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Can SAS 15Krpm HDD be used on SATA controller motherboards?

Posted on 2009-06-30
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I have a couple of 15K Rpm SAS HDD. Can I use a cable converter to connect the SAS HDD to my SATA interface PC (normal PC)?
SAS-7P82-1.jpg
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Question by:artradis
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As far as I know, SAS is downward compatible with SATA but not the other way around.  Because SATA is just a subset of SAS standard implementation.

In other words, you are able to connect a SATA hard drive  to a SAS controller, but connecting a SAS hard drive to a SATA controller even with a adapter cable will not work.
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"SATA drives may be plugged into SAS controllers and communicate on the same physical cable as native SAS disks, but SATA controllers cannot handle SAS disks"

Unfortauntely, you cannot. I know that you can get an interposer to user SATA HDD's on a SAS backplane, but have never heard it happening the other way round. This is due to SATA been a pure transport meduim, while SAS is a mix of a transport meduim and a protocol. Whilst they use similiar transport meduims (Cable, connector for SAS has only one extra notch in comparision to SATA) SAS uses the old SCSI transport protocol, which is not understood by standard controllers.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BRZ/is_6_23/ai_105884200/

You best best is to get a cheap SAS raid Controller (the PERC 5i or similar) and use this on your PCIe bus (found on most motherboards). Only thing to watch out for is that these cards sometime do not work in the x16 PCIe PEG slots, but that is another story :-). Let me know if you want a PERC card, I know of some good suppliers.

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The cable image you showed, I don't know where did you get it from but one of the vendor who sells that kind of cable explicitly say that if you want the SAS hard drive to be connected to a SATA connector, make sure the SATA controller supports SAS protocol, essentially it means you should have a SAS controller rather than having a SATA controller.

For usual desktop PC motherboard, chance to have a SAS controller is slim.
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