First Gen LSI SAS Cards, Viable, Cheap and Reliable....

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Forum member Awesomesauce gave me a great idea to post a discussion on first gen hba‘s.

All the rage is for the 3rd gen supermodels like the lsi 9300 and the cute girl next door m1015's, and yeah, they're both very sexy, but lets not forget about the finely aged MILF's, the 3081 and the 3801, who, in my opinion is hotter than stifler's and stacey's mom's.

I personally still like and use the first gen x8 lsi cards. They are dirt cheap on ebay. My favorite being the lsi sas 31601e. It goes for like 10 bucks, and gives you 16 external sata ports of which you can have drives in another box and run from your main server. Only thing, you gotta buy a couple of sff 8088 external cables to connect the hard drives, but theyre cheap too and easily found.

If you want internal ports, the lsi sas 3081 works great too. It has 2 internal sff ports which give 8 internal sata ports. The 3801 has 8 external ports.

The reason i still like the first gen lsi cards is because they are stable, they work well, are super easy to flash and still offer great bandwidth and work excellently with up to 2tb drives, with that being their only limitation. The 2nd gen cards like the ibm m1015 and the dell h200/310 provide more bandwidth of course, and work with greater than 2tb drives, but no spinning hard drive approaches the bandwidth of the first gen cards, much less the 2nd gen ones. That includes 10k and 15k drives too. For me, the 2nd gen cards arent needed just yet. I can use them at any time, but i am still running all first gens in my server setup and i get great bandwidth from them.

As long as your gonna use 2tb drives, i would recommend the first gens. They're still sexy too.

8 port internal:

LSI SAS3081E-R 8-Port Internal SATA/SAS 3Gb/s PCI RAID Controller No Faceplate

(Here is a listing for some cheap standard height brackets: Lot of 5 pcs Full Height Bracket for IBM M1015, M5015, LSI 9260-8i HP P400 P410)

8 port external:

LSI Logic 8 Port 3Gb/s PCI-E SAS/SATA Host Bus Adapter SAS3801E

16 port external:

LSI Logic SAS31601E PCI-E 3Gb/s SAS SATA Host Bus Adapter - Free Shipping!

16 port internal:

I have found, that lsi never made a 16 port internal first gen card. Not sure why. Would have been so useful. I think ATTO made one though. I think the ATTO card only has limited drivers though for windows i think, no drivers for freebsd/zfs, which is a shame:

HP ATTO H30F 16-Port 511799-001 ExpressSAS Internal SAS SATA II Control Card

External sff cable:

MOLEX 407344-003 408767-001 2M External Mini-SAS to Mini-SAS cable/ SFF-8088

Internal sff cable:

2x Mini 10Gbps SAS SFF-8087 36Pin to 4 SATA 7Pin HDD Hard Drive Splitter Cable

Or

I also get a perfect 1m/3ft 8087 to 4xSATA forward breakout cable from this Chinese seller. Highly recommended as its cheaper, if you can wait to ship from China:

1M Mini SAS SFF-8087 36-PIN to 4 SATA 7-PIN HD Splitter Breakout Cable

SFF 8088 to 8087 external to internal PCI bracket:

2 port Internal SFF-8087 to External 8088 PCI mini SAS 26P Adapter RAID Bracket

2nd gen cards are abit more expensive, but work with greater than 2tb drives as you know. I have personally found the h200/h310 cards cheaper than the m1015 due to its popularity. My personal preference is the h310 as i prefer the port orientation over the h200.

They are a bit more complicated to flash, but only slightly. If you do decide to get either generation cards, there are many awesome guides on how to flash em' on the forum and i would be glad to help you flash them in any way i can as well. Most of the auctions i posted feature best offer, so you can even try for a lower bid and save even more.

Dell H200:

Dell PERC H200 6Gb/s PCI-e SAS SATA 8-Port Raid Controller SAS2008 9210-8i 47MCV

Dell H310:

Dell HV52W PERC H310 8-Port Internal 6Gb/s SAS / SATA RAID Controller w/ T3F4V

Also, if you search around abit more, you may find a slightly cheaper auction sometimes. Sellers constantly list items on discount, but they usually run around this price. Good luck my friends, and don't neglect the mature first gen ladies! They have experience, are stable and run like racehorses (in the sack). All in all, they know how to please their men! If you haven't already, give the first gen cards another look! They still work great!

