Intel SASUC8I - build confirmation needed

faugusztin

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Mar 9, 2008
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Hi,

right now, i use the AT3IONT-I (not the Deluxe variant) motherboard + Adaptec 1430SA controller for a 8 hard drive file server. Performance wise it's ok, but i would like to add 2 more drives + make the boot drive (and the download drive) a SSD i already have (X25-M G1 80GB).

I did some research and come up with 2 controllers which fit my requirements (8-port SATA, PCI-E x1-x16 interface as that is the only interface this ITX motherboard has) - Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 and Intel SASUC8I, both having two mSAS (SFF8087) connectors. Supermicro is cheaper (~120e with VAT compared to ~157e with VAT and postage fees for Intel), but it's harder to get (wait time is ~1 month compared to immediate availability of Intel controller).

So in the end, i decided to choose the Intel SASUC8I controller, but before ordering it, i need confirmation about some questions :
  1. I have only SATA drives, to use them with this controller all i need is 2pcs of these cables -
    ACK-I-mSASx4-4SATAx1 0.5m R ?
  2. Can the controller have problems with the upcoming 3TB drives from WDC or should i stick with 2TB drives (going to buy 2 more drives, this is the reason for this question) ?
  3. Can it work as a simple dumb "SATA" controller (HBA), without RAID functionality ? It seems like yes, but i need to be sure, i don't need the RAID functionality, just the extra SATA ports :) .
  4. Does it work flawlessly with Linux (Arch Linux, right now running with 2.6.35 kernel) ? Seems like yes except some problems with SMART, but i want to be sure.
 

p3n

Gawd
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Sep 29, 2002
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631
You want forward breakout cables, that cable seems to describe that scenario.

No idea on 3tb drives but 2tb can mean less platters which means less heat,energy etc

I have the Intel controller flashed with the LSI 'IT' firmware which turns it into a simple HBA.

Should be fine with Linux, i'm using Unix(on vSphere) though so no evidence i'm afraid.
 

faugusztin

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The 2TB WD20EARS are 3-platter drives, 3TB WDC should be 4-platter drives.

Thanks for the rest of the answers, i hope i won't have problems doing that.
 

faugusztin

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@p3n: could you please provide me link to that firmware as i ordered the card and want to be ready :).
 

sub.mesa

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Fine on Linux, but do not run 'smartd' (part of smartmontools) as it would run in an infinite loop and send thousands of SMART requests to the LSI controller. The simple workaround is no to use the smartd daemon background process but only the 'smartctl' foreground utility.

WD20EARS can be both 4 platter (500GB platters) or 3 platter (666GB platters); the 3-platter has MUCH better performance for small transactions according to some review; and it consumes a tad less power as well; go with the 3 platter whenever possible!
 

faugusztin

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@sub.mesa: i can only get the 3-platter ones (WD20EARS-00MVWB0) anyway, because the 4-platter version (WD20EARS-00S8B1) are not in stock in the shop where. And i will probably get another 3-platter drive in place of my current 4-platter, as it started acting strange, i tried the WD tool, it threw out a nice error in the quick test so that means RMA.

@p3n: thanks, i will see when the card will be there.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 23, 2007
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6,425
So in the end, i decided to choose the Intel SASUC8I controller
good choice. the Intel SASUC8I + LSI firmware has a beefier chip than the Marvell on the Supermicro card.
 
Last edited:

faugusztin

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Mar 9, 2008
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@p3n: so i finally got the card, it says "SAS3081E-R" on it, so it is exactly what you linked.
 
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