Advice Wanted; PCI esata Card:

Discussion in 'hardware' started by wtsinnc, Aug 5, 2009.

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  1. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Hello;

    I'm looking to purchase a high quality/reliable add-on PCI esata card and hope to get some advice and opinions about which card to buy.

    I am wanting to add esata capability to my Dell E510 so to take full advantage of an external hard drive enclosure which offers both esata and USB.
    I've tried the USB connection, but the transfer rate is simply too slow;
    thus the qwest for a good esata PCI card.

    My priorities are:

    First: The card must use a PCI slot- not X1 orX16.

    Second: I prefer two external ports but will certainly settle for just one as long as the quality is good.

    Third: I do not require that the card have an internal port (or ports), but will certainly take them as long as... (see above).

    Fourth: I do not require or, for that matter, want the card to offer additional capability such as RAID or any other sophisticated controller capability.
    In short, I want the card to be as simple as possible; it's only purpose being to add one or two esata ports.

    Any advice/opinions ?

    Many thanks in advance for your reply.
     
  2. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Came across this situation about a year ago....I usually like Belkins SATA controller cards because they're certified for 2K3 server so I use them often for internal SATA for utilizing the Dell RD1000 powervault removable drives. However, their model for eSATA is PCIe only. So I turned to a SIIG model
    http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=958832#TS

    There's also a StarTech model for about 1/2 the price, I didn't use it because it didn't state it had Server OS certified drivers. Just 1 e connector too.
    http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1701519
     
  3. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Hello YeOldeStonecat, and thanks for the reply and information.

    Concerning the two cards you provided links for;
    both show compatibility for SATA 150 and a data transfer rate of 150 MB/sec.

    Based on your experience, is that the maximum transfer rate I can expect, or is the SC-SA2012-S1 fully compatible with SATA-II drives and capable of higher speed transfers, hopefully at or approaching 300 MB/sec ?

    Thanks.
     
  4. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Since you wish for a card that runs on the PCI bus...you have the "theoretical" limit of 133 megs on the PCI bus. Now...the PCI bus is "shared", plus various other things of overhead...realistic PCI bus throughput for most home grade desktops and such as more in the 80-90 meg range...with only true server grade motherboards/chipsets being capable of getting closer to the theoretical top throughput of 133 megs.

    But...hard drives themselves...realistically in the 60 and 70 meg range...some bursting up towards 100 megs and higher, and some RAID setups can encroach that. But for the home user, probably just a standard SATA drive in that enclosure...I wouldn't worry about it much.

    Bottom line..your hard drive is still the bottleneck...not the bus.

    I've found eSATA based drives quite snappier than those in a USB enclosure....the USB bus having so much CPU overhead.
     
  5. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Hi again YeOldeStonecat;

    I'm considering a three or five disc external enclosure and a might make a move by the weekend.

    And again, thanks for sharing your knowledge about this topic.
     
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