Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Joined
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    Hey all, so i'm finally looking to upgrade to a SSD, as the funds have finally become available for it. I'm still deciding between the Intel 520 or the Samsung 830 series, but the primary issue that arises in the upgrade path is that my current system's motherboard does not support SATA3. I know that it is backwards compatible and can technically run on SATA2, but I'd rather not settle for poorer performance if not necessary.

    After looking around reviews and such I have yet to find an up to date set of information about how any PCI-E SATA3 cards stack up with on board chipsets, and so the question I pose to the community is this:

    Are there any quality SATA3 PCI-E cards available that give close to the performance of an on board chipset (and which), or am I going to have to look at buying a whole new motherboard?

    My current system specs:
    Intel Core i7-920
    MSI X58 Pro-E
    6GB 1600 Triple Channel
    GeForce GTX 560 2gb

    My board has 2 PCIE 2.0 16x slots @ max speeds, 1 PCIE 2.0 16x slot @ 4x speeds, and 2 PCIE 1.0 1x slots. I don't plan on going SLI so the 2nd 16x slot is free for a SATA3 card, and from my googling i've read that 1x cards can be slotted into 16x slots and still work without performance hits, so I wouldn't necessarily be limited in bandwidth by having to use the 1.0 1x slots for any extension card.

    Thanks for reading, hopefully someone can help.
    Last edited by schiz0; 04-17-2012 at 02:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    664

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    The upcoming Intel 330 SSD basically uses the same SandForce SF-2281 controller and should perform similarly to the cited 520. However, the 330 should cost less so you might want to reconsider you initial choice of SSD model.

    Your system seems fine. It should be reasonably fast even by today's standards. If you were already building a new system that would be one thing but if you have no need or interest to do so it would be overkill just for SATA 6G ports.

    Having said that, I prefer the onboard Intel controllers and would use Intel SATA 3G ports over non-Intel SATA 6G ports just about any day of the week. Installing a new SSD even on a SATA 3G port will yield noticeable improvements in everyday tasks. You need not move to SATA 6G to see improvement.

    Up until recently I was running a 4x64GB 240GB SSD RAID 0 array on one of my systems. This was on the onboard Intel SATA 3G controller. In HD Tune it could hit as high as ~890mb/s seq reads with a min of about ~750mb/s or so IIRC. This is greater then what I would expect to see from a single SATA 6G port + SATA III SSD cobo and it really didn't make much difference in speed IMO over a single SATA II SSD.

    Sometimes fast is just fast.
    Core i7 3930K | ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | GTX670 | 32GB DDR3 | 500GB SSD | Antec P183 | Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit | 3x 27" 1920x1080 Monitors
    Core i5 2500k | ASUS P8P67 Pro | 4GB DDR3 | 27 TB Storage | Antec 300 | Server 2012 Essentials | Headless
    Core i7 920 | ASUS P6T Deluxe | MSI GTX260 | 6GB DDR3 | OCZ 120GB Vertex 2 + WD 1TB + 750GB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440
    Core i7 860 | ASUS P7P55D Pro | eVGA 8800GT | 4GB DDR3 | WD 1TB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit | 40" 1920x1080 HDTV
    Core 2 Q6600 |ASUS P5G41C-M LX | 8800GTS | 8GB DDR3 | WD Black 1TB HDD | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440

    HP P6150 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Media Center System)
    HP EX490 MSS 16TB
    HP LX195 MSS


    Hauppauge HD PVR 2x
    Hauppauge Colossus
    HDHomeRun 4x
    HDHomeRun Prime
    Xbox 360
    PS3
    Wii
    Wii U

  3. #3
    Joined
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    1,779

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    This is greater then what I would expect to see from a single SATA 6G port + SATA III SSD cobo and it really didn't make much difference in speed IMO over a single SATA II SSD.
    Actually there is a very large difference between between a single Sata 2 and a Sata 3 SSD.

    Corsair 115G Sata 2
    Sequential Read/ Write
    280 MB read
    270 MB write


    Corsair 180G Sata 3
    Sequential Read 555 MB/s
    Sequential Write 525 MB/s

    Unfortunately the X58 MBs are limited is the Sata 3 area. Unless you want to upgrade your motherboard and processor I would go with an addon Sata card.

    That being said, a "good" Sata adapter is rather expensive. You might actually want to consider the MB/Processor upgrade
    Last edited by richardd43; 04-21-2012 at 02:13 PM.
    Asus M8Z77-V Deluxe
    Intel 3770K
    G-Skill 1600 16G
    Corsair H100
    EVGA 670 GTX
    2 Corsair Force 3 120G (Raid 0)
    2 x Seagate 1T 6G
    2 Samsung SyncMaster T260HD Monitors
    Thermaltake Level 10 UGK
    Silverstone Olympia OP1000 1000W
    Windows 8

    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    664

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    Quote Originally Posted by richardd43 View Post
    Actually there is a very large difference between between a single Sata 2 and a Sata 3 SSD.

