Question

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #3937460

    I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

    by cemengin911 ·

    Hi,
    I found myself in need of a SAS expander card to accommodate my Z590 series motherboard that I am running an audio workstation with. Which only comes with 6 HDD Bays.

    I am not going to RAID. I need 6 ports. So they are gonna be 12 total with my MOBO. They should support at least 8 TB drives, and they are all going to be needed at any given moment in my workflow.

    But most of the cards I found Googling are either: x1, x2, x4, or Lanes are not mentioned at all.

    And then there is 6Gb/s versus 12Gb/s cards… I’ve heard that the performance is %30 better with the latter.

    I am perplexed about which specs I should chase. Which would be good enough? Obviously, I’d like a fast and reliable card.

    So help on the subject and also maybe some specific card suggestions would be appreciated.

You are posting a reply to: I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our Community FAQs for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.

All Answers

  • Author
    Replies
    • #3938515

      Is storage space the goal?

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

      Just today I saw 14TB Toshiba drives at Newegg for $279 each. With 6 of those are you saying you need more?

      • #3938513

        Preserve the Workflow is the goal…

        by cemengin911 ·

        In reply to Is storage space the goal?

        Hi there,
        I have 1x10TB 4x8TB 5x 6TB and 2xSSD 1TB. They are all DATA drives except SSDs. They are all going to be needed at any given moment in my workflow.

        And hopefully one day, I will have the pleasure to put in use those M.2 slots on the MOBO…

        • #3938512

          Let me give a nod to what a video production company uses.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Preserve the Workflow is the goal…

          Ever hear of Linus TechTips? They put their stuff up on a storage server. It’s a rack with a lot of big drives. He’s made a lot of videos about it.

          But you might not be there yet as these 14TB drives look to be cheap and easy to do compared to finding that SAS Expander and then getting it all to work. I won’t get into a story about that here. But the person who tried it lost months working on it.

        • #3938509

          SAS or SATA III

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to Let me give a nod to what a video production company uses.

          I just need the best option I can come up with. I am thinking I can benefit from a 12Gb/s card. Would that mean automatically this card will be x16? Or hat’s something I should separately aim for?

          Also, any card suggestions towards what I like to achieve?

        • #3938507

          I don’t see why to bother with 12Gb/s.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to SAS or SATA III

          Please correct me here but SATA 3 is 6Gb/s so 12 would be nice but if you do a little more research a spinning rust drive (HDD) has never been known to come close to saturating the SATA 3 or PCIe channel.

          -> Reference https://superuser.com/questions/1246822/how-does-sata-speed-correlate-with-actual-transferspeed and others.

          My advice is to get the 14TB drives as it appears you want more storage space. Once you get past that size, look to a storage server like Linux TechTips and others do.

        • #3938506

          I am definitely not correcting you…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to I don’t see why to bother with 12Gb/s.

          12GB/s gives %30 better performance than 6Gb/s.

          Yes I only have x2 SSDs now. But, in time I hope to populate more SSDs in the future.

          14Tb drive has its downsides for me. First I have to deal with a much larger work time to deal with cloning the whole thing to another 14TB drive and when there is a problem again; I have to deal with a 14TB drive…
          I have a 10TB drive and correction: 6x 8TB drives and 4x 6TB drives.
          All with twin brother/sister clones… Except for the 10 TB drive! I have no clone for that… So I have a bunch of 2TB drives that I eventually copied the important data from it.

        • #3938505

          Definitely time for a storage server.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to I am definitely not correcting you…

          Over at Linus Techtips they mostly run the 2.5 Gigabit network so NAS and such work for video production.

          https://www.cablematters.com/blog/Networking/beyond-gigabit-2-5-gigabit-ethernet-and-10-gigabit-ethernet is a good read.

          If you want that SAS, go for it. I’ve seen production folk mess around with small drives and as such, my advice above.

        • #3938503

          I wonder how to utilize Network to my advantage…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to Definitely time for a storage server.

          Thank you that was a good read. I learned a bit more.
          So I can ask some questions that won’t sound very dull and stupid.

          The MOBO has 2,5GB Ethernet x2. It also has Thunderbolt 3.

