Data Cables / Choices

Please, could someone explain to me like I am a 5yr old - could someone explain to me the options for the data cables for the backplane/harddrives ?

I will be supplying my own motherboard - but I want to make sure I am getting the proper cables and I am not clear on what else is required…

There’s many options as there are many possible combinations if you’re supplying your own MoBo. This also means you’re likely supplying your own HBA to handle all those SATA connections.

I’m happy to help where I can, but HBA’s and SAS expanders are something that still throws me for a loop sometimes. The key point here is look at the first connector SFF 8643 on each Set. That is the connector the HL15 backplane requires on it’s end, the other end of the cable is determined by your equipment.

Post your Motherboard model, along with any HBA you are purchasing or considering purchasing, that way we can see what you’re working with!

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Seconded, post mobo model and HBA model to make sure what ports you need.

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ok - thank you for deciphering the parts…

The motherboard I was thinking of using is a xeon supermicro - I will get the model - but I do not believe it has any internal / onboard HBA - which makes me think I need to get HBA controllers… which is making me rethink the whole thing…

Rethink the whole thing how? Don’t let this scare you off, especially if you mean giving up entirely!

HBA’s aren’t as scary as they seem, it’s simply a Host Bus Adapter, a PCIE card that dishes out those PCIE lanes to your drives!

While the board you’re looking at likely has some SATA ports on it, I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be enough for 15 drives, nor would it be recommended as on board SATA controller’s aren’t particularly strong.

There’s PLENTY of choices out there, and many can be had for cheap, especially if going for used. Plus, this is HomeLAB! It’s where we go to learn these things and it’s fun! There’s plenty of build guides out there for a NAS. It may even help if we know what your intended purpose for the box is, including what OS you may be considering!

This leaves you with two options:

  • Purchase the pre-built from 45HomeLab.
  • Toss the MoBo model and what you could budget for an HBA and we can go from there!
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I just happened on this in another post here and wanted to share it.

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no - not scared off - I was just thinking that I’d wanna use some hardware here that I already have - cost savings a little… but I am rethinking that it might make more sense to pick up a whole system and be better operationally…

thank you… I need to watch.

Can always do both! Throw a hypervisor such as ESXi or Proxmox on your current equipment and target your HL15 for storage. Hahahah.

In all seriousness, let us know how you make out!

Can you take a look at what I’m thinking about and tell me if it would work.

Ryzen 7600
ASUS ProArt B650
SAS9305-16i LSI 9305-16i
64GB DDR5 (non ECC)

I will be using SATA drives so think it would be
Set G
(4x) SFF 8643 → 4x 7-Pin SATA [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to 4x 7-Pin SATA]

I assume that this would be for SAS drives (not sure if it works for both SAS and SATA)
Set A
(4x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8643 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS-HD]


4x) SFF 8643 → 4x 7-Pin SATA [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to 4x 7-Pin SATA]

delete the however part posted by mistake

The LSI 9305-16I uses the SFF-4643 connectors so “set A” would be the set you need.

My motherboard (MC62-G40) has 4x SATA Ports, 3x SlimSAS (SFF-8087?) Ports (PCIe Gen4 or SATA). What cable set would you recommend to connect the drive backplane to the motherboard?


I believe set E would generaly meet the needs, but would qty 3 SFF 8087 plugs work for 12 or the 15 connections?
Set E(2x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8087 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS]
(2x) SFF 8643 → 4x 7-Pin SATA [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to 4x 7-Pin SATA]

I don’t think SlimSAS is SFF-8087. I think SlimSAS is SFF-8654. Then within SFF-8654, there are two subtypes, one that supports 4x SAS channels (-4i) and one that supports 8x SAS channels (-8i). So you have 3x SFF-8654-4i ports, I think.

Unfortunately, the
Set F
(2x) 2x SFF 8643 → SFF 8654 [2x Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Slim-SAS]
SlimSAS cable set offered is for SFF-8654-8i.

I think the cable you need for those 3x SlimSAS is something like this;
I guess I’d contact and see if they can special source a cable set that includes that type of cable from their supplier, or give you a credit discount on your order and not include cables. You have to take the HL15 apart a bit to install the backplane cables though. If they can’t provide the cables or a discount, I’d pick one of the cable sets that have the 7-Pin SATA connectors, one of which you will need for 15 drives, then try to sell or keep for future projects the other three cables.

What are your actual drive requirements? Are you planning to connect SATA, SAS or NVMe to those SlimSAS ports?

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Yup. I definitely got the wrong pack of cables with my order. I ended up finding some cables online to replace them with that work perfectly for the slimsas ports on my motherboard. The cables I got are SlimSAS 4X to MiniSAS HD,SFF-8654 38pin to SFF-8643 36pin. Funny enought the cable that you linked is the exact one that I got for the SlimSAS 4X to MiniSAS HD.

Though the one challenge I have now is the MiniSAS HD to 4XSATA Cable, The cable that I got is not a reverse cable so it does not work for the SATA ports on the motherboard to the hard drive back plane. I didnt realize that these cable could be 1 way in a sense and that I needed a reverse version of the cable.

At the moment I am only connecting SATA drives to the slim sas ports and am using them out of convinence since they are a feture of the motherboard.

Yes you need a forward breakout cable to connect one 4x port on a motherboard/hba to four individual drives, and a reverse breakout cable to connect a 4x port on a backplane to four individual 7-pin SATA ports on a motherboard or PCIe expansion card. 45HL should be supplying reverse breakout cables, if they sent a forward one, you should contact support.

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Hey, I am also in the same situation. I already placed my order with just the chassis and backplane with cable set G selected (4 SATA). As my motherboard I was looking at supports RAID and has 4 SATA ports on the board. I was under the impression that I didn’t need a HBA card. Could you help me determine if I need to modify my order? My motherboard is the ASUS Z790-P PRIME.

You don’t ‘need’ an hba card if you only ever plan to connect 4 drives in total (as that’s all that motherboard supports via sata).

If you want 5 or more, an hba of some description will be needed, or a different motherboard with more onboard sata/sas.


Well I guess what has confused me is I was planning on plugging in the 4 cables from the backplanes. I thought there were 4 backplane cables that I could use cable selection e, to turn into 4 sata cables. Is that something that is possible?

Hi @Jdhill777,
You can use the cables from the backplane to connect to your motherboard. If your motherboard only has 4 SATA ports, you will only need 1 breakout cable ( a single cable with a SFF 8643 cable will plug into the backplane. The other side should be 4 cables x 7-pin SATA)

If you want to add more drives you’ll need an HBA card (if your motherboard only has connectors for those 4).