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I'm considering buying a bunch of these to upgrade our servers at work (with SATA drives, not true SAS). We are out of ports to plug disks into, and these cards are decently supported and cheap.

The one thing I can't seem to figure out is: what type of HBA-to-SATA cable/connector type do these cards use? In the pictures, they look like SFF-8484, but I'm not 100% sure, and after reading the specs, Googling around, and reading the manual, I haven't found out for sure. I'd rather not spend a lot of money on cables that don't work, so...does anyone have any experience with these SAS cards? What is their cable type?

Cheers!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

That is correct.

The card's interface is an SFF-8484. Depending on what your drive cage looks like, the other side of the cable needs to match. If you are doing this without hot-swap drives, you'll need to use 4-lane SAS breakout cables (e.g. SAS SFF-8484 to SFF-8482).

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These cards do indeed use SFF-8484 connectors.

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If you purchase the kit that has the PERC with the blanking plate, you will probably get the relevant leads with the card (although may be wise to confirm prior to order).

The snag I've found when I've ordered those kits is that I've never found one with a battery for a sensible price. Batteries can be purchased seperately - the battery connector is present on cards shipped without batteries.

I would highly recommend you use the battery - without the card defaults to disable write caching for good reason, and this can cause a severe penalty under demanding workloads. (Write caching allows pc to dump data to the PERC, then the PERC writes it to the drives in it's own time - if data is written to a non battery backed cache and the power is pulled, it may be partially written or even not written at all to the drives).

There are PERC cards intended to be fitted to Dell rackmount servers that come on trays and don't have the blanking plate. These cards are identical to the regular ones and have the screwholes for the blanking plates, but without the plate, they can work their way loose of the PCI-E socket which will not be nice in operation.

Once your done, if they are Dell servers, setup OMSA if not already done, if not in a supported Dell server and running Windows, then load the LSI Megaraid Utility (can be found on driver pages for some Dell servers).

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