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Thank you,

Controller compatibility

edited April 2011 in BitFlock

Hello all,

I have had a dialog with Alex regarding controller compatibility. You may look at the thread  http://stablebit.com/Contact/Lookup/5118503

My two PCI controllers (Highpoint RR2320 and Promise SATA300 TX4) do not have the necessary capability in their driver. Also for reasons other than this I am contemplating replacing the controller cards with 2 8ch SATA non-RAID controllers. Supermicro, among others sell these cards for less than $100, but there is no evidence that the chipset will handle proper SMART communication.

Alex has verified that SiL 3132 and 3512 chips are OK and is prepared to do some more testing.

Has anyone experience with controller cards that play with BitFlock.

//Finn

Comments

  • Covecube
    The idea is to make BitFlock show controller info as well. This way it can build a list of compatible hardware IDs by itself.

    This will be done in the next revision. Right now there are a couple of issued in DrivePool and the Scanner to deal with.

    We'll be building a minimal list of compatible controllers over the coming weeks.
  • In my experience both Highpoint and Promise controllers are junk. (They might even be the same company.) Avoid them if possible.
  • Member
    It sounds like it does reading above, but I'd like to confirm if the  Silicon Image 3132  is capable of getting SMART data from drives via 3rd party SMART monitoring such as Scanner.   I get mixed results via google searches, and thought I'd ask so I know what to expect.   Alex said he uses special commands per hardware that's detected, and I'm hoping the 3132 is truly one of the ones working with SMART!

    I ordered the MPX-3132 which is a PCI express mini controller card.

    ~Jon


  • edited July 2012 Member
    JazJon,

    Where did you buy the MPX-3132? I ordered the Startech MPEXSATA22I which is similar to the Commell but it won't work on the DH77DF board that I have. I was hoping the commell will work. Thanks.
  • Member
    I read the MPEXSATA22 does NOT support Port-Multiplier so that means you can only hookup a total of 2 drives.

    With the MPX-3132, it DOES support port multiplier so that means you could hookup TWO 5-bay enclosures for a total of 10 drives.   It also has special tiny cables that come with it, so you don't have to worry about clearance.  You can find various sata to esata adapters on amazon if you want to hookup a full eSata 4 or 5 bay enclosure like I will.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HYDLQO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00



    I ordered mind directly from the manufacturer.  Email Doris Hung.  Here's his email address:
    doris AT commell.com.tw


  • Member
    Here's another option as well:


    PCI Express X1 to PCI Express Mini riser card 

    (Let's you plug in a regular PCI 1x card!)  They have a full 16x one too, along with a DUAL slot one
  • Member
    Thanks for the info on the cool gadgets. I have a Mini-ITX server so space and resources are a premium. Just curious how much that ended up costing you for the card? Not sure where you are but I'm in California.

    I did email StarTech and they said that MPEXSATA22I supports Command Queuing. They said that should make it compatible with the PMs. I haven't verified it since I can't get it to work.
  • Member
    I learned the MPEXSATA22I does NOT support Port-Multiplier.
    http://www.talkaudio.co.uk/ipb/index.php/topic/358266-sata-port-multiplier/
    Command Queuing won't let you hookup more than one drive per channel. 
     (so two drives max on the MPEXSATA22I I'm afraid.)


    MPX3132 is $40, but the shipping is $28 since it's coming from over seas and directly from the manufacturer. They confirmed it supports Port Multiplier and you can hook up two 5-bay enclosures for a total of 10 drives if needed.

    Alex confirmed the Sil 3132 chipset on the MPX3132 is capable of SMART data as well by the way.





  • Member
    I'll return the MPEXSATA22I then and I'll try the MPX-3132. Thanks!
  • Member
    Cool, don't forget to order a SATA to eSATA Adapter as well.   I got the ESATAPLT2LPM from Amazon
  • Member
    Hey JazJon. When are you getting the card? One of my concerns is if it supports drives over 2TB (like the 3TB or later 4TB). And please let us know how that card works out for you.

