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We've currently got a HP ProLiant DL180 G6 server with a Smart Array P410i raid card, and 8 HDDs running off it.

We also just bought a new SATA Intel SSD drive to expand the server, that we're planning to connect to the motherboard's SATA ports..

Not the server's sata (powered by HP B110i), and the raid card on the server only support SATA 2. The SSD is a SATA 3 drive, which is backwards compatible, but we'll lose on data bandwidth.

Is there any way to get a SATA 3 port on the server, using an expansion card or something like that? Or does the server we have have no way of getting a SATA 3 port?

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You don't have many options. Any SATA drive on a Smart Array P410 controller or the motherboard's SATA leads will only run at 3.0Gbps (or lower) speeds.

SATA 2 == 3.0Gbps SATA 3 == 6.0Gbps

You can use a different controller in the server, but none of the newer HP Smart Array controllers capable of running SATA at 6.0Gbps are compatible with that server. Other manufacturers do have offerings that may work.

In the end, this may not matter much. There's a bandwidth loss, but depending on your application, disk IOPS and latency tend to be more important than raw sequential throughput.

  • That's pretty much what I expected. I'm not worried much, but I did wonder if I could improve the sequential reads as well. Thanks a lot! – Artiom Oct 12 '13 at 14:35
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You would need to have SAS drives in the backplanes for this to work. I have a similar setup, using a SSD (SATA3) for the boot drive on the SAS8087 connector on the board, along with a separate LSI 9211-8i for the backplane. However this backplane defaults to 3.0Gbps speed when SATA is connected. This affects the local ICH10R chip on the board as well. Not really noticable however in my case. Even with the SATAII limit, my throughput on my array is still around 2.0GB/s write and 5.7GB/s read.

For me to get true 6.0Gbps on the SATA ports, I'd need to upgrade the drives on the backplane to be SAS drives. I believe the same would go for the SSD even.

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