need help choosing HBA for ZFS

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
935
i'm looking around for HBA's to use for a ZFS array, and want to be able to use at least 15 drives at some point. i currently have 5x 2TB SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 drives (purchased 6/22/2011), but i want to have plenty of room for expansion later on.

the motherboard this is going in is an old ASUS A8N-SLI socket 939 board with an Opteron 165 & 4GB RAM. i don't need external connectivity, the drives are going in the same case as the motherboard. the case is a Coolermaster CM Stacker STC-T01-UW, and i will be using some hard drive backplanes that convert 3x 5.25" bays into 5x 3.5" bays (can fit 3 of these in this case for 15x hard drives).

the HBA i've been eyeing is the LSI 9201-16i, but it's $429, and i'd like to keep costs down as much as possible, as long as it doesn't sacrifice stability & ease of use. i'm not opposed to more than one card, the motherboard has 2x PCIe x16 slots and 2x PCIe x1 slots. i will be using an old PCI video card so i can make full use of all 4 PCIe slots if need be.

most likely i will be using FreeNAS on this system, and its primary use is going to be for multimedia storage for the entire house.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,004
Do yourself a huge favor and regardless of the HBA you finally choose, get a new motherboard/CPU. That board defaults to "2 x PCIe x16 *SLI mode : x8 , x8, Default(Single VGA) mode : x16, x1" mode with a PCIe video card, meaning you will be running your HBA at x1 speeds in a PCIe 1x board. Even though you have an old PCI video card, this board (especially in the non 32 version board) is known to be flakey with non-video PCIe cards.
 

diizzy

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
2,602
A cheap workaround especially since the LSI HBAs are very picky he could go for 3 * ASM1061 controller cards which would add another 6 ports and they're dirt cheap on eBay and work very well with pretty much anything since they support AHCI.
//Danne
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
935
i understand that the old 939 system is getting long in the tooth and **may** not work well, but there's no sense in just getting new stuff until i have tried it out first...that's a good way to waste money. i also have an old C2D with a DFI LP DK X48-T2RSB PLUS & 4GB RAM, and i'll use it if i have to, but i want to verify that this one will absolutely not work for my needs before i do so. i really want to utilize the C2D system for my HTPC/video encoding machine, it's light years ahead of the socket 939.

that said, anyone have any other recommendations on HBA(s) for getting me 15+ ports overall?

btw, i do have 4 sata ports on the board as well that i will be able to utilize, and i will be using an old IDE hard drive for the OS...no need to use anything faster there for a system that will be powered on 24x7 and will only be serving up files.
 
Last edited:

stevebaynet

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
204
find a couple of IBM ServeRAID M1015's on ebay for cheap and then flash em with LSI IT firmware
 
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