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Lord Yupa

February 2010

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SATA controller cards?

I've got an old server, which is still chugging along great. However, it's starting to seriously run short on hard drive space.

Up until now, the majority of it's data storage has been SCSI.

Unfortunately, as much as I love SCSI, it's gotten to the point where it's just way too freakin' expensive. (Or, more accurately, IDE has simply gotten to the point where it's so much cheaper that its better price compensates for its deficiencies.)

So, I'm trying to decide whether to get an ATA/133 controller card, or a Serial ATA controller card to add to this computer (which currently only supports up to ATA33). From what I've seen so far, it appears that I can get an add on controller card for either ATA/133 or SATA for about the same price, $20-$25.

Anyone have any suggestions on which to go with? If I get the SATA, it'll likely be a controller card with the Silicon Images 3112 chipset, as that seems to be the most common, and least expensive I can find.

Any idea how well supported that is under Linux? I see it listed in the kernel config, but that doesn't always mean it's perfect.

Hrm. . .


All our new boxen here use SATA drives, and we've had no problems. We get our boxes from Silicon Mechanics, and I believe the SATA controller is on-board. (We've got some with SATA raid and that's a separate card, but most of 'em just use the on-board.)

But anyways, probably a different chipset, but we've had no problems here with SATA disks.


Okay. At this point then, I think I'm going SATA.

Thanks for the comment. ;-)
SATA with some WD Raptors (where WD's SCSI department went, building the Raptor SATA drives) -- performance of SCSI, price decrease of IDE ;)


I honestly still like SCSI better. If I were building a big server where money was little or not concern, I'd still go SCSI.

However, the problem is that IDE (and SATA) prices have dropped like a rock, while SCSI has been very slow to drop in price. At this point, I just can't justify the price difference anymore. It was acceptable when SCSI was only about twice as expensive per MB as IDE, but at this point it's a factor of 5-6 times more expensive. Just not worth it, unless you've got a very special need for it.

So, it looks like I'm going SATA. ;-)

Re: SATA vs. SCSI.

Well, at least according to KernelTrap it's probably had support since 2.4.27. Of course, who knows for sure, but look for libata.