          Is that mean, I can get an enclosure unit of some kind and stuck some drives in it, and then connect them through the Ethernet?

          Which would totally make a SAS expansion card escapable?

          If I am not out of my mind yet, then I, sure am now:
          Would PCIe 4 compete with 10GB Ethernet?
          Or vise versa…

        • #3938501

          I didn’t tell all.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to I wonder how to utilize Network to my advantage…

          I see your other discussions on Tom’s and other places where they cover areas that well, I will avoid duplication here.

          As to the questions, since Linus Techtips does 4K video work and then puts assets on their storage server, my answer is yes.

          At 10GB Ethernet even they don’t do that. Partly why is the write speed of even an Enterprise scale 15K SAS drive is well, not as fast as SSD (reading https://linustechtips.com/topic/803382-15k-sas-speeds/ for example.) And as such this is not a problematic speed/capacity issue for PCIe 3 or 4. I’m sure someone has tried/tested write speeds on 10 GB but here my advice is to migrate to the 14TB drives before a SAS expander and when you blow past 14TB drives, it’s time for a storage server.

          Always your choice in the end but keeping a storage server out of a sound production area has big benefits.

        • #3938487

          I hear ya…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to I didn’t tell all.

          I hear you. But it is very scary. Anything bigger than even 8 TB is scary. If an HDD fails on me dealing with a 14 TB failure is a disaster. Also, buying them is very excogitative. I would wanna buy a good one, probably anything in the Pro level…

          I just found out through in one of those other forums ( some of them really suck by the way) that there are SSD SAS drives the are huge… Like 15 TB huge. And SSD… And SAS!
          Like this one. Which first I though it must be a typo!
          Seagate Nytro 3031 XS15360TE70004 15.36 TB Solid State Drive – SAS

          Not that I will be buying any soon! 🙂 I also hear you about keeping the server mentality out of the music production. Which you suggestively mentioned in the first place. But I realize that youı are not for it. Yet, since then I made a research through some friends and found out that lots of Music Houses are using such servers. But of course, they kinda have to go that way, so that many rooms can benefit from that same sound source…

          But at the end of the day, I realize that for now, I should just get some x8 6Gb/s non-raid card and seize the future later…

          As always, it was a great experience, thank you…

        • #3938486

          Let me comment about a few items.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to I hear ya…

          1. Pro level? Something like Toshiba 14TB Enterprise HDD SATA 6.0Gb/s 512e 7200 RPM 512MB Cache 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive MG08ACA14TE are Enterprise models.

          2. 14TB terrifying? At that point I begin to worry you don’t have backups. There are thousands of discussions about this area. All start with “My drive failed, how do I get my data back?” And the first reply is always “restore from backups.”

        • #3938488

          I hear ya…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to I didn’t tell all.

          I hear you. But it is very scary. Anything bigger than even 8 TB is scary. If an HDD fails on me dealing with a 14 TB failure is a disaster. Also, buying them is very excogitative. I would wanna buy a good one, probably anything in the Pro level…

          I just found out through in one of those other forums ( some of them really suck by the way) that there are SSD SAS drives the are huge… Like 15 TB huge. And SSD… And SAS!
          Like this one. Which first I though it must be a typo!
          Seagate Nytro 3031 XS15360TE70004 15.36 TB Solid State Drive – SAS

          Not that I will be buying any soon! 🙂 I also hear you about keeping the server mentality out of the music production. Which you suggestively mentioned in the first place. But I realize that youı are not for it. Yet, since then I made a research through some friends and found out that lots of Music Houses are using such servers. But of course, they kinda have to go that way, so that many rooms can benefit from that same sound source…

          But at the end of the day, I realize that for now, I should just get some x8 6Gb/s non-raid card and seize the future later…

        • #3938481

          I missed the page 2!

