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I have a total of 4 expansion slots on my PC. I am putting a killer network card, graphic card, and a sound card in it. I searched a list of expansion cards to put in the last slot that could benefit me and the only thing I found was a host adapter.

A host bus adapter (HBA) is a circuit board and/or integrated circuit adapter that provides input/output (I/O) processing and physical connectivity between a server and a storage device. Because the HBA relieves the host microprocessor of both data storage and retrieval tasks, it can improve the server's performance time. An HBA and its associated disk subsystems are sometimes referred to as a disk channel.

So would this benefit my game server at all? Despite providing the definition, I'm still confused about it. By the way, my PC will be running the game server through virtual box on windows 7.

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2 Answers 2

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HBAs are generally used to connect to disks, and can use a variety of protocols, e.g. SATA, SCSI, iSCSI, FibreChannel etc.

Some HBAs also contain advanced features, such as caching, RAID, etc.

The advantage of these can be that you can get more disk connections (e.g. if you used everything up on your motherboard), and you can get the advanced features listed above.

Unless you need more drives, want to offload from the motherboard, use one of the exotic protocols, or want the advanced features, you're probably better off without a dedicated HBA.

I'm a little confused by your question though - you suggest you're going to be running a virtualized server, so I'm not sure why you would want dedicated video or audio cards?

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Well, I'm doing something very unique. I'm going to put my main pc and server on the same computer. My main pc is going to play video games, surf web, using intense GO software, and music editing. All of that is going to be runned on a wins7 OS within my 500gb SSD. Then my Ubuntu server which will host mainly games or anything else I might want, will be on a 1tb HDD. But I will run it on a virtualbox through wins7 OS. Both SSD and HDD will be on the same computer. –  coffeya Feb 7 '13 at 1:59

A HBA connects your computer to storage as Ernie said. Based on your comments, you probably have no need for a HBA as you only have 1x 1TB HDD for your VM.

In my case, I have a RAID HBA in my computer to allow me to run 8x 2TB SATA drives in RAID5, while also being my gaming PC, work PC, etc. I also have 2x SSDs, and a 1.5TB SATA drive off my motherboard SATA connectors. I outgrew the capabilities of my motherboard. But you seem well off from that level of data storage at this point.

To answer your question, you don't need one. If you outgrow your 1TB drive, upgrade it to a 3TB drive. If you outgrow that, get a 2nd one. I'm sure your motherboard has upwards of 4 SATA connectors on it and that should get you by for some time.

Good luck

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