    Corsair 115G Sata 2
    Sequential Read/ Write
    280 MB read
    270 MB write


    Corsair 180G Sata 3
    Sequential Read 555 MB/s
    Sequential Write 525 MB/s
    I think you greatly misunderstood what I was trying to say, perhaps I was being unclear.

    I was simply saying that my previous (SATA 3G) 4x60GB (240GB) RAID 0 array benched higher then what I would expect to see from a single SATA 6G SSD. In this case the array achieved a max of about ~890 MB/s sequential reads and a min of about ~750 MB/s IIRC.

    However, empirically (based on informal observation) even my first single SATA 3G SSD seemed incredibly fast. Any improvements in speed beyond that point were difficult to discern given the usage case.

    Going from a HDD to a decent (SATA 3G) SSD is IMO quite noticeable to say the least. Going from a decent (SATA 3G) SSD to a decent (SATA 6G) SSD simply isnít quite the same thing. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing. Iím just saying if you are already going fast then going faster isnít necessarily as meaningful or noticeable. This depends on usage naturally.

    Donít get me wrong, I love my two Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD units but that doesnít stop me from loving my older SATA 3G SSD units. They all seem fast to me.
    Core i7 3930K | ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | GTX670 | 32GB DDR3 | 500GB SSD | Antec P183 | Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit | 3x 27" 1920x1080 Monitors
    Core i5 2500k | ASUS P8P67 Pro | 4GB DDR3 | 27 TB Storage | Antec 300 | Server 2012 Essentials | Headless
    Core i7 920 | ASUS P6T Deluxe | MSI GTX260 | 6GB DDR3 | OCZ 120GB Vertex 2 + WD 1TB + 750GB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440
    Core i7 860 | ASUS P7P55D Pro | eVGA 8800GT | 4GB DDR3 | WD 1TB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit | 40" 1920x1080 HDTV
    Core 2 Q6600 |ASUS P5G41C-M LX | 8800GTS | 8GB DDR3 | WD Black 1TB HDD | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440

    HP P6150 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Media Center System)
    HP EX490 MSS 16TB
    HP LX195 MSS


    Hauppauge HD PVR 2x
    Hauppauge Colossus
    HDHomeRun 4x
    HDHomeRun Prime
    Xbox 360
    PS3
    Wii
    Wii U

  5. #5
    Joined
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavean View Post
    The upcoming Intel 330 SSD basically uses the same SandForce SF-2281 controller and should perform similarly to the cited 520. However, the 330 should cost less so you might want to reconsider you initial choice of SSD model.

    Your system seems fine. It should be reasonably fast even by today's standards. If you were already building a new system that would be one thing but if you have no need or interest to do so it would be overkill just for SATA 6G ports.

    Having said that, I prefer the onboard Intel controllers and would use Intel SATA 3G ports over non-Intel SATA 6G ports just about any day of the week. Installing a new SSD even on a SATA 3G port will yield noticeable improvements in everyday tasks. You need not move to SATA 6G to see improvement.

    Thank you for the suggestion, but that line does not come with a 240gb model, and that is the route that I must go (which is why its taken so long for me to "switch" over to one). My programs folder and windows install combined already total up to ~120gb, and this is not counting the large amounts of gbs that I go through with my 3d work, which for loading and save speeds would also be prioritized for the primary fast drive. So going with a 240 model means I won't have to "penny pinch" every little thing I install or run on my system.

    I understand fully that the speed difference between a normal hd and an ssd is going to be huge, that is the purpose of switching. It was never a question of should I get one or not, that is 100% sure of. The question was because of the almost 1.5x speed increases of sata3 over sata2, were there any quality PCIE addon cards that were better than onboard sata2, enough to be worth the extra expense, as the few reviews i've come across don't show promising results.

    The motherboard comment was more of a leading question towards the worth of potential addon card suitors, as even nowadays, quality X58 motherboards with SATA3/USB3 are still in the upper $170 range, more than I'm willing to pay for some extra SSD speed. Was intended more of a chip comparison discussion starter point.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    664

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    Asus had a USB 3.0 + SATA 6G card called the U36G. It was fairly cheap but Iím not 100% sure if it was bootable and the Marvell controller probably couldnít truly hit SATA 6G speeds. Not really sure how well such cards would deal with TRIM either. There are more then likely some high-end cards that can achieve the speed youíre looking for but they wouldnít be cheap.

    There may be an ideal PCIe card for this out there somewhere but I havenít seen it.