  • edited July 2012 Member
    I have a 3 week lead time delay because they are sending a special eSata cable.  I originally didn't realize all I had to do was buy the adapter I talked about in my previous posts.  (but it's too late to change my order)

    I only have a bunch of 2TB drives so I'll be fine.   I'll ask if it supports 3TB & 4TB drives though just so we know.

    I originally got ordered the MPX3132 because I ran out of PCIe slots in my Shuttle PC SX79R5 case.
    http://global.shuttle.com/main/productsDetail?productId=1607 

    I installed the double wide ASUS GeForce ENGTX480 VIdeo card and it takes up both slots.

    I did more research recently I found you can actually buy a PCIe Ribbon Extension cable. (both 1x and 16x)  
    This gave me an idea to sneak my RR622 Sata controller in, and snake the eSata cables out the back, leaving the card internal.   Well I just got the PCIe Ribbon Extension cable in, and it DOESN'T fit!  The problem is the GeForce ENGTX480 is box shaped and actually covers the second PCI slot up so closely, I can't even fit the cable in.

    I came to the conclusion that the ENGTX480 is over kill for my Living room HTPC, so I'm going to sell it on ebay and I'll order the GTX 550 Ti Video Card

    As you can see it's still double wide, but it's not fully squared box shaped.  
    (so the second slot is not fully covered)

    I'll have plenty of room to plug in the PCIe ribbon extension cable now and can then install ANY PCIe SATA controller I want.   I'll start with the RR622 and see how it works out.

    Since the PCIe slot supports 6Gb/s and the Mini PCI Express only supports 3Gb/s, it's ideal for me to try and using my normal PCIe slot if at all possible.   I might not use the Mini PCI Express card at all at this point.   I'll still test it, but I might just keep it for a future project or sell it then if my extension finally works with the new roomier video card.

  • Member
    That double wide video card is definitely overkill for an HTPC unless you're gaming on the big screen. I unfortunately only have 1 PCIE slot. In hindsight....I should have gotten at least a Micro ATX MB and a bigger case to give me more expansion options. My original thought was expansion through USB 3.0 enclosures but I'm seeing too many issues with the current crop of USB 3.0 enclosures with random drive disconnections. So I decided to stick with esata for now until USB 3.0 marinates a little longer. I emailed Doris and I'll purchase the card. Hopefully it will work better than the Startech one. Let me know how your tests go. Thanks.
  • Member
    You'll probably receive your card before I get mine because of the 3 week lead time.  I edited my post, so not sure you caught my first part.  I'll re-post again:

    I have a 3 week lead time delay because they are making/sending a special eSata cable. (it cames with regular sata ended cables) I originally didn't realize all I had to do was buy the SATA to eSATA adapter I talked about in my previous posts.  (but it's too late to change my order)
  • Member
    Good news I got this response today:

    On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM, doris <doris> wrote:


    Dear Jon,
     
    Re the 3rd question,3)

    Do you happen to know if I can expect to receive S.M.A.R.T. data from the drives connected to my new  MPX-3132?   I'm going to install S.M.A.R.T. monitoring software that keeps an eye on things a bit closer than the built in Motherboard & Windows stuff.

     

    When the MPX-3132 is at RAID mode, it doesn't support S.M.A.R.T.

    When the MPX-3132 is not at RAID mode, it support S.M.A.R.T.

    _________________________________________________

    This is perfect since it's the mode I'll be using it in.
  • Member
    (you'll see my posts near the bottom)

    I just realized I could contact the same company they ordered it from.  Here's the link 

    I then realized they have a NEWER model MPX-9125 that is SATA III instead of SATA II
    It uses s different controller chip though so no clue if it's as good with SMART etc.

    It says it uses the Marvell 88SE9125 Chipset controller. Does anyone know anything about Marvell and SMART?
    http://www.globalamericaninc.com/commell-mpx-9125-pci-express-mini-card-mini-pcie-serial-ata-6-0gbps-ahci-raid-controller-card.html 

    I so yeah I  see the 9115 is SATA III but I doubt I'll see speed differences between SATA II and SATA III since my PCI Express Card slot in my Shuttle says it only goes to 3Gbs anyway. The real choice is which one has SMART data, boots fast'ish, and which one is proven to be stable long term.
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