Looking for PCIe to SATA 3 Add-in-card

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  1. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
       #1

    Looking for PCIe to SATA 3 Add-in-card


    I'm looking for a PCIe to SATA 3 add in card that actually works at X4 rates, that is, it must use all four lanes on the PCIe bus. The card can either provide sata connectors or permit insertion of a 2.5" SATA 3 SSD onto the card. Examples of the types of cards that would work IF they were X4 cards are seen here:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...4RCW5MS9&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...G9WPPLAW&psc=1


    Most of these cards have X4 connectors but only work at X2 (two PCIe lanes are connected). Why is it important to me that the card work at X4? ANS: My Mobo only has PCIe slots that support PCIe Revision 1 rates. All my SATA connectors are SATA 2 connectors that don't take full advantage of my existing SATA 3 SSD boot drive so I want to add at least one SATA 3 port to the computer to speed things up. An add-in-card (or adapter card) that works at X2 would not support SATA 3 speeds on a Revision 1 PCIe bus. This is why I need a card that has a PCIe connector working at X4.

    For now, I've only seen cards that work at X1 or X2 but nothing higher. My hope is someone will know where to look to find one of these cards that works at X4. Thanks for reading.
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  2. Posts : 8,633
    Mac OS Catalina
       #2

    You are not going to get anything faster in speeds than your motherboard can do. Finding a faster speed card is not going to make your motherboard get faster transfer. Devices can only work as fast as the slowest device.
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  3. Posts : 17,279
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3
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  4. Posts : 4,439
    Win 11 Pro 22000.652
       #4

    This isn't intended as criticism, but: the card is intended for a PCI-E X4 slot. How do you know that it actually uses 4 PCI-E lanes? "Tweakit" seems to think that most X4 cards only use 2 lanes.
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  5. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I may be out of luck on this!!


    Thank you NavyLCDR for taking an interest in this question. The link you included describes a card that has an X4 connector but like all of these cards I've seen with X4 connectors only 2-Lanes are used. Put differently they work at X2 rates. This will only provide sata 3 rates when plugged into a PCIe Revision 2 (sometimes called Gen 2) slot. Two Revision 1 lanes simply do not have the bandwidth for sata 3. The description on the card you pointed out seems to leave opened the possibility that the card works at X4 rates but I think that is just because it is poorly worded. The card uses the ASM1062 chipset which clearly states that it uses only two PCIe lanes. Here is a link to the chipset used by the card you linked to: ASMedia Technology Inc. 祥碩科技
    Poorly worded descriptions are not uncommon with these cards as I've found, so one must be careful about this. I would love it if someone would uncover a card that uses 4-lanes but with all the cards I've looked at, I now think they just don't exist. Most likely what is going on here (OK, I'm speculating) is that no chip-sets are configured to use all four lanes because the overwhelming amount of the users have systems with Revision 2 or 3 PCIe slots so the chipset manufactures don't want to add more complexity than the required by the market. Unfortunately that doesn't help my mission any.
    Thanks again for taking an interest in this. It was a good shot based on the product description!

    - - - Updated - - -

    bobkn, your post 4 and my post 5 got crossed in time. As I pointed out in post #5 above you are correct in this case that once again, having an X4 connector doesn't mean it works at X4.
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  6. Posts : 17,279
    Windows 11 Pro
       #6

    Maybe better to just replace the motherboard?
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  7. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    I'd love to do that but there's two things keeping my back. First it means paying for Windows 10 as my license wont transfer to a new mobo (as far as I understand these license matters). Second, it means a clean install and reinstall all my programs. Uugghhh on that!! I may just have to live with Sata 2. The computer is rock solid so no other incentives to build anew. I got interested in migrating to Sata 3 since i used a newer laptop that has a sata 3 SSD. I really liked the extra speed when pulling up apps, booting and web surfing. I'll stick with my rig for a while longer and when i'm ready to start over, I'll chose a mobo and SSD that use the NVMe interface which is faster still than Sata 3!
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  8. Posts : 17,279
    Windows 11 Pro
       #8

    tweakit said:
    I'd love to do that but there's two things keeping my back. First it means paying for Windows 10 as my license wont transfer to a new mobo (as far as I understand these license matters). Second, it means a clean install and reinstall all my programs. Uugghhh on that!!
    Actually, you would be mistaken on both of those.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530

    Microsoft has provided a method of transferring the license for Windows 10 to a new motherboard. Also, Windows 10 is very forgiving when moving it to new hardware. Case in point, my daughter's laptop had a screen problem and we were going to send it in for warranty repairs. I moved the SSD from her laptop to a spare laptop, completely different make and model. Windows 10 booted up and adapted to the different hardware just fine. Then when her laptop came back from the manufacturer, I transferred the SSD back, and Windows 10 again adjusted to the "new" hardware just fine. Windows 10 will even move between AMD and Intel platforms with no issues. With a little bit of knowledge and/or help, you can even move it from legacy BIOS to UEFI or vice versa.