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to I hear ya…

          I do have either a clone or backup of every driver I have! Unfortunately, I had to have them, fortunately, I managed to have them… Most of my HDDs are Enterprise models. Mostly Seagate. Some of them are in Pro level some aren’t…

          When you are the guy who had built your system and in fact that you are not an engineer you end up reading and trying to learn tones and tones of information that eventually you want to forget. I am a composer/arranger and there is already enough of a steep and never-ending learning curve in my own area, I am miserable to lurk around forums trying to figure out things that I don’t really need and essentially not my thing… First Windows and then hardware. I can’t spend time working on music! So, I truly hate the experience but…

          I am glad these places and these communities exists, otherwise, none of this would have been possible. So thank you, everybody, that chipped in, I appreciate you…

    • #3938449

      Update: 16TB drives at a reasonable cost are available.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

      Nod to https://www.newegg.com/toshiba-mg08aca16te-16tb/p/1Z4-000B-00FR7

      “Toshiba 16TB Enterprise HDD SATA 6.0Gb/s 512e 7200 RPM 512MB Cache 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive MG08ACA16TE” for $319.99 each.

      That means you can get the same storage space in half the number of drives for not much compared to just a few years ago.

      -> My experience is less drives is more reliable.

      • #3938444

        Nightmares…

        by cemengin911 ·

        In reply to Update: 16TB drives at a reasonable cost are available.

        Really, I would prefer 16TB Seagate Exos Enterprise $318… 🙂

        Well actually if I had the money I would go super crazy and get a couple of HAMR drives.
        20 TB each.. Apparently, that’s short for; Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording…
        Or those SAS-SSDs. They sound pretty exciting too…

        But they are almost as expensive as my WS.

        And, as I mentioned before: My experience is bigger the drives more the trouble. If I have 2x 8TB and a drive is dead. Okay! BUmmer but I have a clone… If I have just one drive that contains those 2x 8TB drives, well I am screwed because I do have to throw away twice and do the cloning twice too, don’t I? That’s where lies my nightmares…

      • #3938442

        Yes ! Thank you for telling…

        by cemengin911 ·

        In reply to Update: 16TB drives at a reasonable cost are available.

        Yeah… I haven’t visited them since last year… I was just looking for them in my bookmarks… 🙂

        But you know, almost all my drives are C Gates. I probably had 45 or so CGs,
        Except for the first 8TB cold storage drives I bought (they were just released) which were disastrous and died in the first year. I replaced them with the newer models and never looked back. After 8 years or so they are in -knock the wood- perfect health.
        And every other drive I have is working like a clock. Is that still a saying?

        I do understand your hesitation to love them though… 🙂
        So, maybe I was… er… am lucky…
        I, remember checking where the drives were manufactured once. I believe you didn’t want Singapore-made ones those several years, due to the big float…

        I’ll check the Backblaze Hard Drive 2020 though, and see what’s so hat about this Toshiba of yours…
        thank you for bringing that up to my attention, as I was literally searching for it..
        cheers

        Huh! A funny thing or two have had happened here… Seems some posts were disappeared… Was it me?

        • #3938440

          PS. The forum is well.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Yes ! Thank you for telling…

          I can’t tell what’s up with it. There’s been some change of owners and bugs like this seem to never be resolved.

    • #3938441

      Our office’s definition of perfect health.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

      We want to see the raw 01 and 07 SMART values to be near zero.

      Why? Once the raw values climb into the thousands we find the drive performance tanks. The drive usually pass all health checks but performance testing shows troubles. As such we have this measurement to help us weed out such drives.

      And yes, we’ll get a client now and then that doesn’t like this test or finding.

      • #3938439

        Good to know.

        by cemengin911 ·

        In reply to Our office’s definition of perfect health.

        We want to see the raw 01 and 07 SMART values to be near zero.
        Thank you for that tip…

        I joined this forum: forums.unraid.net and I made my case (a better, more educated one) 🙂
        and the moderator there said that:
        “Look for an Asmedia ASM1166, only PCIe 3.0 x2 but that’s enough for 6 HDDs, even if they are used simultaneously.”

