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Using SATA-II drives on new system with less SATA internal ports

Posted on 2010-11-29
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I used to own a Dell 9200 dimension desktop. It had 4 SATA internal ports that I could connect my internal drives to. It finally started to fail and I just bought a Dell XPS 9100 desktop (i7-960, 12gb memory, Windows x64 professional) The motherboard only has three SATA ports and two of those are already connected to the hard drive and the BD burner. I only have one port left to connect three drives.

I have several thermaltake MAX 4 External enclosures that i could put a couple of disk drives in and use them as USB drives. However, I would like to find a way to utilize the speed of the SATA drives and connect them as SATA or ESATA drives. With one port available, that won't work.

I have read a little about port multipliers and am not sure how to set that up. I have also found this card out on the Star Tech site: Silicon Image 4-Port PCI-X eSATA Controller. Would this work for me? Would this controller card allow me to connect up to 4 eSATA devices without taking the remaining SATA internal port?

I am not looking for a raid configuration; simply to connect multiple SATA or ESATA drives.

I am pretty weak on the hardware side of PCs and want to be sure I am doing the right thing before I go an order any additional equipment..

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Dave
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Question by:mvssysprog
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by:Craig Bowman
Craig Bowman earned 500 total points
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the card you are referring to would work if you want to make the sata connections to drives outside the pc.  

this card would allow for more sata ports inside the pc - http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_385&products_id=12887

both are ideal for a non-raid solution for extra sata connections

Cb
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by:medvedd
medvedd earned 500 total points
ID: 34230020
You need a controller with 4 eSATA ports, for example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111069&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Hard+Drive+Controllers+/+RAID+Cards-_-SANS+DIGITAL-_-16111069

Silicon Image controller that you mentioned will not fit into your desktop, beacause
it has PCI-X connector and your desktop has only PCI-E
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by:mvssysprog
ID: 34230155
Thank you for your responses... Based on what you both have mentioned I have a couple more quick questions (hopefully).

medevdd: I looked at the device you suggested and noticed on the photos of the board that it was RAID 5. I wanted to set these up as individual units (not a raid configuration). Can I do that with this card?

One thing that I didn't mention (and I apologize upfront) is that I had to put in a larger power supply to handle the additional disk drives in my old desktop. While the powersupply in the XPS 9100 is larger, I am concerned about the possibility of overloaded the power supply with all internal drives.

Can either of you suggest a controller card that would support internal SATA as well as allowing for a couple of external SATA connections?

I promise this will be the last question on this topic.

Thanks in advance.

Dave
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by:Craig Bowman
Craig Bowman earned 500 total points
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132009

2 internal connection

2 external connections
 
supports raid and non raid configurations
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by:Craig Bowman
ID: 34230201
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medvedd earned 500 total points
ID: 34230338
Yes, Sans Digital HA-DAT-4ESPCIE can work without RAID configuration.

You can buy any SATA card with any combination of internal and external ports.
Just make sure that it has PCI-E x8 connector, because it's only available slot in your
desktop (you also have pci-e x1, but it's not fast enough).
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Author Closing Comment

by:mvssysprog
ID: 34230657
Thank you all very much
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