Looking for best pcie 4x to sata card for non servers environment

i’m looking for a reliable pcie 4x card to sata and i have no idea what to get.

i’m completely out of space and limited to 6x sata ports atm, hence the need.

i’m also limited to pcie 2.0, due to running an i5 2500k in this motherboard:

i have no idea, what good value is, or what would be reliable.
i know, that some cards can’t be used, because they are designed for server air flow and would overheat in a normal case.

and the idea would preferably be, that the card would also be pcie 3.0 compatible, if i ever use it in the future on another motherboard and raid functionality doesn’t matter, as the use in the future for this card would be for zfs, where if i get it right, i want direct access to the drive anyways.

it also needs to work in windows 7 and gnu + linux.

i thought maybe someone here knows, what would fit this application best, hence my asking and i’m worried of getting a garbage pcie card, that would throw in a bunch of corruption onto the drive or the like, we all know, there is a ton of garbage out there :confused:
so if u got any good suggestion please tell me.

Just get an old lsi 9211-8i or equivalent alternate and put a 40mm noctua on the heatsink.

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When you say PCIe X4, I presume you mean that you don’t have a long x16 slot available?
An LSI card like @Adubs suggested would work in an X4 socket, as long as the slot is open in the back (backwards compatibility means the card should work, even if not all the gold fingers are in contact)
You might technically be limited on bandwidth, but the cards are designed to run SAS drives, so the difference shouldn’t be noticeable, even if the physical card is a x8 or x16.
You would need a sad to sata breakout cable though

i have a full length x16 slot available running at x4 (pcie 2.0 limited too of course)
going by gigabyte’s data sheet.

i don’t want to use the 2nd x16 slot running at 8x, that goes directly into the cpu, where using it would cut the graphics card slot down to 8x pcie 2.0, which would be quite low.
so length is not an issue and bandwidth shouldn’t be an issue either, as i’d only be running hdds on it, with generally just seeding 24/7 at 15 mbit up internet and rarely using only 1 of the drives at full speed, never all.

so my best plan from u 2 is, to get an lsi 9211-8i card, throw a 40 mm fan on it and get 2 mini sas to 4x sata cables.
so i’d be getting 8 more sata ports :slight_smile: :

question to those mini sas to sata cables, what is the random 6x connection on the cable, it looks like a usb 2.0 port lol, is that a part used to detect if there is sth. wrong with the cable connection and if not connected, it doesn’t matter?


i guess the best option to get an lsi 9211-8i from ebay, any specific model suggestions i should go by?
i’d appreciate that, as otherwise it’s randomly selecting the cheapest one, that comes from a reliable seller :smiley:

alright looking a bit on ebay and came to this post on reddit:

apparently there are tons of chinese lsi 9211-8i clones out there nowadays, so i’m not sure which one to get.

this one seems to be a good genuine offer i guess :woman_shrugging:


thx for the help btw!!! really appreciate it :slight_smile:

Dell PERC H200 and H310 can both be flashed to LSI 9211-8i IT mode firmware. I believe there are a couple of IBM ServeRAID models that can also, but the Dells appear to be the more popular choice because there are a lot of them around.

Like @Adubs said, get a 40mm fan to attach to the heatsink, because they get toastie without it. Not designed for desktop chassis.

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As stated Dell Perc H200 and H310 are the ones to go for. The H310 has the connectors towards the front of the case, while the H200 has them towards the back of the case facing towards the side panel of your case. Both work the same otherwise

I have had a PCIe 2.0 x4 card for that exact same purpose with a Marvell 9230 chipset for a few yesrs now.

All 4 ports combined can use about 800 MB/s bidirectionally (since electrically the chipset’s PCIe interface is 2.0 x2 only) so if you connect a single SATA 6 Gb/s SSD you almost don’t see any decline in performance compared to a native chipset SATA port.

That Marvell 9230 chipset got quite a few firmware updates so the early bugs/instabilities should be squashed at this point in time.

That HBA does draw so little power that it doesn’t need a dedictaed fan.

All other cheap SATA controllers basically suck - the next proper ones are the likes of LSI & Co. that are faster but also draw much more power.

I have a system with two zfs pools 3 ssd and 5 spinning rust. Using this $180 LSI SAS 9300 8i . The ssd z1 pool can saturate 10gb ethernet. Needs two SFF-8643 to SATA adapter cables.