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The limit on SATA cable length is 1m, whereas the limit on SAS cable length is 10m. When using a backplane which advertises support for SAS and SATA, with a SAS RAID controller and one SATA drive, will the controller use the SAS PHY scheme, allowing for the 10m cable length maximum (to accommodate the long backplane), or will it use the SATA one and allow for only the SATA cable length maximum of 1m?

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Your question is unclear. Are you asking whether a SAS controller can support a 10 meter cable length for SATA drives? –  Skyhawk Jun 29 '13 at 2:31

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If you are using SAS (that is to say, you have SAS drives along with your SAS card, and SAS cables), the SAS limits will apply. However, if you are using a SATA drive, the SATA limits will apply even if the controller is a SAS controller.

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