    Finally, have you looked at PCIe SAS controllers? A SAS controller in IT mode and a breakout cable might be what you are looking for.
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  9. Posts : 4,439
    Win 11 Pro 22000.652
       #9

    tweakit said:
    I'd love to do that but there's two things keeping my back. First it means paying for Windows 10 as my license wont transfer to a new mobo (as far as I understand these license matters). Second, it means a clean install and reinstall all my programs. Uugghhh on that!! I may just have to live with Sata 2. The computer is rock solid so no other incentives to build anew. I got interested in migrating to Sata 3 since i used a newer laptop that has a sata 3 SSD. I really liked the extra speed when pulling up apps, booting and web surfing. I'll stick with my rig for a while longer and when i'm ready to start over, I'll chose a mobo and SSD that use the NVMe interface which is faster still than Sata 3!
    This may be redundant with post 8, but:

    If your Win10 license isn't of OEM origin, it can be transferred to a new system.

    I recently replaced a motherboard with an Intel X99 chipset for an AMD 470X one. The transfer went without any issues. There was a small delay as Windows switched drivers to match the new hardware. Win10 remained activated on the system.

    I strongly recommend imaging the WIndows drive before doing anything that drastic, of course.

    I'm not optimistic that you'll find the PCI-E to SATA3 card of your dreams. I also doubt that you'd see a vast real-world performance boost if you found such a card. (Benchmarks, maybe.)
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  10. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
    Thread Starter
       #10

    NavyLCDR said:
    Actually, you would be mistaken on both of those.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530
    Microsoft has provided a method of transferring the license for Windows 10 to a new motherboard. Also, Windows 10 is very forgiving when moving it to new hardware. Case in point, my daughter's laptop had a screen problem and we were going to send it in for warranty repairs. I moved the SSD from her laptop to a spare laptop, completely different make and model. Windows 10 booted up and adapted to the different hardware just fine. Then when her laptop came back from the manufacturer, I transferred the SSD back, and Windows 10 again adjusted to the "new" hardware just fine.
    Thanks much for this information. I just assumed when I did the free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Pro that my OEM license was inherited by the new Win10 OS. Mistaken assumption as you've pointed out. I did look at the link and understand that my digital license will permit replacing the motherboard. This seems to me that the free upgrade is a better license than buying an OEM version of Windows 10 which does not permit changing the mobo so I'm not sure what Microsoft had in mind there but I'm happy about being able to upgrade my mobo.
    What kind of license did your daughter's laptop have? Normally I'd have thought purchased machines come with OEM licenses that would have prevented what you described.
    Anyway, I think I'm leaning towards upgrading the mobo for one that has a UEFI and an M.2 slot for an NVMe SSD. This will be even faster than SATA 3 and hopefully the hardware boot cycle of new mobos is quite a bit faster than the 30 or so seconds on my present mobo.
    NavyLCDR said:
    Windows 10 will even move between AMD and Intel platforms with no issues. With a little bit of knowledge and/or help, you can even move it from legacy BIOS to UEFI or vice versa.
    Well I certainly would like to take advantage of that! Ideally I would like to move the OS from my existing SATA SSD over to the NVMe SSD on the anticipated new mobo. Is it possible to accomplish this and end up with a solid installation or will I end up wishing I did a clean install? My current mobo has an old BIOS. There is no mention of the word UEFI anywhere in the mobo literature or the BIOS itself. It will take some reading on my part to tackle this migration. If you can refer me to a helpful link or tutorial it would be appreciated.
    NavyLCDR said:
    Finally, have you looked at PCIe SAS controllers? A SAS controller in IT mode and a breakout cable might be what you are looking for.
    This is another solid suggest and no I didn't think of this. I've never had any contact with SAS but I looked up these controllers and in the $70- price range there are cards that have X8 connectors using all 8 lanes so it seems like I should be able to get SATA 3 from one of these. I'm keeping this alternative in mind, but for the moment I'm leaning towards the new mobo idea at least until I find that it will snowball in complexity or risk.
    Thanks for both of these excellent suggestions!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    bobkn said:
    I strongly recommend imaging the WIndows drive before doing anything that drastic, of course.
    Yes, I use Macrium Reflect for that.

    bobkn said:
    I'm not optimistic that you'll find the PCI-E to SATA3 card of your dreams. I also doubt that you'd see a vast real-world performance boost if you found such a card. (Benchmarks, maybe.)
    As I mentioned, my existing system has an SSD on a SATA 2 port. I manage (not mine) an HP Pavilion X360 laptop that has a SATA 3 SSD. It's a few months old and has an i5 processor where my desktop rig has a Gen 1, i7 processor. To me, the laptop pulls up web pages, opens and closes apps, boots and shuts down all noticeably faster than my rig. I don't think there are any problems with my rig but the laptop is faster on those things I mentioned. Both computers benchmark with speeds appropriate for their SATA revisions. My thought was the delta in speed must be due to the SATA 2 vs SATA 3. Am I being fooled here? Could the difference be due to some other difference between the two systems such as the processor?
    Last edited by tweakit; 13 Oct 2019 at 18:28.
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