NVMe PCI-E Adapter Card w/ PLX

aidenpryde

New Member
Apr 30, 2020
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Hello.

I have a server based around a SuperMicro X9DRi-F. Sad story about it is that the motherboard lets you bifurcate the lanes in the BIOS, but SuperMicro support says that just because the BIOS lets you do it, doesn't mean it works (they recommended the X10 or newer). I have a couple of the single PCI-E adapters, but I don't want to take up two of my PCI-E slots if there's single slot card that will work.

I had bought one of those ASUS 4x drive x16 PCI-E cards, and no matter what I did the server would only see one NVMe drive.

So, it looks like I need a NVMe adapter card with a PLX chip to handle the switching for the server.

It can either be a x8 card or x16 PCI-E 3.0 card, but it will hopefully support the full speed of the Samsung 970 Evos I have (which are 3500MB/s). For future expandability I would love having a quad PCI-E card, as my server supports full height cards, but I'll take what I get.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

AndreiL

New Member
Jun 30, 2019
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I've used these successfully in HP G8 1U servers:

IO CREST Quad M.2 NVMe Ports to PCIe 3.0 x16

To the best of my knowledge this is the only card that uses Microsemi switchtec PFX-L 32xG3 Chipset and therefore allocates full 4x PCIe bandwidth to each of the 4 NVMe slots.

Others (Amfeltec, RIITOP) use ASMedia chipsets which do not offer full bandwidth allocation.
 

aidenpryde

New Member
Apr 30, 2020
27
1
3
I've used these successfully in HP G8 1U servers:

IO CREST Quad M.2 NVMe Ports to PCIe 3.0 x16

To the best of my knowledge this is the only card that uses Microsemi switchtec PFX-L 32xG3 Chipset and therefore allocates full 4x PCIe bandwidth to each of the 4 NVMe slots.

Others (Amfeltec, RIITOP) use ASMedia chipsets which do not offer full bandwidth allocation.
Thanks. Do you know of any 2 slot cards?
 

StevenDTX

Active Member
Aug 17, 2016
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I've used these successfully in HP G8 1U servers:

IO CREST Quad M.2 NVMe Ports to PCIe 3.0 x16

To the best of my knowledge this is the only card that uses Microsemi switchtec PFX-L 32xG3 Chipset and therefore allocates full 4x PCIe bandwidth to each of the 4 NVMe slots.

Others (Amfeltec, RIITOP) use ASMedia chipsets which do not offer full bandwidth allocation.
I bought one of these this week based on this post. It’s working great!
 
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blinkenlights

Active Member
May 24, 2019
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@aidenpryde, I realize this may not be the most popular advice, but have you priced solutions like the Intel "P" series (P3608, P3700, P4618) half-height cards? I picked up two 1.6TB P3608 cards with only half a terabyte written for a song. Each P3608 has 2x 800GB on-card SSDs joined with a PLX chip. Under FreeBSD, I see four individual 800GB drives and have them configured just the way I want them - operating system mirrored, ZFS cache striped.
 

aidenpryde

New Member
Apr 30, 2020
27
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3
@aidenpryde, I realize this may not be the most popular advice, but have you priced solutions like the Intel "P" series (P3608, P3700, P4618) half-height cards? I picked up two 1.6TB P3608 cards with only half a terabyte written for a song. Each P3608 has 2x 800GB on-card SSDs joined with a PLX chip. Under FreeBSD, I see four individual 800GB drives and have them configured just the way I want them - operating system mirrored, ZFS cache striped.
So, the issue is that I have an Unraid server, and I wanted NVMe cache in a RAID 1 mirror. I don't believe that would be a good idea on those Intel cards.
 

blinkenlights

Active Member
May 24, 2019
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So, the issue is that I have an Unraid server, and I wanted NVMe cache in a RAID 1 mirror. I don't believe that would be a good idea on those Intel cards.
Interesting. I was going to question why you want mirrored cache, but learned how Unraid makes use of that configuration. The operating system and BIOS sees two physical drives per card or you can create a mirrored/striped pair in hardware with a VROC key. The level of redundancy on those cards would be the same as two M.2 drives on a single PCIe adapter, the difference being that you can't remove and replace a failed drive :oops:

This U.S. seller has the 1.6TB (2x 800GB - what I have) model for $350: Intel Solid-State Drive DC P3608 Series 1.6TB Internal PCIe | eBay

EDIT: I do not know much about the P3605 (Oracle OEM model) but they are about $100 cheaper: Intel SSD DC P3605 1.6TB Flash Accelerator F160 NVMe Card | eBay
 
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StevenDTX

Active Member
Aug 17, 2016
488
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So, the issue is that I have an Unraid server, and I wanted NVMe cache in a RAID 1 mirror. I don't believe that would be a good idea on those Intel cards.
thats exactly what I’m using the IO Crest cards. My second 1TB 970 Pro came in yesterday. I intended to swap out my existing cache today, but got sidetracked by actual work.

i only have a single slot that I can use.