    A PCIe SSD would sidestep this issue altogether but Iím sure the new Intel SSD 910 is a bit pricy at ~$2000 USD.
    Core i7 3930K | ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | GTX670 | 32GB DDR3 | 500GB SSD | Antec P183 | Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit | 3x 27" 1920x1080 Monitors
    Core i5 2500k | ASUS P8P67 Pro | 4GB DDR3 | 27 TB Storage | Antec 300 | Server 2012 Essentials | Headless
    Core i7 920 | ASUS P6T Deluxe | MSI GTX260 | 6GB DDR3 | OCZ 120GB Vertex 2 + WD 1TB + 750GB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440
    Core i7 860 | ASUS P7P55D Pro | eVGA 8800GT | 4GB DDR3 | WD 1TB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit | 40" 1920x1080 HDTV
    Core 2 Q6600 |ASUS P5G41C-M LX | 8800GTS | 8GB DDR3 | WD Black 1TB HDD | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440

    HP P6150 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Media Center System)
    HP EX490 MSS 16TB
    HP LX195 MSS


    Hauppauge HD PVR 2x
    Hauppauge Colossus
    HDHomeRun 4x
    HDHomeRun Prime
    Xbox 360
    PS3
    Wii
    Wii U

  7. #7
    Joined
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    2,533

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    I would avoid any card with a Marvel SATA-3 controller, period. That includes the bulk of SATA-3 cards. Too many cases where AHCI and related SSD functions are not functional, frequent bugs, etc. Plus, Marvel does not provide driver updates to fix issues so you're limited to whatever the card maker decides to offer, if anything.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    664

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    Quote Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
    I would avoid any card with a Marvel SATA-3 controller, period. That includes the bulk of SATA-3 cards. Too many cases where AHCI and related SSD functions are not functional, frequent bugs, etc. Plus, Marvel does not provide driver updates to fix issues so you're limited to whatever the card maker decides to offer, if anything.
    That was my thought overall,....
    Last edited by Octavean; 04-22-2012 at 07:25 PM.
    Core i7 3930K | ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | GTX670 | 32GB DDR3 | 500GB SSD | Antec P183 | Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit | 3x 27" 1920x1080 Monitors
    Core i5 2500k | ASUS P8P67 Pro | 4GB DDR3 | 27 TB Storage | Antec 300 | Server 2012 Essentials | Headless
    Core i7 920 | ASUS P6T Deluxe | MSI GTX260 | 6GB DDR3 | OCZ 120GB Vertex 2 + WD 1TB + 750GB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440
    Core i7 860 | ASUS P7P55D Pro | eVGA 8800GT | 4GB DDR3 | WD 1TB | Antec 300 | Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit | 40" 1920x1080 HDTV
    Core 2 Q6600 |ASUS P5G41C-M LX | 8800GTS | 8GB DDR3 | WD Black 1TB HDD | Antec 300 | Windows 7 64bit | 27" 2560x1440

    HP P6150 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Media Center System)
    HP EX490 MSS 16TB
    HP LX195 MSS


    Hauppauge HD PVR 2x
    Hauppauge Colossus
    HDHomeRun 4x
    HDHomeRun Prime
    Xbox 360
    PS3
    Wii
    Wii U

  9. #9
    Joined
    May 2012
    Posts
    5

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    upgrade your rig to an ivy bridge cpu and a z77 panther point motherboard :X

    thats the best way to get your SATA 3 goodies :X

    my recommendation is the Asus P8-Z77-V Premium, Deluxe or Pro.

    My deluxe has roughly 4 sata3 ports

    It also has PCIE 3.0 lanes for GPU.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,504

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    I just bought a Crucial M4 that will get here by the end of the week. I'm debating whether or not Sata III is even worth the cost of upgrading for day to day use. It seems like my money would be better spent upgrading my video card.

  11. #11
    Joined
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    1,779

    Re: SATA III Upgrade: PCI-E Card or New Motherboard

    I just bought a Crucial M4 that will get here by the end of the week. I'm debating whether or not Sata III is even worth the cost of upgrading for day to day use. It seems like my money would be better spent upgrading my video card.
    In reality I would rather have a good video card. If you are a gamer you will be much happier.

    I have updated everything but my graphics card. I probably should have bought a good GPU then built the rest of the system around it.
    Asus M8Z77-V Deluxe
    Intel 3770K
    G-Skill 1600 16G
    Corsair H100
    EVGA 670 GTX
    2 Corsair Force 3 120G (Raid 0)
    2 x Seagate 1T 6G
    2 Samsung SyncMaster T260HD Monitors
    Thermaltake Level 10 UGK
    Silverstone Olympia OP1000 1000W
    Windows 8

    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •