Mobo with multiple SATA controllers necessary?

Illex

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Nov 2, 2007
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As a side note in another thread I asked a question about SATA controllers with RAID. I will try again in this section (which is probably more appropriate) with a description of the problem that is a little more detailed.

If a mobo has one SATA controller, for example with six connectors and is RAID capable, can you then generally use RAID0 (or any other mode) on two (or 3,4,5) drives and still hock up an SATA DVD Burner to the remaining connector at the same time? I assume that without using any kind of RAID it would be possible to use all connectors for HDs, DVD/CD Drives or whatever but with RAID I think this would be a problem... correct me if I’m wrong but I had a problem like that on one of my last rigs (a few years back) when I wanted to use RAID on two drives but not on the third on the same controller. Is this still an issue today?

I’m currently looking for a new mobo and I see many boards with one SATA controller and one EIDE controller which I assume is mostly used for optical drives these days. I also see many boards with two SATA controllers that would allow two separate RAID arrays. For my purpose would I need one of those, even though the DVD drive certainly does not require RAID? As for using an old style interface optical drive... I just don’t like the old EIDE cables because of air circulation and simply because of the looks.

If anyone understood what I was trying to say (seems a little jumbled now I’m looking over it again) I would appreciate some clarification on the subject.
 

The_Gremlin

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Apr 13, 2006
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You are correct in that it used to be that you needed separate SATA controllers if you wanted to have a RAID setup and a non-RAID SATA device both connected. At least that is the case with my Asus A8V-Deluxe (S939).

However, (dum dee dum ... waiting for slow download of asus manuals) it depends on the chipset used, and probably on motherboard model as well.

Intel ICH9R chipset
The manual is unclear if you can have RAID and non-RAID devices co-existing on the same SATA controller. It may be possible.

NVIDIA 680i
According to the NVIDIA MediaShied guide, yes, you have control over which SATA channels are RAID enabled and which are not.

So, to answer your question, you may be able to get a motherboards with a single SATA controller, but you'd have to read up in the manual to see if it supports individual SATA channel RAID enable/disable.

Hope that helps. :)
 

4745454b

Titan
Moderator
I'm going to take a different approach. Who cares? Look for a board that supports what you want, does it bother you if its through two different controllers? I care that I have enough ports, and has the abilities that it has, I don't care if gives me this with one controller or 10.
 

The_Gremlin

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Hm ... good point. It is also probable that if you're looking for a board that supports RAID, it will likely have 2 SATA controllers. Either way, you're problem is solved.