Oh and boobs. Their boobs are usually huge too.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SINN78

BackupProphet

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2014
875
351
63
Stavanger, Norway
kingmakers.no
I just setup a storage server using IBM BR10, which is similar to SAS3081. Flashed them to IT-mode and works great! For some weird reason I only get SATA 1.5Gbps, but even that is fast enough for those 2TB drives.

That HP Atto card, is it LSI based? If not, then 2TB+ sizes will probably work.
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Thats a great question, not sure of the ATTO card has a manufactured lsi base. I actually have one. I may need to test that my friend! Will try to do so today.

I like the br10i as well. Its like the m1015's older sister. Not sure why you only get 1.5gbps on a 2tb drive though. Did you check the mptsas bios to mke sure they arent tidally locked at 1.5gbps? There is a setting in there to change that i beleive. Otherwise, maybe check the 2tb drives? Do they have a jumper on them? Older WD hard drives did this to lock them into 1.5 gbps for compatibility, but the br10i should be able to at least connect your drives at 3gbps. Let me know.
 

BackupProphet

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2014
875
351
63
Stavanger, Norway
kingmakers.no
I think it is a firmware issue on my Seagate Baracuda Green drives. The other drives, Samsung Spinpoint or Seagate Baracuda 7200 RPM show 3Gbps

Code:
Model Family:  Seagate Barracuda Green (AF)
Device Model:  ST2000DL003-9VT166
Serial Number:  6YD0XJQA
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000c50 03e0b755e
Firmware Version: CC32
User Capacity:  2,000,398,934,016 bytes [2.00 TB]
Sector Size:  512 bytes logical/physical
Rotation Rate:  5900 rpm
Device is:  In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:  ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 4
SATA Version is:  SATA 3.0, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 1.5 Gb/s)
Local Time is:  Thu May 19 14:39:27 2016 CEST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled
Everything works great as of now, so I'm not gonna do shit! Don't fix something that works fine! ;)
 
Last edited:

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Ha! Your right, may be the firmware. Seems like the drive is compatible with 3gbps though. Yeah, but your right, might as well leave it alone. 1.5gbps is still what? 150MB/s -175MB/s? Thats still more or close to what a 2 or even 3tb drive can transfer at. Your cool for now of course.

SSD's may be your mortal enemy though and haunt your sentient soul! Bwahahaaha!!!!

Just kidding my friend!
 
Last edited:

BackupProphet

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2014
875
351
63
Stavanger, Norway
kingmakers.no
I've read that these controllers will push over 100k iops. I do wonder though if this is total for the card or per channel.

For reference 100k iops at 4kb equals 400MB/s and most consumer SSD's barely manage 1000 iops(4MB/s) for writes, they're only faster if they lie to the operating system.
 

Awesomesauce

Member
Apr 20, 2016
104
9
18
41
Thanks to Sleyk, i just about a pack of 4 31601e cards. Please tell me if i need any fw flash after receiving them.
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
7,343
1,797
113
CA
I guess the reason you don't see them discussed much is that most people are not buying 2TB drives anymore, and these have absolutely 0 usage for the future.

With the M1015 had 310 going for 30-50$ and work with all capacity drives they're future proof...

Why buy one of these for $10 to $15 to just spend $30 in a year or two when you upgrade again, you are going to spend more in the long run makes no sense at all...
 

Awesomesauce

Member
Apr 20, 2016
104
9
18
41
For my case, its cheap enough that i can switch HBA when i need to upgrade. 2tb is still at sweet spot $/Gb. Plus I'm cheap bastard lol.

Also I'm running mirror vdevs instead of raidz, which makes 2tb very affordable
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
WELL now, Tminus my friend, I wouldn't say it makes no sense. Some people are not willing to spend over a certain amount for their hba's. I remember when I started buying these lsi cards, I was paying over $100 bucks for a first gen like the 31601e. Now they run for $10 bucks. $10 bucks! You mean to tell me that having and using one of these cards that are still good for about 2000MB/s of total bandwidth something that makes no sense? All for 10 bucks? Really?

