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Which card for expansion of SSD/SATA ports?


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Hi guys, 
I´m running out of disk space, and instead of upgrading all my SSDs from 1TB to 2TB and having to clone all discs, I thought it would be faster and cheaper to expand the number of SATA ports on my motherboard with a PCI-E card.
(MB is an ASUS Hero Maximus X w/BT and Wifi).

Did some research, and read that a card with the MARVELL 88SE9230 chipset would work, but I´m still not sure if it would work OOB.
I´d prefer min. 4 extra ports if possible and found this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Controleur-PCIE-RAID-SATA-III-6GB-4-PORTS-MARVELL-88SE9230/290919989546?hash=item43bc2ec12a:g:1awAAOxy0zhTNFbQ

FYI the following slots are available on my MB: PCIE X8, X4, X1
 

Can anyone please help by telling me which specific card type I should go for?
And since I am in EU, it would be great if recommendations would be hardware available in my region as it will take forever to get something from the US or AU.


Thanks in advance :)
 

Edited by BauerMac

There are several such SATA-III PCIe adapters based on Marvell or ASMEdia chipsets that are fully and natively supported in OS X/macOS.

 

What you need to take into account are:

  1. SATA speeds: SATA-I 150MB/s, SATA-II 300MB/s, SATA-III 600MB/s
  2. the PCIe version supported by the adapter (eg: 1.x, 2.0, 3.0) and the associated lane speed (250/500/~1000MB/s)
  3. The PCIe version supported by your motherboard (not a problem here given that your mobo is PCIe 3.0)
  4. the number of PCIe lanes supported by the card (x1, x2, x4, etc.)
  5. the number of ports offered by the adapter, knowing that 1 x port usually uses 1 x PCIe lane (and 1 x lane only)

It would also be useful to state what macOS version you want to run such an adapter with... Given that made some research, you probably found several other oldish existing threads on Hackintosh forums on this matter.

 

A few years ago, I tested a few of those adapters and they all worked OOB from Snow Leopard/Lion to Yosemite/El Capitan.

https://osxlatitude.com/forums/topic/8701-marvell-88se91xx-88se92xx-based-pcie-sata-iii-controllers/

https://osxlatitude.com/forums/topic/8732-syba-sd-pex50055-pcie-sata-iii-usb30-controller/

I sold the little x1 Marvell adapter some time ago but I still have the other 2 so I suppose I could try and fit them to my old Dell Vostro 200 and see if these remain supported in High Sierra and Catalina.

 

The model you've linked is not ideal: it's a PCIe v2.0 model and x2 only, so not what you want to properly run up to 4 x SATA-III disks at full SATA-III speed... You want a PCIe v3.0 (if those exist, if not PCIe 2.0 will have to do) x4 adapter.

Tested successfully in High Sierra and Catalina:

  1. Syba SD-PEX50055 (ASMedia ASM1062)
  2. StarTech PEXSAT34 (Marvell 88SE9123)

 

Syba_HighSierra.jpg StarTech_HighSierra.jpg

 

Syba_Catalina.jpg StarTech_Catalina.jpg

 

Both working OOB. So it's fair to say that nothing seems to have changed regarding those PCIe SATA-III controllers.

Hi Hervé, 
thanks so much for your help and taking time to explain this to me - and for testing the cards! I really appreciate it :)

I´m running 10.13.6 (High Sierra) and won´t be able to upgrade anytime soon, since I need a powerful Nvidia card to run my 3d and graphics applications. But that´s a different issue.

As I´m typing this, I am trying to find a card with PCIe v3.0 which seems near impossible (they are all v2.0), but I´ll post links to potential cards when I have done some more research.
The Startech and SYBA cards seem to be primarily sold in the US and Far East, so I´ll see if I can find an equivalent in the EU area.

 

BRB :)
 

Will this work?
https://www.amazon.de/-/en/BEYIMIE-Controller-Expansion-HyperDuo-88SE9230/dp/B07MBFWH81?th=1

Edited by BauerMac
1 hour ago, Hervé said:

Tested successfully in High Sierra and Catalina:

  1. Syba SD-PEX50055 (ASMedia ASM1062)
  2. StarTech PEXSAT34 (Marvell 88SE9123)

Both working OOB. So it's fair to say that nothing seems to have changed regarding those PCIe SATA-III controllers.


Cool! Thanks a lot :)
Not sure you see my responses as I didn´t quote you, so if you could please check the cards I linked to, that would be highly appreciated :)

These are all Ok but I would not recommend them because they're all PCIe x1, so all SATA ports will contend for the single PCIe lane and that would incur delay/reduced performance. I'd go for nothing less than a PCIe x4 card.

 

I've sent you a PM.

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