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[SOLVED] Possbile to daisy-chain SATA Hard Drives?

Mealtime 44 November 11, 2009 at 02:41 AM
I only have four sata ports on my motherboard and they're all being used. However, I'd like to add another HD. Can I daisy chain like the old IDE drives? Is there a special cable I need. Thanks.
Any links would be appreciated.
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#2
No, not with SATA.

A couple of other options are to get an add-in SATA card or USB to SATA adapter.

If you don't use your optical drive that much, just use that port for the time being.
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#3
Quote from greenmeansgoooo View Post :
No, not with SATA.

A couple of other options are to get an add-in SATA card or USB to SATA adapter.

If you don't use your optical drive that much, just use that port for the time being.
Okay, thanks. Think I'll wait till I get a new MB before I buy another HD.
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#4
Another option would be to get an external HD case and put a HD in it. These are good for backups, as you can store the external HD away from the computer- even at a different site.
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#5
Quote from greenmeansgoooo View Post :
No, not with SATA..
SATA supports port multiplier devices, it's part of the spec. There are a variety of solutions to this problem -- a port multiier, if your chipsets supports it. Or, a very cheap PCI Express card. Or, an IDE to SATA adapter. Or, a SATA to two-drive SATA chip. Any of these are cheap, readily available and stable.
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#6
Quote from Rebound View Post :
SATA supports port multiplier devices, it's part of the spec. There are a variety of solutions to this problem -- a port multiier, if your chipsets supports it. Or, a very cheap PCI Express card. Or, an IDE to SATA adapter. Or, a SATA to two-drive SATA chip. Any of these are cheap, readily available and stable.
Most integrated SATA ports on a MB do not support port multiplier devices.

This is why I suggested an add-on card.
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#7
Quote from greenmeansgoooo View Post :
Most integrated SATA ports on a MB do not support port multiplier devices.

This is why I suggested an add-on card.
Intel added port multiplier support to ICH9, for example. But I dont know what this persons chipset is.
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#8
The answer is no, SATA only supports 1 device per port. Do you really need a 5th SATA device on your machine full time? Consider moving some lesser used files onto an external hard drive. There's no sense in running a machine with a million hard drives all running full time if you don't use the data on half of them.
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#9
SATA is a point to point architecture between the SATA controller and each SATA device.
To increase the number of SATA ports, you can
1. Add another SATA controller using a PCI or PCIe expansion card.
2. SATA port multiplier or multilane which allow one or more SATA ports to be shared by 2 or more devices.

Option 1 is good for internal drives, while option 2 is better for external multidrive cages
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#10
When you port multiply SATA are you splitting the available bandwidth across the multiple devices? How does your BIOS interpret a multiplied port? Would it add extra "virtual" port devices and then list the attached devices separately or does it show up as a single "multiplied port"?
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#11
Yes, you are splitting the available bandwidth of a single SATA channel between multiple end devices.
I would expect it to show up as a single device i.e. the port multiplier, as the BIOS detection is done on a channel basis. Same as the BIOS would respond to an external esata drive.
The multiple devices should show up in the OS.

More info http://www.serialata.org/technolo...pliers.asp
Last edited by toslat November 12, 2009 at 12:06 AM
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#12
Quote from oddsoul View Post :
When you port multiply SATA are you splitting the available bandwidth across the multiple devices?
The bandwidth is split dynamically, as needed. So you only lose performance if both drives are running full-bore, which is usually on a cache read. To make it simple: You probably won't see a performance loss. There are a lot of SATA RAID controllers, which stripe 2-5 drives together for performance, and they connect with a single SATA cable and work fine.
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#13
The standard SATA drives nowaday can supports up to 3Gbps. Theoretically that should be ~375 MB/s. Most standard 7200RPM hard drive can only transfer at around 50-100 MB/s

So no, you won't notice any performance lost when splitting SATA port to 2 drives
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#14
The question of a performance loss is dependent on the switching mode (command vs FIS) available on the SATA controller.

With command based switching (which is like layer 1 multiplexing) , the H2PM (Host/controller to Port Multiplier) channel is dedicated time shared by the drives.The throughput on the H2PM is limited to the through put from a single drive. if we have N drives, and assume the drives have equal throughput capability W, and are accessed equally , the effective throughput will be W/N. Hence the effective throughput will drop as N increases.

So for example, if you had 3 drives each with a capability of 120MB/s that are being accessed equally, the effective through put is 120/3= 40MB/s, as each drive will get 120MB/s only 1/3 of the time.

With FIR switching (which is like layer 2 multiplexing), the H2PM.is maximized up to the controller speed S= 300MB/s for SATA II.The effective throughput will be min (W, S/N). Thus for the 3 drive example above, each drive would get min (120MB/s, 300/3)=100MB/s which is much faster.

The drop in effective throughput is one of the reasons you dont see motherboard manufacturer use PMs indiscriminately.

Note: ICH10 does not support FIR.
Last edited by toslat November 12, 2009 at 10:43 AM
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