SATA and more than 2 drives?

Posted on 2003-11-29
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I looked around for different SATA controllers, but it seems that you can only attach one drive per channel, and only a few controllers support more than 2 channels. How does this make sense, when you get a higher bandwith with SATA and would make affort in combining more drives in RAID? I thought the deal with SATA was to put more drives in "serial"???
Question by:henrikwils
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Expert Comment

ID: 9844279
"I thought the deal with SATA was to put more drives in "serial"??? "it's not like chaining SCSI devices.
unfortunately it doesn't work that way
the following is from the Intel site

"The Serial ATA 1.0 specification outlines the following benefits:

Performance Headroom: SATA provides higher performance than equivalent ATA with performance scaling from 150MB/sec currently available at introduction to 300MB/sec for the second generation, and ultimately forecasted to reach 600MB/sec during its anticipated 10-year road map.
Software Transparency with Legacy Parallel ATA: This enables a relatively easy transition to the new technology.
Low Cost: SATA is cost competitive with equivalent Parallel ATA solutions, including hosts, devices, and cabling in volume quantities.
for more info see this


Author Comment

ID: 9844286
What does that mean? When will SATA support more than 1 drive per channel and will the future specs. be supported by the current SATA drives, or would you need drives that supports future standards?
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9844542
SATA doesn't support more than one drive per channel and it won't in the future.

Motherboards are in transition at the moment.  You are getting some with both PATA and SATA on them.

All future ones will be SATA and here's where the fun starts.

A cheap motherboard will only have two SATA channels.  Why?  One hard disk and one CDROM drive.  The average user doesn't need more.

Oh, you want to rip CDs as well?

Then, the more expensive motherboards will have four.
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Author Comment

ID: 9844560
It won't come that far... If it does, users only supporting the boards with better upgrade features, and those who sell more are able to make cheaper mobos.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 9844956
If you need more than TWO SATA channels you need to either:

1) Buy an SATA controller with more than two channels.
2) Use MULTIPLE SATA controllers.

SATA is new and is targeted at LOWERING COSTS for the design, manufacture, and SUPPORT of personal computers to CONSUMERS.  I'm sure that over time a greater selection of SATA devices and controller options will be available and might include multiple SATA channel controllers.  Right now, you've got a very limited selection from only a few vendors.

It's not primarily for high-end systems.  The solution for what you want in the market is SCSI.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9864420
Its worth an A
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 9865478

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Author Comment

ID: 9865892
dbrunton/jhance: You have references which can confirm or support your answer, but I still accepts it as an answer.

philby quotes that there is a 10-year roadmap for the future SATA generations. If at least link to such roadmap is represented, I would of course raise it to an A.

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