Vantec USB3 PCIe card (UGT-PC345) works great with FreeNAS

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mostlygeek

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Wanted to share this with the community. I know quite a few people built their NAS with the ASRock 2750d4i, which doesn't have USB3 headers and a case with USB3 ports. I have a FreeNAS running on a ASRock 2750D4I in a Fractal Design node304 case. The Vantec UGT-PC345 was essentially plug/play. It was recognized in FreeNAS 9.10 with zero configuration.

The motherboard recognized the card immediately. I tried another USB3 PCIe card and the motherboard wouldn't even POST. I was even able to boot off of it using a USB thumb drive to install FreeNAS onto a SSD. Excellent card for very good price.

I plugged a 8TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub (STEL8000100) into the USB ports on the card. FreeNAS immediately recognized the drive and I was able to format and add it as a new volume from the web interface. I copied a 9GB file to it and it easily sustained 136MB/second.

Hopefully this helps out somebody looking for a compatible USB3 PCIe card with internal USB headers.

The 136MB/sec seems to be a limitation somewhere as I did a copy read/write from my ssd disk (to itself) and it can't seem to exceed that. :hmm.
 

SweetAndLow

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No no no. You should not have USB drives as part of your pool. That will cause problems with your pool and it will be unstable.
 

mostlygeek

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Good point. It's not a part of my main pool. It's a single drive that I rsync files to as backup.
 

Chris Moore

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The 136MB/sec seems to be a limitation somewhere as I did a copy read/write from my ssd disk (to itself) and it can't seem to exceed that. :hmm.
I have a couple of different SSDs in USB3 enclosures and I get the impression that it is the controller chip in the enclosure that is the limiting factor. The better (more expensive) enclosure gets more speed. These are regular desktop SSDs that were put in enclosures that were made for laptop style hard drives. It is possible (probable) that the manufacturer did it on the cheap assuming that a hard drive would not be able to go much faster anyhow and not considering the possibility of an SSD being in the enclosure.
It is interesting, thanks.
 

Ericloewe

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"Cheap" is the adjective most applicable to all things USB mass storage, unfortunately. Joe consumer has no idea what kind of crap they're buying, they just see "3TB USB 3.0" and go "ooh, 3TB and USB 3.0 must be fast".
 

Arwen

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@mostlygeek,
One of the reasons we don't recommend USB attached drives, is that the cable can be detached too easily. (Do you have a cat? :smile:
Another reason is that USB can have hiccups that cause the drive to disappear for a while.

Thus, as a backup device, it will probably be fine. Just don't make any shares on it.
And if you want reasonable reliability, un-mount it after your backup is done.

I do something similar, but with eSATA. (The enclosure does have a USB 3 port, but as you point out, my system board does not have any. It's also a ASRock 2750D4I.)
 
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