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Setting up a new server; the motherboard is a Supermicro X10SRW-F.

It has two SATA controllers, one with 6 ports, one with 4.

The one with 6 ports already has a DVD drive connected to it.

I'm about to use 4 x 512GB SSD drives in a RAID 10 array, and I have a choice of which controller to attach the drives to. The BIOS options look identical.

The server came prebuilt, with all the SATA cables connected to the back of the drive caddies; they're all tied up with cable ties and I don't want to get into rerouting them. Therefore the choice of which drives to attach to which controller is simply a choice of which bays to plug them into.

If I attach them to the 6-port controller, the one that already has the DVD drive attached, it happens to give me a logical SATA0 - SATA3 in left to right order, which will minimise the risk of pulling out the wrong drive accidentally later on.

Is there a downside to this? I seem to remember from the distant past that a CD drive on the same IDE cable as a HDD was a Bad Idea - surely there's no such limitation now with SATA?

All 10 SATA ports are SATA3.

According to the manual, the 6 port controller is supported by the Intel PCH chip. The 4 port one is supported by the Intel SCU chip. I don't really understand the significance of this difference.

  • How much are you going to be using the DVD drive? – kasperd Oct 13 '15 at 19:51
  • I plan to leave the Windows DVD in the drive in case additional Windows components are needed in the future, or in case we need to boot off it to repair. The server will be shipped to a colo. So not much, but I don't want to disconnect it. – ChrisA Oct 13 '15 at 20:01
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    I didn't suggest disconnecting it. How much you intend to use it does matter, because drawbacks are likely only an issue while the DVD drive is actively being used. I wouldn't leave a disk in the DVD drive during shipping though. – kasperd Oct 13 '15 at 20:05
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    Ah, I see. In normal use, the DVD drive will never be used. It would only be for non-routine maintenance. And yes, we'll be shipping the DVD separately and asking them to leave it in the drive once it's in the rack and running :) – ChrisA Oct 13 '15 at 20:09
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    Have you considered using a USB drive instead of leaving the DVD in the drive? – ErnieTheGeek Oct 13 '15 at 20:27
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It's going to share the SATA controller's bandwidth while in reading or writing from the optical drive, but since you don't plan on using the disk often I don't see how this would have a measurable impact on performance.

Older IDE systems could slow down to the slowest item on the bus, so this is probably why you remember not putting optical and storage on the same bus. SATA goes at a constant speed.

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