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#1 Nich...

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:13 PM

I am fast running out of HDD space again, and my options have hit a problem: my P55A-UD3R only has 6 SATA ports. Between 3 media drives, a games drive, system drive and BR drive, I'm out.

Now, I think my options are:

making use of one/both of the eSATA ports on the backplate and getting an external dock/enclosure for new HDDs and using them as dump and disconnect portables;
making use of one/both of the eSATA ports on the backplate and dumping the rarely used optical drive into an external case;
unplugging the optical drive and hot swapping it back in as needed;
using an internal enclosure for something via eSATA such as http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=14658 ;
using mounting brackets to dump drives into 5.25" bays via eSATA internal routing;
getting a PCIe add-in card with more ports on it.

While I'd like to make use of an external enclosure, just to have portable mass storage again (my last was flood damaged), it'd be frustrating because of the portable drives I'm likely to use in it - a handful of old 200gbs - they're not all SATA.

If internal routing of eSATA is trivial, I'm happy to just do that; I'll throw the optical drive onto one and have it hotswappable with a 200GB drive for portability if needed, and throw another 2TB drive onto the other and another 2TB drive onto an internal SATA port.

Otherwise, are there any SATA add-in cards that people would suggest I specifically look at, or conversely, specifically avoid?

FTR, not interested in RAID for add-in cards. I'll also probably be getting the cheaper 'Green' 2TB drives from WD or Seagate, so eSATA only being v2 is a non issue, they're just media dump drives for my/network access.
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#2 mudg3

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:17 AM

For the amount you would spend on fart arsing around getting cheap pci-e sata cards and running more drives.

You should just buy a HP Microserver or check them out anyway. Use it as network storage or for just backup's chuck him in a cupboard and forget about him,
http://www.shoppinge...-371/658553-371

Edited by mudg3, 18 April 2012 - 08:18 AM.

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#3 Nich...

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:26 AM

TBH, I've looked at something like that in the past, and the price doesn't seem justifiable - compared to the $50-100 for a pcie card. I feel like I'm missing something when people say how great they are. I should also add that the idea of having four drives sitting so close to each other in such a small box makes me anxious. Despite having the default 4x 120mm fans in my Antec P180, I refuse to store two drives side-by-side in the racks. If I were going to go the separate fileserver/NAS route, I'd probably look at building a cheap unraid box (and still have nowhere to really put it apart from on the desk beside my PC that is never turned off anyway <.<)

Edited by Nich..., 18 April 2012 - 11:27 AM.

"I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés" -- Nicholas Kurti

#4 aliali

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:14 AM

I am fast running out of HDD space again, and my options have hit a problem: my P55A-UD3R only has 6 SATA ports. Between 3 media drives, a games drive, system drive and BR drive, I'm out.

Nich that mobo has 8 internal Sata ports.
6 blue x SATA 3Gb/s on the Intel controller and 2 white SATA 6Gb/s connectors on the Marvell 9128 controller. The latter two are the white side entry ones just above the 6 blue top entry ones.
I also take it you are already running 2 or 3 Tb drives so you can't fit bigger drives and keep the same number attached?
I use that Antec Easy SATA Hot Swap Caddy for swapping HDDs in and out via AHCI enabled hotswap but frankly I think the Welland EZStor
http://www.welland.c...mobile/751.html
http://www.staticice...h...-751&spos=1
works better.

It is also trayless but because of the locking lever inserting and removing drives is a bit easier. It is longer than the Antec though due to the whole drive fitting internally to it.
Personally I would look at building a small low powered server for the majority of your files. Say an intel Atom or AMD E350/E450 powered box.
More versatile than a proprietary NAS, though a bit more complex and possibly more expensive to set up.

If you want serious storage without the NAS/Server thing then the Hotway H82-SU3S2 8-bay USB 3.0 non-RAID Enclosure
http://www.pccasegea...oducts_id=18207
looks to be the gear.

Edited by aliali, 18 April 2012 - 11:37 AM.

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#5 Nich...

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Ahahahaha. Thanks, Ali. They're almost impossible to see behind the cables nested above it. Totally forgot about those :\ And yeah, 3x2 3nd a 1.5. Considering replacing the 320GB drive with an SSD, but not entirely sure I am happy with the price/GB of the Intel 120GB. Oh well, two more 2TB drives should see me through until late/the end of next year, and I'll worry about what to do then when I know what country I'll be living in!

Edited by Nich..., 18 April 2012 - 11:27 AM.

"I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés" -- Nicholas Kurti

#6 aliali

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

See edit too. :P
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#7 stadl

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:08 AM

Despite having the default 4x 120mm fans in my Antec P180, I refuse to store two drives side-by-side in the racks.


Don't fear it - I've been running 4x 7200 RPM drives in the bottom cage of my P180 since I got it 6 years ago.
Adelaide weather, the room generally is around 30-32C ambient during summer, running long hours, the drives are usually around 25C during colder times, or 5-10C above ambient, never had a problem (and I have monitoring enabled, so I know it's been good)
There's a slight temp variation based on position - the centre two drives run coolest - which makes sense as there is airflow across top and bottom.

I did mod the case to move the fan from the middle of the bottom chamber to the front, but that was only because I used to have a large modular PSU and there wasn't enough space, but it's an equivalent cooling option to stock.

Also I know you don't want RAID, but there are HDD racks with a SATA backplane that allow you to put 4 drives in, but connect to the motherboard using a single SATA connector. Some use RAID to make the disk act as one, others use the SATA multi-drop capability to have the drives individually accessible from the computer - assuming the motherboard/controller supports it.

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