Motherboards may not come with enough SATA slots to fulfill your storage needs. You might have an older motherboard with very limited SATA slots compared to the modern motherboards that come with 4 to 6 SATA slots. SATA slots enable you to expand your storage. In this case, you would need more SATA slots.
Even if you have a modern motherboard, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need more SATA ports. High-resolution videos, such as 4k or 8k, take a ton of storage. If you are a professional video editor, you can definitely make use of some extra SATA slots.
If you are wondering how to add more SATA slots to your motherboard, the answer would be expansion cards. This article will talk about different expansion cards and how to use them to add more SATA slots.
How to Add More SATA Slots to Your Motherboard
There are a couple of ways to use many SATA slots on your motherboard. For this, you need to purchase some specific hardware and connect it to your motherboard. There are mainly three ways or three types of hardware that you can use to add more SATA slots to your motherboard. They are:
- SATA PCIe Expansion Card
- SAS SATA Expansion Card
- SATA Hub Port Multiplier
Let’s get to know more about them in detail.
SATA PCIe Expansion Card
Adding more SATA slots to the motherboard can be done through SATA PCIe Expansion Card. In fact, this is the most convenient and recommended method.
These cards may be available in different sizes and with a different number of SATA ports. SATA PCIe expansion cards use PCIe lanes to expand the slots. By using a SATA PCIe Expansion card, you can expand your SATA slots from 2 to 8 more slots.
Before buying a PCIe expansion card, you need to understand how PCIe lanes work. There are different generations of PCIe lanes. You need to know what generation of PCIe your motherboards support. PCIe expansion cards may have x1 to x8 connectors. Each number with x resembles how many PCIe lanes the card will occupy.
An x1 PCIe 2.0 expansion card with 4 SATA slots means that it will occupy a single lane. A single PCIe 2.0 lane has a maximum capacity of 500 MBps transfer rate, which will be split four ways if all of the ports are occupied. A Hard disk drive may support up to 200 MBps transfer rate, whereas a SATA SSD may support a transfer rate up to 600 MBps. Either case may cause a serious performance bottleneck. So, make sure to check the specifications before buying a SATA PCIe expansion
SAS SATA Expansion Card
Suppose you are a professional or enterprise user and want high transfer speed. In that case, a SAS SATA expansion card is what you are looking for.
SAS SATA expansion card is known for its high upstream and downstream bandwidth. It also offers a built-in RAID controller. These expansion cards may support up to 8 SATA slots. You need a SAS to SATA controller before using a SAS SATA expansion card.
SATA Hub Port Multiplier
If you don’t care that much about transfer rates, this is what you need. This is also the cheapest solution for adding more SATA slots to your motherboard.
You might have to use an electric extension socket in your everyday life. It extends one socket to many sockets. A SATA Hub port Multiplier also works in a similar way. It extends one SATA slot up to 5 slots. It shares the bandwidth of one SATA slot, which may cause performance bottlenecks.