Author Topic: Out of SATA ports and in need of information regarding PCIe SATA controllers  (Read 6294 times)

Offline NEOhidra

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Here are my options having in mind that i am not interested in any kind of hardware RAID:
  • Dell PERC H310 UCSA-801
  • LSI SAS9211-8I
  • Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8
What should i look for because its my firs controller and i would appreciate some pointers?

I suppose that the three models can present 8 HDDS as 8 separate HDDs to the OS - is that correct?

Dell PERC H310 UCSA-801 supports spindown and 4TB HDDs.
Some users have a problem with the spindows function of LSI SAS9211-8I which should work with 6TB HDDs.
But what about 6TB HDDs in general? Is there a chance to encounter a problem when trying to use a 6TB HDD with additional controller?

I am going to use the controller on a Windows box (i would like to replace it with Linux but it wont happen soon).

Offline Benoire

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I have no comments on the others but I'd stay away from the 9211-8i unless someone can post a firmware that supports spin down as none of the versions I have tried when in IT mode support it.  If you're not bothered about power savings then they're a good cheap card.


Offline falstaff

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I have no comments on the others but I'd stay away from the 9211-8i unless someone can post a firmware that supports spin down as none of the versions I have tried when in IT mode support it.  If you're not bothered about power savings then they're a good cheap card.
My ibm m1015 crossflashed to 9211 IT support spin-down with this "trick" (tested on Windows 7 ONLY):
---
Download driver
Open LSI_SAS2.INF with notepad
Find the [Shutdown_addreg] section.
Add this line.
HKR,"StorPort","EnableIdlePowerManagement",0x00010001,0x01

Re-install the new driver.
---

Offline NEOhidra

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H310 doesnt support write cache - will that result in a lower performance when no hardware RAID config is in use? Or it is important only for the different RAID configurations?

Offline Benoire

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My ibm m1015 crossflashed to 9211 IT support spin-down with this "trick" (tested on Windows 7 ONLY):
---
Download driver
Open LSI_SAS2.INF with notepad
Find the [Shutdown_addreg] section.
Add this line.
HKR,"StorPort","EnableIdlePowerManagement",0x00010001,0x01

Re-install the new driver.
---

What software have you got installed that can tell if the drive is spun down?  Obviously if you're around when it spins down you should hear it.  I've just done this trick in Server 2012 R2 but I'm not sure if it IS working as stabelit scanner reports the drive as still being active even after the spin down time has elapsed.

Offline Brahim

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How about using a Kill-A-Watt?

There should be a noticeable change in power consumption once the disks are spun down.

Offline Quaraxkad

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There should be a noticeable change in power consumption once the disks are spun down.

Is it really noticeable though? Or more specifically, is it beneficial? HDDs use around 5-8W at idle (even less for "green" drives). Even in a chassis of 24 hard drives, I'd still argue it's not worth the hassle for potential shortened longevity and increased risk of data loss. Just keep them spinning. You're saving a couple bucks a year at best.

Offline pbrauman

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I have no comments on the others but I'd stay away from the 9211-8i unless someone can post a firmware that supports spin down as none of the versions I have tried when in IT mode support it.  If you're not bothered about power savings then they're a good cheap card.

Tthe 9211-8i card spins hdd's down fine. Storport Idle Power Management (IPM) is not enabled by default. You must update the inf file to enable this.

Refer to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff561476(v=vs.85).aspx.

Instructions to enable idle spin down have been included here: http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,4035.0.html

Offline falstaff

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What software have you got installed that can tell if the drive is spun down?
Stablebit Scanner and Kill-A-Watt. In Scanner settings I set "Throttle queries not more often than" to a few hours and checked "do not query if the disk has spun down". Sometimes Scanner shows that disks are active but on WattMeter I see that they are spun down. With 11 disks I see 120W/h with active disks and ~65W/h with spun down. if uTorrent is active I see only PPU spun down.

Offline Brahim

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Is it really noticeable though? Or more specifically, is it beneficial? HDDs use around 5-8W at idle (even less for "green" drives). Even in a chassis of 24 hard drives, I'd still argue it's not worth the hassle for potential shortened longevity and increased risk of data loss. Just keep them spinning. You're saving a couple bucks a year at best.
Saving a 120 watts is beneficial. I have disks I don't think I have accessed in months. Reduced heat, vibration, stress on PSU, and power consumption, is worth the potential negatives in sleeping disks. I just wouldn't go with aggressive sleep timeout settings.
I find the power saving features in green drives more harmful than just putting them to sleep.

Offline Quaraxkad

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Saving a 120 watts is beneficial. I have disks I don't think I have accessed in months. Reduced heat, vibration, stress on PSU, and power consumption, is worth the potential negatives in sleeping disks. I just wouldn't go with aggressive sleep timeout settings.
I find the power saving features in green drives more harmful than just putting them to sleep.

If they are part of a Snapshot though, won't they still have to spin up for every update? I completely agree though that if it's going to be weeks at a time where the drive is idle then spindown makes sense, but to spin up every day I don't think is worth it.

Offline NEOhidra

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Two more questions :)
  • How can i monitor the temperature of Dell PERC H310?
  • Should i disable NCQ or leave it on?

Offline Brahim

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If they are part of a Snapshot though, won't they still have to spin up for every update? I completely agree though that if it's going to be weeks at a time where the drive is idle then spindown makes sense, but to spin up every day I don't think is worth it.
I do agree. If one updates frequently (more than once per 24 hours), the spin down might not be worth it.
I for one would still spin down my disks even if updating daily. Heat and power consumption bugs me more than reduce disk lifespan.


@NEOhidra
You want NCQ if using tRAID. Not sure it matters with RAID-F.

Offline pbrauman

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Don't forget longer time on ups if the power fails.  That's my main motivation for spinning down.  Allows for a graceful shut down.

Offline Quaraxkad

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Don't forget longer time on ups if the power fails.  That's my main motivation for spinning down.  Allows for a graceful shut down.

Surely there's a way to signal your drives to spin down in the event of a power failure, assuming your UPS is capable of notifying the devices it's connected to. I was almost certain I had that option when I connected my UPS but I can't seem to find it now. I have a pretty big UPS myself, for the server, my main computer, monitor, and other misc little things. Shutting down the server completely barely makes a dent in the power drawn from the UPS, that's why I don't personally concern myself with the energy savings.