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Storage Expansion - ASRock U.2 Kit - Breakout Mini SAS x4 SSD?

Does anyone have an experience with the following U.2 to mini-sas adapters?

I’m having a little hard time understanding if using the adapter you must use PCI - SSD or if regular SSD’s will work

Part Links:

https://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/card.asp?Model=U.2%20Kit

The motherboard i’m using

Storage Notes

  • 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket, supports M Key type 2230/2242/2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**

*If M2_1 is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_1 will be disabled.

**Supports Intel® Optane™ Technology
Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks
Supports ASRock U.2 Kit

The end goal is to add 2x 1TB SSD’s while still being able to have 6x Sata HDDs

Build list https://pcpartpicker.com/user/mspencerl87/saved/#view=b3rZf7

If you want to use a sas breakout cable ie: 1 mini sas to 4x sata, it has to be a mini sas port you connect it to.
Even though it’s the same plug, I don’t think you can connect 4 sata disks to your m.2 slot via an adaptor. I don’t think the motherboard will know what to do with it.

But, if you get a m.2 to 4/8xpcie adaptor and then plug a hba card into that, then I think your goal can be achieved.
I can find some links when I get home.

1 Like

Thanks i’ll watch for the link suggestion.
I don’t plan on using the PCIE 3.0 Slot, i suppose i could get a
HBA, or PCIE to Satax4 card?

Also i think you are correct in the first statement. But i believe this will work with NVME SSD’s such as the enterprise level $$ ones…
Such as these

I mean, this should work? PCIE 3 is backwards compatible with PCIE 2 adapter? I don’t think i’ve ever slotted a 2.0 into a 3.0 but it should work…

Indeed. That’s a pcie ssd in a sata form factor.

If you want to use your m.2 slot, you could get one of these:

That’ll adapt it to a pcie.x4 slot.
And then you can get one of these:

Yup.

If you don’t need your pcie x16 slot for a gpu, then you can just skip the m.2 adaptor card :slight_smile:

I don’t have experience with these more generic hba cards, I use lsi 9211 cards in my nas. Though boot time is long af, because they have their own bios, which need to boot during system startup.
But I don’t see why either the startech or qnine card wouldn’t work, and they have good ratings on amazon.

But if it’s for a nas, I recommend a 9211

Thank you for all your help Donk, sometimes people just need to bounce ideas off each other! :smiley: i like over complicating things sometimes too :smiley:

You’re welcome :slight_smile:
If you go for the m.2 adaptor route, then I’d just remove the bracket from the hba card, and just let it “hang loose” from the m.2 adaptor. It doesn’t weigh anything, so I don’t think it would matter that it’s not screwed in anywhere :slight_smile:

Letting it all hang out. She’s a Bri… Oh i bricked it LOL :stuck_out_tongue:

Just to add my experience:

I wanted to do something similar with M.2-to-PCIe-adapters.

Then I found this M.2 HBA:

But as far as I can tell it has only PCIe 2.0 x1, meaning about 400 MB/s for all 4 SATA drives :-/

In my opinion the best price-performance-power-consumption-heat part are 4 x SATA HBAs with the Marvell 9230 chipset that sports PCIe 2.0 x2, meaning 800 MB/s in total. If you only use 2 SSDs on one of those you don’t really notice a performance drop compared to the chipset SATA ports.

A1 chip revision (and later?) are pretty stable with updated firmwares.

The come in various form factors but be sure to check the vendors’ spec sheet for the electrical PCIe interface since it dictates the performance.

Edit: Hmmm the limited physical space above the PCIe slot seems to block the M.2 HBA.