hour ago, ramblinreck47 said:

Both the 9211-8i and the cables you picked looked good. The seller for the HBA card has a perfect rating and lots of reviews. Looks legit to me. The cables are very similar to the ones I have. Just make sure you don’t bend them too much when using them. They are a little brittle and can break. As long as you’re not too forceful with them and doing crazy bends, they should work well.

Thanks for the warning about the cables. I searched on amazon's uk site for the same cables as yours and they were nearly £40 but noticed there were a few very similar looking ones.

 

Anyway, thanks for your help I have ordered the card and cables.

 

Cheers

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I'm a bit late to the game but I've just bought a LSI 9207-8i from Ebay (seller qbtl seems thrustworthy, lot of reviews and lot of sales) and I'm really happy! Works out of the box, no need to flash firmware.

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On 3/16/2019 at 8:59 AM, Draven said:

I'm a bit late to the game but I've just bought a LSI 9207-8i from Ebay (seller qbtl seems thrustworthy, lot of reviews and lot of sales) and I'm really happy! Works out of the box, no need to flash firmware.

Is the card still working well? Im thinking about picking up the same one from the same seller based on your recommendation.

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I have the LSI 9207-8i and it works great, just be careful lots of counterfits on ebay. My first one I bought new from another seller ended up being a counterfit, so I now prefer oem server pulls. I can confirm legit cards from un: findingdeals on ebay listing: LSI SAS 9207-8i Storage controller - 8 Channel SATA 6Gb/s OEM this is where i got mine and I just looked he still has more. I'm sure you know you will also need SAS SFF-8087 36Pin to 4 SATA 7Pin HDD forward breakout cables.

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These cards are meant for a server chasis which have high air flow not desktop style cases if that is what you are using so you will want to add a fan on the 9207-8i heatsink or a fan in the case that blows across the heatsink. I used the Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX, Premium Quiet Fan, 3-Pin (40x10mm, Brown) which is a 6yr warranty high quality fan to keep mine cool and it works great.

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