I'm trying to come up with the lowest cost way to attach several hard drives to my main pc and am wondering if my plan will work. I only have about 60$ to spend. Don't worry about the drive enclosure or powersupply for the NAS I can do that part. I'm just concerned with how these drives interface with the machine.
I was thinking the cheapest way to get all the drives connected would be to use this board I saw
My question is , is this board just a sata hub and would it work? I was considering buying one or two of these boards and having the Nas just simply connect to my main machine via an e-sata port. I understand the performance may be lacking as you'd have 5 drives using a single port but thats fine by me , this would be for just long term storage.
I've also considered
Using an old pc: I really just want it to be a large external drive though and not it's own computer.
Using ton's of sata to usb adapters and a usb hub: I feel like those usb adapters are just super cheap junk though. I also don't have enough cash to buy 10 of them plus a usb hub.
Using an extended pci-e 1x port running to an external pci-e sata controller: I skipped this idea as I wouldn't be able to unplug it from the main machine.
So you dont want this to be a simple network file server. This is going to be a pc you use with a bunch of the same size drives? different size drives? How many drives do you have on hand now that you will be connecting and what will there main storage purpose be?
So i think we are all going in differnet directions albeit yours is confusing and doesnt seem worth the hassle. But Im bored so ill give this a go. Answer me this How many drives and what size are we trying to hook up? Are you going to use this on your personal pc? Are you against network file server for some reason?
That extender could work, but I don't know about any PCI-E x1 cards controlling 10 drives. If you set up a little box with drives, PSU, and that adapter + SATA card, it could connect to your PC with the USB 3.0 wire (supplying PCI-E x1). I guess you could either use an external power connector like E-SATA, or use the same power supply running the drives, with the caveat that you need a really good ground connection (possibly the USB 3.0 wire would be sufficient) between the drive case n the computer.
If this is for long term storage, could you just hook up 1-2 drives at a time untill you fill them up and put them away? Or is this going to be a file server and not just backup storage? I have an external 1TB drive that I back up stuff from my PC and laptop to, then connect that to an old rig with a handful of drives and spam a few copies of important data to those drives. If you don't want/have a completely separate rig, then it might be cheaper to just jam a few at a time into your current system.
Do you use an optical drive? I haven't used one in quite a long time and in the past I had one mapped to the network so it could be shared across multiple PC's. Now I have an external one in case I need it, which frees up a SATA port on each of my machines. If it is just for backing up data, I would try to make due with what is available and not spend any money on a half baked solution because I am way too cheap.
The fact of only 1 PCIe link being transmitted should be no problem. PCIe cards as far as I know always negotiate how many links will be used. So in theory any PCIe card x8 or x16 should work given that a correct amount of power will be provided (not that controller actually takes much power).
However my personal experience with the PCIe risers/extenders never ended well (never worked with my GPUs).
Perhaps I missed it, but what software will you be using. If you intend to use FreeNAS, or some other solution with ZFS, you'll definitely want to use a Host Bus Adapter (HBA) card, rather than a RAID card. ZFS needs direct control over the drives, in order to work its magic; a HBA allows for this.
I just need to know if that card will work with windows 7 , and if my thinking is correct in that the card is essentially an 8 port sata controller and the SAS connectors are just a condensed connector. I've never used SAS before it's something I just learned/wikipediad today. Also would this be hot swapable? Is it ok to unplug the sas connectors while the machine is on?