Besides, the m1015's aren't $30 bucks, neither are the h310's. If you are lucky, you MIGHT stumble across a deal every now and again, but that isnt the norm buddy, it just isnt. The first gen cards are a great interim UNTIL 2nd gens are needed. You can't just assume most people is buying higher than 2TB drives just because you aren't or don't feel the need to. I definitely expect better than broad sweeping generalizations from better knowledgeable and informed, well seasoned veterans of this site such as yourself my friend.

I beg to differ on your opinion that these cards have no future as well. While they only support up to 2tb hard drives, will they stop making 2tb drives? Not so far that I have heard of...

As long as there are 2tb drives, there will be a need for 1st gen cards. Yes, the sexy m1015 is future-resistant, but I, and I can also attest, that there are many, many people who agree with me, they are not willing to throw down on a regularly priced $65-$95 card just to be hip to the 2nd gen jive.

Now consider this piece of logic my friend. You say that I could end up spending more money in the future when I need the 2nd gens right? Well, don't you think that if I didn't have any 2nd gens right now, and I waited 1 to 2 years in the future, won't it stand to reason that the price of the 2nd gens would be CHEAPER than what you paid now? All in all, am I not in a win-win scenario? I get a cheaper card for the future, but only when it is needed. Right now, if you have 2tb drives, it is not really needed. That is, not to say, you can't want it.

I like the 2nd gens, they're cool, and I drool over the 3rd gens. But....you can't take away my love for my first girl man, you just can't. I will always keep running back to her. She takes care of me. She loves me, and she sure runs just as stable as my new girl, the h310. While it doesn't make sense to you, these cards are all i need for now, and that....

makes perfect sense to me.
 
Last edited:

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
7,343
1,797
113
CA
WELL now, Tminus my friend, I wouldn't say it makes no sense. Some people are not willing to spend over a certain amount for their hba's. I remember when I started buying these lsi cards, I was paying over $100 bucks for a first gen like the 31601e. Now they run for $10 bucks. $10 bucks! You mean to tell me that having and using one of these cards that are still good for about 2000MB/s of total bandwidth a no-sense thing? All for 10 bucks? Really?

Besides, the m1015's aren't $30 bucks, neither are the h310's. If you are lucky, you MIGHT stumble across a deal every now and again, but that isnt the norm buddy, it just isnt. The first gen cards are a great interim UNTIL 2nd gens are needed. You can't just assume most people is buying higher than 2TB drives just because you aren't or don't feel the need to. I definitely expect better than broad sweeping generalizations from better knowledgeable and informed, well seasoned veterans of this site such as yourself my friend.

I beg to differ on your opinion that these cards have no future as well. While they only support up to 2tb hard drives, will they stop making 2tb drives? Not so far that I have heard of...

As long as there are 2tb drives, there will be a need for 1st gen cards. Yes, the sexy m1015 is future-resistant, but I, and I can also attest, that there are many, many people who agree with me, they are not willing to throw down on a regularly priced $65-$95 card just to be hip to the 2nd gen jive.

I like the 2nd gens, they're cool, and I drool over the 3rd gens. But....you can't take away my love for my first girl man, you just can't. I will always keep running back to her. She takes care of me. She loves me, and she sure runs just as stable as my new girl, the h310. While it doesn't make sense to you, these cards are all i need for now, and that....

makes perfect sense.
No one is buying 2TB drives because they cost $90 new and $110 gets you 3TB. If you go used these prices yield 4TB+, and again the card is not usable.

It makes no sense to handicap yourself because you want to save 20 bucks.

I don't think we're ever going to see eye to eye on this, and we'll agree to disagree.

