external ESATA drives in a R610

Tim Small tim at seoss.co.uk
Thu Aug 19 05:51:43 CDT 2010

The Intel ICH10R (as used in the R210 R310 R410 R510) does support SATA
port multipliers (in which case I'd suggest a simple header to bring the
motherboard SATA out to the back-panel), but the R610 seems to use the
ICH9, which doesn't.  The Intel ICH are very good SATA chips, and will
get you a very high throughput, but as Silicon Image make most of the
port multiplier chips, they may have better compatibility.

The Sil3132s work well, but have somewhat limited throughput (300M per
second each I think), but this may not be an issue to you depending on
your application.  The Sil3124s may be a bit better they are 4 port
chips, and although this is a PCI-X chipset you can find implementations
which put them behind a PCIe to PCIX bridge chip - have a look on ebay
or elsewhere, they are around $70 or so, I think.

It looks like the card you found is one of those (3124 + pcie bridge),
although the fan+HS on it looks like a load of BS to me (it's on the PCI
bridge chip unless I'm mistaken - and is almost certainly there to make
it look "cool" only), and the price is very high..

You can find more detailed info including port multiplier (PM) support
here: https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Hardware,_driver_status

Also ask on the linux-ide mailing list...

> I'm interested in adding hotplug ESATA capability with port multiplier
> for backup purposes to something like an R610.   Is this supported by
> any of the Dell external SAS controllers (don't need raid for this).

I don' think any SAS multipliers support SATA port multipliers.  You can
use SAS multipliers instead, but I don't like LSIs SAS cards, and have
had loads of trouble with them in the past (e.g. hardware bugs in the
LSI1068E etc.) - just stick with plain commodity (well supported, and
cheaper) SATA IMO.

Let us know what you come up with...


p.s. I found that the R300s have a bug whereby they don't reliably
detect Sil3132s.

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