Recommended SATA card?

David Abrahams dave at
Tue Jun 17 00:00:03 UTC 2008

on Mon Jun 16 2008, "Owen Townend" <> wrote:

> On 17/06/2008, James Dinkel <jdinkel at> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 3:03 PM, David Abrahams
>>  <dave at> wrote:
>>  > Hi,
>>  >
>>  > I need to expand the internal disk capacity on my server, and all my mobo's 4
>>  > SATA ports are occupied.  Can anyone recommend an SATA card that will work well
>>  > with Ubuntu?
>>  >
>> The controller is going to be the issue here.  Any brands of cards
>>  that use the same controller are going to be equally supported.  You
>>  could check what controller is on your motherboard and try to get a
>>  card with that same controller.  However, the Promise SATA controller
>>  is very popular and I *believe* is well supported in linux.
>>  James
> Hey,
>   James is right, the controller is the important part to consider
> here for compatability.

Duh, for some reason I didn't catch his drift before.  Now I think he
was suggesting that I use a card with the same controller chip as my
onboard SATA because I know it works. (Sorry, James!)

>   If you are only after sata ports and not hardware raid

That's me.

> then I'd suggest the Silicon Image SiL3114/3124 chipset cards (SATA
> I/II, four ports). They're supported natively by the kernel, so no
> third party drivers needed and I've seen them around for ~US$30/$60 on
> ebay. 

That's a lot cheaper than some of the 3ware cards I've seen.

> The main drawback of pci sata is IIRC the maximum bandwidth of
> the pci bus is roughly 80 MiB/s. 

Oof.  I suppose there's no getting around a limitation like that
one... hmm, is there an SATA controller I can drive with firewire?  What
people who care about performance do when their onboard SATA fills up?
Buy an external SATA drive cage that runs over firewire (or some such

> If you're after hardware raid but haven't yet done your research I'd
> suggest reading the through adaptec's storage advisor[2] pages, they
> focus on the tech rather than adaptec specifics which is handy.

Well, I've done quite a bit already, but one can always do more
research.  When is enough enough?  I dunno, but I'm thinking maybe I
should stop here for now and invest the US ~$30/$60 to see how an
SiL3124 card works out.

Dave Abrahams
BoostPro Computing

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