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I want to assemble a cheap storage sytem based on the Norco RPC-4020 Case.

When searching for controllers I found this one:

Intel® RAID Controller SASWT4I

This is a quote form the Spec Sheet:

Scalability. Supports up to 122 physical devices in SAS mode which is ideal for employing JBODs (Just a Bunch Of Disks) or up to 14 devices in RAID 0, 1, 1E/10E mode through direct connect device attachment or through expander backplane support.

Does that mean I can attach 14 SATA drives directly to the controller using SFF-8087 - 4x SATA breakout cables?

That would be nice because then I can choose a mainboard that has 6 Onboard SATA and i can connect all 20 bays while only spending 155$ on the controller and like another 100$ on cables.

Would that work? And why is it 14 and not 16 when there are 4 Ports?

I am really confused about all the breakout/fanout/(edge-)expanding/multiplying/channel stuff...

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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 27 '11 at 15:38

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

From what I understand the card only has 4 sata ports but you can use SAS drives if you have the right connectors (presumably SAS-> sata).

To use more than 4 of either drive you would need to connect a sas expander to the card using a reverse SATA to SFF-8087 breakout cable and then connect the extra drives to the expander

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