Two PCI SATA cards and PCI NIC - transfer rate / compatability question? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a question about add-in SATA cards. I have a PCI SATA II card and a PCI Intel NIC (onboard NIC is unreliable). The SATA card can support up to four devices, either four internal SATA, or two internal SATA and two eSATA. Well, I figured considering the maximum bus speed of the PCI slot is 133MB/s, I would only use two of the SATA ports on the card to prevent saturating the bus.

    However, I would like to have the option of adding two more SATA drives in the future. My motherboard has two PCI slots, one PCI-express x16 and one PCI-express x1 (with a big fat heatsink right behind it so it may not even be usable - grrr).

    I guess what would my best options be for NIC and two SATA add-in cards (supporting two SATA ports each)? Isn't everything on the PCI bus shared bandwidth? Would I be better off with a four port SATA controller on the PCI-express x16?

    I just don't want to run into a bottleneck with the drives as well as the NIC. I'm willing to buy new hardware if that's what it takes. I have a PCI-e Intel NIC that I was going to put in my gaming desktop, and can swap those so no big deal.

    Recommendations on specific hardware would be nice too. I haven't run my system that much to know if there's been any bottlenecks yet since I did a full reinstall of WHS recently, but so far running well. My system currently consists of six 2TB WD Caviar Green Drives and one 1TB Caviar Black as the system drive (have a spare 32GB SSD which was tempting to use as system drive - maybe for Vail).



    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 4:09 AM

All replies

  • I've been looking at a few things. For one, I'm using a SATA DVD drive. I believe I have a spare IDE DVD drive and that should free up one SATA port.

    Apparently the total bus width of ~ 133MB/s is shared for all PCI devices. It seems four port SATA PCI-e controller cards are hard to come by or expensive. I did find this one though: http://www.amazon.com/Masscool-XWT-PCIE10-Storage-controller-SATA-300/dp/B00191GW6A which looks like it should fit within the confines of the dreaded heatsink. Maybe I'll use the PCI-e x16 slot for the NIC then, PCI-e x1 for the Masscool SATA controller, and existing PCI SATA controller.

    See how close that stupid heatsink is to the PCI-e x1 slot (why do they do stuff like that?).


    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 5:18 AM