Image: SilverStone

SilverStone has listed the ECS07, a new expansion solution for enthusiasts who are seeking an unconventional way of adding more SATA ports to a system.

The ECS07 is a non-RAID M.2 PCIe storage expansion card that effectively turns a single M.2 PCIe NVMe slot into five SATA Gen3 6 Gbps ports. It measures 0.97″ (W) x 0.41″ (H) x 3.17″ (D), is plug and play, and comes coupled with an aluminum alloy heat sink for lower temperatures.

Image: SilverStone

Highlights:

  • Supports five SATA Gen 3 6 Gbps ports
  • Aluminum alloy heatsink for great stability and heat dissipation
  • M.2 PCIe (NVMe) interface
  • Supports device sleep power management
  • Plug and play with no additional driver necessary
  • Supports SATA plug-in detection
  • Complies with SATA specification revision 3.2

Key Specifications:

  • Controller IC: JMicron JMB585
  • Host interface: M.2 PCIe Gen 3×2
  • HDD support: SATA
  • SATA ports: 5
  • SATA port bandwidth: 6 Gbps
  • PCI-E bandwidth: Up to 16 GT/s

Silverstone hasn’t confirmed how much the ECS07 will cost yet, or when it’ll be available.

Source: Silverstone

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10 comments

  1. Who uses SATA anymore? :p

    The on board sata controllers are disabled on everything I own. It's either m.2 for client drives, and in the NAS box, it's an LSI SAS HBA.

    Now here's a product I would buy, an expansion riser that can reliably turn a secondary M.2 slot into a 4x PCIe slot where I can add another NIC or something.

    Heck, I wish those little modular I/O panel Wifi cards could be pulled and replaced with another PCIe slot (presumably 1x) too.

    Given any choice, I'd almost always choose more PCIe slots over anything else.
  2. Now here's a product I would buy, an expansion riser that can reliably turn a secondary M.2 slot into a 4x PCIe slot where I can add another NIC or something.
    I've looked, 'reliably' is the key here. And then the options are usually too short to really reposition the slot - I've wanted to do this on ITX to be able to add a 10Gbit NIC myself.

    Nice option for those of us with NAS boxes that want more sata ports, especially as they seem to be disappearing more and more from mobos.
    They're not really disappearing, unless you're only looking at budget boards with questionable build quality. They are however not all usable if all of the PCIe and M.2 slots are used.
  3. 5 SATA ports in of itself are worthless , now if it also offered RAID5 functionality, that would be great for a NAS box.

    I'd like to see them try to squeeze a little bit more out of it. Assuming it is at least Gen3, at 6gbit/s the bandwidth is there for 5 SATA ports, all being able to run at full blast at the same time, without running into bandwidth limitations.

    Boost that up to Gen 4, and that number goes up to 10.

    And often with SATA/SAS controllers, they make an assumption that not all ports will be going full bore at the same time, and release them in some sort of blocking configuration.

    For example, my LSI 9305-24i on my server has 24 ports, that each support up to 12gbit/s. Considering it is a Gen 3 device, that would require ~38 lanes to be non blocking. It has 8 lanes :p

    Even if you assume that people are only going to be using 6gbit/s devices on it, you'd need 19 PCIe lanes.

    On a per port basis, the 8 Gen 3 lanes the controller provides only really alllows a max bandwidth of ~2.5Gbit/s per port, which is a max of ~328MB/s per port

    Generally this is OK though, as mostly these are used with spinning hard drives, which usually don't exceed the 200's in MB/s in sustained data rates. You may lose some peak cache burst speeds, but that isn't hugely significant.

    The real issue happens if you are dealing with pools of SATA or SAS SSD's, in which case you will be interface bandwidth limited.

    I guess what I am trying to say is, there is room for adding some additional ports, given the industry norm of allowing for some blocking of SATA bandwidth.
  4. ZFS. Hardware RAID is a trap.

    Yes, that too.

    I generally avoid hardware RAID like the plague. ZFS is orders of magnitude more effective, both performance wise, and at protecting your data, but it does come with some downsides as regards CPU load, RAM use and it is also a really good idea to use it along with ECC RAM to avoid bit flip issues, and thus long term silent corruption.

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