I stand by my point they have no future.
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Awesomesauce, when you get the cards, I would be glad to help you flash them. Tell me the firmware on them and I will help with any info I can. Flashing the 31601e's are slightly different as they have 2 controllers onboard. the command line syntax is slightly different.
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Tminus my friend, why so hard on me my friend? I don't/didn't mean to offend you in any way. I'm a light hearted clown! I respect and admire all your experience on these things. I sense a bit of frustration in your writing, so as a fellow techy, I wanna apologize. Don't be upset my dear friend. We all love the same things. We do get passionate about our love of technology don't we though?

I feel you on your point about the 2nd gen cards. I do, I have several of them. I just think it is important for people looking out for a great deal to know/remember the first gens. Come on, why do you hate my first girlfriend man? You know she still loves you, even though you neglect her usefulness.

She'll take you back and forgive you. She will. She's cool like that. All first gens are forgiving. My 2nd gens, not so much. Especially, that bitch, the m1015. She is just too cocky. She knows she looks good and she knows she has all of us on her little finger.

Resist her man...your 2tb drives need you to remember the love you once had for the first gens.

That being said...I have been cheating on her by using my h310's...
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
7,343
1,797
113
CA
Sorry if it came across that way. I'm not upset or frustrated :) I just don't see a future in them, and think most would agree $20 to future proof is $ well spent. (Even $25 to 30 in most cases)

If they work for you, and you have tons of 2TB (I know I do) then by all means buy them and use them.

8 drives * 100MB/s is still obviously less than the 2GB/s limit you mentioned, so you're not gonna run out of performance unless the HBA just can't live up to that #.. I don't know, I haven't tested/used them... and in all honesty my pools of spinning drives for what I use them for I don't mind if they do 200MB/s, 500MB/s or 1Gb/s.

I haven't compared power usage of these to 2008 and 3008 either -- might be another factor in saving power or using more?
 
  • Like
Reactions: cheezehead

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Yeah, that's a point to note indeed, I never really researched the power consumption between the first gens and the 2nd gens. I know my 31601e's get quite warm. Nah, i'm playing, those ladies get hot on the heatsinks. The Dell h310 gets quite warm too, but it isnt overbearing for me. I will do some reading up. I'm very curious to know. It can also be the deciding factor between the type of airflow planned someone may be planning for their chassis/case. I will hit the all knowing oracle known as google!
 
Last edited:

vBuild2BAU

Member
Feb 27, 2016
43
9
8
Melbourne Australia
No one is buying 2TB drives because they cost $90 new and $110 gets you 3TB. If you go used these prices yield 4TB+, and again the card is not usable.

It makes no sense to handicap yourself because you want to save 20 bucks.

I don't think we're ever going to see eye to eye on this, and we'll agree to disagree.

I stand by my point they have no future.
gonvhisoka.JPG
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Ahahaahaa! That was the first time gon was able to land a hit on hisoka! I wanted to use Gon, but I like Hisoka so much I made him my avatar! All we need now is for Tminus to make his avatar Gon!
 
Last edited:

cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
723
176
43
Midwest, US
Some power consumption numbers

LSI Host Bus Adapter (HBA) Power Consumption Comparison - ServeTheHome

As you can see there's around a 20w delta between the lowest and highest power consuming cards. In generally fewer cards means less power consumption but if your using an 9202-16e and re-routing it inside your case a pair of 9211-8i's will save you a few watts. In general though if comparing two cards with passive heatsinks in the same setup and one is burn your hand hot while the other is cool, the one that is hot likely uses more power. Newer the card the smaller the manufacture process is which helps reduce consumption and the dumber the card less consumption it will use (generalization). If you have multiple cards, as T_Minus said, test the power consumption. it's likely <5w difference but every once and awhile you'll find something surprising.
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
7,343
1,797
113
CA
Thanks @cheezehead
I'm going to have to test my power consumption now, I think most of mine are using 10-13w. Would like to drop down to 6-7w if that's possible!! Time to start testing... got a system perfect for that right now on the bench, so this week when I test my new SSD I'll test power consumption too.
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,361
707
113
Stamford, CT
Ah, yes! that table you linked to is valuable! Thanks for that too! I wonder how much power I can save from using the 2nd gens though. I am using a somewhat powerful 1366 setup, with dual cpu's, so i may not see a difference. Great info though.