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Does anyone know of a compatible SAS controller card for the Intel DX48BT2 motherboard?

Posted on 2008-11-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am trying to connect 2 Seagate ST3300655SS Cheetah 300GB 15K RPM SAS Drives with my Intel DX48BT2 motherboard.

For this, I obviously need a SAS controller card (even if I don't intend to do a RAID)

I have already tried using a LSI Logic SAS3041E-R PCI Express, 3Gb/s, SAS, 4-port Controller Integrated RAID Card but the system simply did not boot when this card was connected to the board. In fact, it wouldn't even go much past the BIOS. It just sat there with a cursor on an otherwise blank screen. So I sent the card back to the good people at SCSI4ME.com

Does anyone know of a compatible SAS controller card that will work with these drives and board?

If you REALLY wanna be helpful you can check if the card you are suggesting is available at SCSI4ME as I have to get a replacement from them :D

But any suggestions are welcome. I am pretty surprised the card didn't work. I am 90% sure the card was fine. I am guessing it was an Intel issue. BTW, I am running BIOS version 1521 (3/18/2008 release) and the only reported SAS HBA card issues were supposed to be resolved as of version 1507 as per the release notes found here ---> http://downloadmirror.intel.com/15890/ENG/BT_1554_ReleaseNotes.pdf
Question by:kk5000
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 22874526
The card you had was compatable.
If you had it in the right slot (only one slot on your board is 4x) and the card wasn't a dud then it should have worked.


Author Comment

ID: 22881075
I indeed had it in the right slot - Slot 'C' on page 12 of http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dx48bt2/sb/e29116001us.pdf

But it did not work. I have read other posts around the internet with people having similar problems when trying to install a SAS controller with this board (they too seemed to be having issues with LSI cards)

What do you recommend? Get a different brand? Which one is most likely to work?
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

PCBONEZ earned 1500 total points
ID: 22918496
I'm not here that much lately and usually other experts pop-in to help.

--> What OS?

In all honesty what I'd do is build a NAS using FreeNAS and a low power board/CPU combo that can handle a Gigabit LAN connection and a RAID card.
Takes the RAID load off the 'work machine'.
Easier on work machine's power supply.
Reduces heat in work machine's case.
Moves drive noise away from the desk.

Contrary to opinions created by effective marketing gimmicks, a 3GB/sec is no advantage over slower interfaces.
Head to Disk Transfer Rate of the drives (not the Interface's speed) is the 'real' limit except during bursts.
High End 7200 RPM drives max out at around 80 MB/sec but ~60MB/sec is more typical.
Assuming a Stripping form of RAID,, 2x80 MB/sec = 160 MB/sec [Sustained Xfer rate.]

Current drives (even 10k RPM) can't even fill the bandwidth for 1.5GB/sec.
All a faster interface does is fill up the buffer faster. - Rather useless.

160 MB/sec through a Gigabit LAN is no problem at all.

An old 1GHz P3 server board with PCI-X slots is more than adequate to handle FreeNAS with RAID and Gigabit LAN. They are cheap and fairly easy to find.
They usually support dual CPU's but you only need one CPU for FreeNAS.
[Tip: Tyan and Intel brand boards of that vintage don't have the capacitor problems that many other brands did back then.]
Dual Xeon socket 603 and 604 boards with 400 or 533 MHz FSB will also do it and are getting cheap to build but the CPUs will pull 2x to 3x the power of a ~35 watt P3.

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Author Comment

ID: 22928004
Using Vista Ultimate.

But it is not an OS related issue as the machine won't even go much past the BIOS screen when the SAS controller was connected. This was before I even installed the OS on the non SAS drive I have in there.

Your solution sounds fine only that this is a personal machine and not a server and having another box  connected to it just for HDDs is a pain. Surely there is a card I can use with this motherboard to connect these drives in the same box and resolve this?

Author Comment

ID: 22964529
Updating. The SCSI4ME people received the card and tested it and confirm it is fine. Now they are asking me to pick another one. Any suggestions out of? --> http://www.scsi4me.com/index.php?cPath=17_78&page=1&sort=3a

All we're trying to do is run 2 300 GB SAS drives on the aforementioned board. Nothing fancy. And it seems to be an impossible task.

Author Comment

ID: 23135811
PCBONEZ, u still around? After going all the way back and forth on this we seem to have come to the conclusion that this board cannot support a x4 card which most raid controllers seem to be. It only has x16 slots and they just aren't working right.

So I am going int he direction of thr NAS server you suggested. We have 15K RPM SAS drives. Will I get the full speed benefit from it if using a Gigabit NIC? I just don't want to waste money. If I'm not going to get the full benefit I might as well throw this card and drives on one of our company web servers that is running 7200 RPM drives (we usually run Raid only for database servers) BTW, is it very beneficial to have 15K RPM drives on a web server? If yes, I might just skip the headache of attaching these to a PC and have them put in on the next server upgrade anyway.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 23448104
Sorry, Like I said before I'm only here now and then.

About drives.

It's 99.9% hype.
Back in the 1990's and before the interface speed was the bottleneck.
People got that in their heads and advertisers play on that and harp all about interface transfer rates but that IS NOT where the bottleneck is anymore and it hasn't been for years.

The REAL bottleneck is transferring the data between the actual discs and the heads and that has nothing at all to do with the interface.
What affects it is RPM and the data density on the discs.
- Those things don't change between PATA, SATA, SCSI, or SAS.

The head-disc (aka 'internal') transfer rate is always buried in the specs where it's hard to find because they don't want people to figure out things like that SATA 3.0 has NO real 'speed' advantage over SATA 1.5 or even PATA.

[They actually do have an advantage but ONLY until the buffer is full which is almost instantaneous. Once the buffer is full everything slows down waiting on the heads to catch up. If you only do small files in bursts then the faster interfaces will be faster,,,, but small files in bursts isn't going to saturate you bandwidth anyway and so that's irrelevant to the basis of your question.]

If you go here and scroll down to "sustained transfer rate" .....


..... you can see that the internal tranfer rate maxes out at 125 MB/sec.

- That's less than the old IDE, ATA-133 interface.
- And that's FAR less than a 1GB LAN connection.

Even with a version of RAID that uses stripping you still max out at far less than Giga-LAN can handle.

Newer drives of xxx RPM do tend to be slightly faster than older drives of the same RPM but that's NOT due to the interface speed as folks selling drives would like you to believe.
The newer drives have higher data density on the discs which gives them their slight speed advantage over older technology.


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