Supermicro sc836 - bpn-sas-836tq vs bpn-SAS2-836el1 backplanes

rmflint

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Dec 12, 2017
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I am trying to decide between purchasing an sc836 barebones chassis, one with the Bpn-sas-836tq backplane and the other with a Bpn-SAS2-836el1 backplane for about the same price.

I will be connecting either backplane to a SAS2 HBA and still haven’t decided on SAS or SATA drives so I would like the option to fully take advantage of either drive interface type.

I realize the el1 would be easier to setup with less cable clutter than the tq. Can anyone enlighten me on why to choose one verse the other?
 
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i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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TQ/A:
When you want to use SSD or when you want to be futureproof. Requires more cabling (TQ one cable per port, A one cable per 4 ports) and an external expander or a high port count controller/hba.

Expander backplane:
Easier cabling, fast enough for hdds (even with sas2).

For the same prices I would take the expander backplane.
 
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BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
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one other point... TQ/A backplanes will light up the activity LED solid with both SATA and SAS drives.

With expander backplanes, the behavior is not consistent. With SATA drives, the activity LED is "off" when there is no activity, even if the hard drive is online. It will flicker when there is activity, but otherwise it is off. With SAS drives, the activity LED is "on" when the drive is online, and flickers when there is activity. So, if you mix SATA and SAS drives, it will seem strange and if you didn't know what I just described, you might spend an hour trying to troubleshoot a problem that really isn't a problem.

for HDDs, the SAS2-EL1 backplanes are plenty, but if you plan on using SATA drives, i kind of have a preference for the TQ or A backplanes.