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Can I Boot from a PCIe SATA Card?


E3000
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1 hour ago, E3000 said:

Thanks Tom.
 

My main concern is the heat/fan speed. I will be using drives singular, not in any RAID array, and if I were to use RAID it would be a software solution rather than hardware managed by the card or B120i. Is this card still the best solution for what I want to do?

 

Would I need to purchase any additional cables to do this?

 

I have happily used DrivePool for many years now after several bad experiences with RAID 1 or 5, so this card is exactly what I use. Note if you can find a model listed as H200 or P200, then installing the HPE driver (on my 8i card at least) gets it recognised as an HPE H220 card.

 

While you are doing this, I would also add heat sinks to cool the ILO4 (~25x25mm) and Broadcom Ethernet (14x14mm) chips

 

As far as cables go, you remove the SAS-8087 plug  (from the drive cage) on the motherboard and plug it into your new card,  then you need an 8087 to 4xSATA  'forward' cable plugged into the motherboard socket to use port 1 for your boot drive (presumably in the ODD space). This is what I used and it is long enough to thread into the ODD bay. 1M would be too long ...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VanDeSaiL-Mini-SAS-Internal-SAS-Breakout/dp/B01HZFUNVS/

 

Ports 1 and 2 are SATA 3 (3 & 4 only SATA2) so you could tight-squeeze a second SSD into the ODD space with a SATA power splitter.

 

In my Gen 8 ML301e, the ODD and Media bays are full 5.25, so I fitted two of these to give me 6 more removable 2.5in bays, two of which connect to parts 1 & 2 and the other 4 are connected to my 8i card....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Icy-Dock-MB322SP-B-ExpressCage-Mobile/dp/B00X5HAKXC

https://www.amazon.co.uk/DOCK-SATA-Mobile-Rack-External/dp/B07Q711K8H/

 

...the latter gives space for a removable 15mm 5TB 2.5 drive with good cooling or a fixed 3.25 HDD could be fitted.

 

As the used Xeon E3-1220  model price was only £150 with HDD (and RAM) expansion, while cooling is MUCH better in the ML310e gen 8, I'd recommend that before upgrading a Microserver gen 8 to Xeon E2-1265L - although I did both so I can also retire my N-40L.

 

 

Edited by TomP
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Thanks for the reply Tom!

 

I already have the upgraded Gen8 and I love the smaller footprint of it. Your setup does sound cool, but I’m trying to get as much out of this tiny box as possible! I would expect the ML310e to have better cooling as it is a bigger box and has a lot ore options.

 

I don’t necessarily NEED the faster speeds but it would be nice. Trying to get an extra couple of SSDs in there at full speed without trickery would also be nice too. I am exploring options to make my setup better than the standard SSD in ODD port boot + 4HDDs for data. If I can get another SSD in and also have everything running at SATA III without much of a hit on temps and fan speed that would be awesome!

 

Heatsinks on iLO and LAN sound like a good idea. I was also looking at John Stutsman’s video on adding small fans to the CPU heatsink. That was pretty cool too.

 

I would love to add a HBA card but it seems quite hard to find info on how it will affect the fan speed/sound. I have tried a gfx card in he PCIe slot before and the fans went haywire, but that was a long time ago so I can’t remember much...

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19 minutes ago, E3000 said:

Trying to get an extra couple of SSDs in there at full speed without trickery would also be nice too. I am exploring options to make my setup better than the standard SSD in ODD port boot + 4HDDs for data. If I can get another SSD in and also have everything running at SATA III without much of a hit on temps and fan speed that would be awesome!

 

 That is what your (second longer) HBA card will give you. I have not had any increase in fan speed / noise and the ILO4 PCI-1 temp is just 44C (max is 72C) whilst fan speed is 19% using the 'Dynamic Power Savings' setting, same as the ML310e. I've not needed to try the 'OS Control Mode'.

 

21 minutes ago, E3000 said:

Heatsinks on iLO and LAN sound like a good idea. I was also looking at John Stutsman’s video on adding small fans to the CPU heatsink. That was pretty cool too.

 

Before I upgraded my Microserver, I too saw the Stutsman (Joe Miner) videos on heatsinks ... which were easy to add and effective

 

...and on extra cooling fans, which turned out not to be necessary adding the HBA card, unless you are also adding the extra 4 disks on the side of the PSU using the Schoondoggy bracket and using a 4i-4e card (instead of the 4i you need) which would draw extra power.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TomP said:

 

 That is what your (second longer) HBA card will give you. I have not had any increase in fan speed / noise and the ILO4 PCI-1 temp is just 44C (max is 72C) whilst fan speed is 19% using the 'Dynamic Power Savings' setting, same as the ML310e. I've not needed to try the 'OS Control Mode'.

 

 

Before I upgraded my Microserver, I too saw the Stutsman (Joe Miner) videos on heatsinks ... which were easy to add and effective

 

...and on extra cooling fans, which turned out not to be necessary adding the HBA card, unless you are also adding the extra 4 disks on the side of the PSU using the Schoondoggy bracket and using a 4i-4e card (instead of the 4i you need) which would draw extra power.

 

 


Thanks for this reply TomP! All of this is exactly what I needed to hear!

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5 hours ago, TomP said:

Ports 1 and 2 are SATA 3 (3 & 4 only SATA2) so you could tight-squeeze a second SSD into the ODD space with a SATA power splitter.


Do you think the FDD power connector would be able to power 2x SATA SSDs? Do you think any problems could arise from that?

 

FDD (male) to Dual SATA Power Splitter is a rare expensive cable, but these should work, right?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004BSFSVS/
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/392772334760

 

If no where do I plug the SATA Power Splitter?

Edited by E3000
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1 hour ago, E3000 said:

... where do I plug the SATA Power Splitter?

 

Without opening up the Microserver, which I can't access right now, I seem to remember that the Fdd power is connected to a molex connector, so I think I bought a simple Molex to SATA power splitter. Should be easy for you to check.

 

PS: Just checked all power settings except High Performance and they all give the same fan speed. Also the temp

at PCI-1 Zone is only 39C

Edited by TomP
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3 minutes ago, TomP said:

 

Without opening up the Microserver, which I can't access right now, I seem to remember that the Fdd power is connected to a molex connector, so I think I bought a simple Molex to SATA power splitter. Should be easy for you to check.


I believe the Molex was added by yourself as I also have a Molex, but it’s a split FDD power/SATA data cable. I remember buying it all those years ago.

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/193120884312
 

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01L8ATGAA/

 

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B071XBGPYQ/

 

3 minutes ago, TomP said:


Pretty sure the pins need to be on this cable as the Gen8 has the female side, but may need to check again.

Edited by E3000
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