Are there ANY high-quality non-RAID SATA controllers out there?

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
Hi all...

I need to add some extra storage to my computer (Windows 10 running on Z490 motherboard).

Looking around, it seems that all there is available is low-cost, cheapish-ly made SATA controller boards, and high-priced, server-oriented RAID boards.

Is there any such thing as a really well-made non-RAID SATA controller board out there these days? In searching Amazon, NewEgg, etc. I've not found anything that gets stellar reviews from everyone.

- tim
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,492
What do you call cheap? SAS raid controller can be put in IT-Mode which acts as a standard sata (or SAS) HBA to passthrough to the OS.

You can get the medium grade 8 port LSI SAS controllers that can handle full SSDs for under $50 (plus cable cost): https://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-9207-8...955461?hash=item3fe8fed905:g:1kMAAOSw7mRfGlUb
A pair of cables is $15 I bought these for mine: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CKX6HVV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

So all in $60 for 8 ports

If you just need it for HDD you can go cheaper and get the 9211-8i variant (there are alot of OEM versions for this one, I use several of the Dell H310 with the taped pin mod in my unraid box)

edited for bad link and added below:

If you just need 4 HDD ports theres also this guy: https://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-H1110-...217106?hash=item1f09c9f712:g:oz4AAOSwHP1eIq0-
So it'd be $40 for 4 ports with a single cable.

Just a side note the reason for the 9211 variant is for HDD only is its a pcie 2.0 card, if you put 8 SSD on it, theres a possible throughput bottleneck depending on your usage.
 
Last edited:

tbessie

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
25
What do you call cheap? SAS raid controller can be put in IT-Mode which acts as a standard sata (or SAS) HBA to passthrough to the OS.

... (many useful suggestions)

Thanks for your suggestions! Yeah, I saw discussions of these LSI cards on here for similar requests, but was hoping to find ones that didn't require these break-out cables, but just had bland ol' SATA ports on them.

I know it's not a big deal to use the cables (I've done this before long ago), it just seems like a bit of overkill. I'm just wondering why the market for "plain old SATA cards" that aren't made for data-center-like SAS use, and which don't need break-out cables, is confined to very cheap cards with questionable quality. Just not a market for that, do you think, since modern motherboards have so many onboard sata ports?

- tim
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,492
I prefer the enterprise cards, I don't particularly trust any of the standard cards.though theres nothing wrong with them.
Just stick with a name brand like startech or the like and you should be fine.
 

HammerSandwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,124
I saw discussions of these LSI cards on here for similar requests, but was hoping to find ones that didn't require these break-out cables, but just had bland ol' SATA ports on them.
Check out the 9212-4i4e. SAS2008 with 4x internal SATA & an external, 4-drive, SAS connector. About $30 on Ebay.
 

SamirD

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
3,811
Thanks for your suggestions! Yeah, I saw discussions of these LSI cards on here for similar requests, but was hoping to find ones that didn't require these break-out cables, but just had bland ol' SATA ports on them.

I know it's not a big deal to use the cables (I've done this before long ago), it just seems like a bit of overkill. I'm just wondering why the market for "plain old SATA cards" that aren't made for data-center-like SAS use, and which don't need break-out cables, is confined to very cheap cards with questionable quality. Just not a market for that, do you think, since modern motherboards have so many onboard sata ports?

- tim
Startech is the only brand which I trust in this component market since their qa is much better than the others even if the design is the same.

As far as why there are no more cards? Well, pretty much the fakers stole the creators business because the creators couldn't compete with the price of shoddy fakes. It's a sad state of affairs actually because the ccc cards (cheap chinese crap) are good for only a few uses and maybe a few years before they stop working or decide to catch on fire. I wish we had the import controls of years past so this junk was kept out of our country (these products are common in the third world) so we can still buy reputable brands and not worry about being ripped off or the dangers of fake products.
 

cpufrost

n00b
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
2
I like Areca cards. Even passthrough disks benefit from write back cache which is a huge plus.
And you have the capability to run hardware RAID if you need it down the road.
 

sethk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
1,849
Most of the high quality cards including those from Dell, HPE, Supermicro etc. all use "LSI" HBA controllers (which became Avago, then Broadcom) and the "HBA" controllers are generally non-RAID. They also make RAID controllers, of course, but I had to look into this really carefully since storage spaces direct explicitly will not support RAID controllers.

Here's Microsoft's list of certified non-RAID controllers, useful even if you're not planning on doing storage spaces:
https://www.windowsservercatalog.co...3&cpID=0&avc=10&ava=0&avt=0&avq=0&OR=1&PGS=25
 
Top