[mythtv-users] Another take on large-capacity disk enclosures

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Mon Jun 15 21:43:34 UTC 2009

On Monday 15 June 2009 15:23:32 f-myth-users at media.mit.edu wrote:

> 2x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 64-bit PCI-X133MHz SATA Controller Card ($99)
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815121009
> At ~US$528 (shipped), this is certainly more expensive than the TR8M-B
> 8-disk (+eSATA) enclosure, but OTOH, if you need more than 8 disks or
> need to build a new machine as a NAS -anyway-, it's probably more
> compact and cheaper overall.  My idea here is to buy 1 Norco and
> two Supermicros, along with a motherboard that has at least 2 PCI
> -or- PCI-X slots (the Supermicro apparently can be plugged into
> either, albeit at a performance penalty for PCI) and has at least
> 4 additional SATA ports built-in (should be pretty much everything).

I have one of the SuperMicro cards running in a 133 Mhz. PCI-X slot, and I'm 
very pleased with it. Since Linux's software RAID works quite well, it's a 
far cheaper alternative to a hardware RAID card(s).

Remember, though, that most PCI-X boards will slow down from 133 to 100 Mhz. 
when you use two PCI-X slots, so if you use two of them you will not get 
optimum performance. As you pointed out, you would pay a large performance 
penalty if you used the card in a standard PCI slot.

PCI-X means you are talking about a server class mobo, which might mean ECC 
RAM as well, so things start to get costly. You won't find any 
high-performance video on a server mobo, and things like integrated HDMI or 
any audio will be lacking as well. Probably best to build it as a storage 
server only, and use a consumer board for displaying video.

Most consumer boards have at least one PCI-Express 16X slot, but I had little 
luck finding a PCI-Express disk controller that was not hardware RAID, with 
its attendant cost.

Brian Wood
beww at beww.org

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