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Is it worth buying this HBA?

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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parth

Neophyte
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Nov 10, 2018
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5
Hi All,

I have a chassis supporting upto 10 disks and an ASUS B150M Plus motherboard that has 6 native SATA ports. I have a large number (>10) WD Red 2TB disks lying around and was looking around for HBAs to expand my storage and found this certified refurbished one on Amazon at a very reasonable price in India. I have gone through @jgreco 's excellent post https://forums.freenas.org/index.ph...-sas-sy-a-primer-on-basic-sas-and-sata.26145/ but was unable to quite understand whether the part I have linked would work or not. Specifically, I am looking at answers to the following questions:
  1. Will this HBA work for me for the simple purpose of expanding my motherboard's capacity from 6 5400rpm SATA disks to 10?
  2. If so, what kind of cables would I need (sorry but I'm a complete noob to the whole SATA / SAS connectivity thing and the ports in the picture on Amazon kind of look like SATA ports to me)?
  3. Will I need to "cross-flash to IT mode" or some such and if so, how would I do it? Any links and pointers would be appreciated?
  4. Will it still work if I decide to replace my 2TB disks with higher capacity disks later on? I have read in some articles that certain older LSI HBAs have a 2TB cap?
I'd be happy to provide any additional information about my setup. Thanks

EDIT: The part number listed in Amazon is 25R8071-CR. I found a link to the specification of 25R8071 IBM SAS controllers here. It seems to be based on the LSI 1068E SAS processor. I can't figure out what the -CR stands for though.
 
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Johnnie Black

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 10, 2017
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827
I can answer a couple of your questions:

If so, what kind of cables would I need (sorry but I'm a complete noob to the whole SATA / SAS connectivity thing and the ports in the picture on Amazon kind of look like SATA ports to me)?
Standard SATA cables

Will it still work if I decide to replace my 2TB disks with higher capacity disks later on? I have read in some articles that certain older LSI HBAs have a 2TB cap?
It's limited to 2TB devices.
 

parth

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
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Thanks. Shall I assume then that the answer for 1 is Yes? Also, this may be an idiotic question but why does it say SAS controller when the output connectors are SATA itself?
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
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13,759
-CR stands for though.
Maybe short for -"C"ruddy "R"etired "A"ntique "P"roduct... ? ;-)

Thanks. Shall I assume then that the answer for 1 is Yes? Also, this may be an idiotic question but why does it say SAS controller when the output connectors are SATA itself?
Because SAS and SATA use the same plug for single lane cables. You can plug SATA disks into SAS ports and it normally works fine, with a few edge cases that don't matter for most applications (especially: length). However, you cannot plug SAS disks into SATA ports.

So, just to be clear, it's because your assumption that "the output connectors are SATA" is incorrect.

What's more fun is when people use SAS multilane cabling to wire up SATA. :smile:
 

CraigD

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
343
SATA controllers are not recommended, in saying this I used this one for over a year without issue, but ultimately upgraded to a M1015 SAS2 card for a couple of reasons

My system out grew it, you may think this is impossible, it's not plan ahead so you can expanded without rebuilding, my case could hold 16 drives so I started with 8, then added 8 more

i added an expander for even more ports then connected to a JBOD

If you change case to one with a 8087 back plane you only need a cable to get it to work

Lastly simply put less cable clutter

Have Fun
PS Stay away from SAS1
 

parth

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
5
Thanks. I have decided not to go ahead with the purchase. I am planning to order an IBM M1015 controller on eBay but since delivery times are so long to get to India, I'm additionally going to purchase a Syba SATA controller from Amazon to tide me over till the M1015 arrives.
 
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