        So I thought; Hey, I spared more lanes…

        But then I stumbled upon this:
        which made me very confused… Here: https://naplestech.com/bus-speeds/
        PCI Express 1.0 12 Gbps ??? Is this a typo? Must be, no?
        PCI Express 2.0 / x16 16 Gbps
        PCI Express 2.0 / x8 8 Gbps
        PCI Express 2.0 / x4 4 Gbps
        PCI Express 3.0 / x16 32 Gbps
        PCI Express 3.0 / x8 16 Gbps
        PCI Express 3.0 / x4 8 Gbps
        PCI Express 3.0 / x1 2 Gbps
        SATA 6 6 Gbps

        See in that table above there is no PCIe 3.0 x2! And even if there was it would be 4 Gbps. So that’s disturbing to me right there. If I understand correctly, my SATA 6 drives need 6 Gbps.
        So, according to that table, I need PCI Express 3.0 / x4 8 Gbps

        But then here:
        https://www.pearsonitcertification.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2731934&seqNum=24

        They sing a different song… Or I am dumb…
        TABLE 3.7 PCIe versions
        PCIe version Speed (per lane per direction)
        1.0 2.5GT/s (gigatransfers per second) or 250MB/s
        2.0 5GT/s or 500MB/s
        3.0 8GT/s or 1GB/s
        4.0 16GT/s or 2GB/s
        I don’t get it! why this sht has to be so hard to get? And why does everybody says something else? People are fed up with me on one platform because I am not down with PCIe 2.0. On the other forum, they are upset with me because I am still not convinced that PCI 3.0 8x is what I need…

        What I am wondering is that if there is no need for them why are there so many speed options for SATA drives? I mean I understand that there are many different configurations(scenarios but still, most of them were created for SATA drives!?

        Also, I believe I am missing something in the description. Specs using different values, things are described with a different set of values, and they all turn into jambalaya in my poor brain…

        It is a simple task really. But it became torture…

        And I am wearing people out too… Damn…

        • #3938438

          And after all that…

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Good to know.

          You get back to the simple? issue that you can’t saturate the channel during writes to HDDs. Those TRANSFER RATES are not from say CPU memory to platter but just on the channel so it’s an incomplete and inaccurate way to say “this will be faster.”

          I’ve had clients that insist and you have to nod and see if you can get what they want, let them burn up dollars with little or no gain. You can only spend so much time on this as it takes time for all of us to “get the full picture.”

        • #3938437

          PS.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to And after all that…

          The forum unraid advice looks good to me.

        • #3940730

          I am Enlightened… Finally…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to PS.

          I’ve only recently realized the fact that current disks can not reach 300MB/s! Better late than never I suppose…

          So weird though, while all these SATA III HDDs talking about 6Gb/s (600 MB/s), the reality is they can only provide 150 to 200 MB/s maximum… Why even are there PCIe 3.0 x8 cards for HDDs? Yes, today there is this N. 2 stuff but what about before that!?

          Also, there are two kinds of lane descriptions apparently. The electrical one and the mechanical one… Could they make it more confusing?

        • #3940729

          Why 3.0 x8? Most like…

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to I am Enlightened… Finally…

          1. RAID. When we go with various RAID we can finally saturate the channels.
          2. The 6Gb/s and such are across some specific interface and not say “CPU memory to platter.” Even so “it’s a good thing” for such because almost all drives (SSD and HDD) have buffer RAM to soak up a write request so the controller can get to other work. But there is only so much RAM in that buffer so it’s easy to saturate.

          This is why drive speed tests have different block sizes. This can reveal a lot about the drive and drive system as a whole.

          -> Confusing? Yes. But most you chat with will eventually point out that the overall memory to disk (or SSD) rate is lower than the PCIe interfaces which is why almost all don’t see the need for, well, as they described for the PCIe 2/3 and x4/x8 etc.

        • #3940728

          Got it…

          by cemengin911 ·

          In reply to Why 3.0 x8? Most like…

          Yes! I forgot about the RAID business! But, I truly understand how it all correlates for the first time…

          So, I suppose, in this day and age, RAID for faster HDDs is out, and M.2 drives are in… And lots of lots of dough out too 🙂 At least on the same scale, I am used to… You know, lots of TBs…

          But I wish people would make this lane business clearer in specs. Mostly, nobody mentions the actual electrical lane values in their product specs…

          Anyways, this has been a pleasure to figure out with you, thank you indeed, for all the input you provided…

          cheers

    • #3940733

      Damn

      by luckyfit ·

      In reply to I need a SAS Expander card but which specs x16 vs x8 and 12G vs 6Gb/s

      sorry, accidently typed

Viewing 3 reply threads