Slim SAS SFF-8654 to MiniHD

hi. i have a supermicro X12SPI-TF board. booting truenas scale off the 2 SATA DOMs, connecting two of the backplane ports with the 8 SATA ports on the motherboard via SFF-8643 to SFF-8643 cables. Looking to leverage the remaining backplane connections with a Slim SAS port. The port is a PCI 4.0 x8 port. I got a SFF-8654 to SFF-8643 x2 cable off the 45drives store, but none of the ports seem to have power or connectivity. I can’t see anything super obvious in the BIOS to use these as SATA ports, unsure if its even possible or if i need different cables, etc.

anyone know? thanks!

hrm, maybe it seems like the HL15 backplane does not support this? I guess then what is the purpose of this cable? 0.75m SFF 8654 → 2x SFF 8643

Can you clarify what you are asking a bit?

The motherboard you linked to supports 10 SATA channels via 2 SATA 7-pin connectors and two SFF-8643 connectors. You seem to have that working. Where are you trying to connect the SFF-8654 connector? Did you purchase an HBA card? Which specific model? Is it in IT mode? Is it new or used?

You said you purchased the SFF-8654 to SFF-8643 x2 cable off the store, which cable set did you choose originally when you ordered the HL15?

the X12SPI-TF board also has a SFF-8654 port, pcie 4 x8, labeled as NVME0/NVME1. i was hoping that maybe i could use those, similar to how you can often use a NVMe m.2 slot in either PCIe or SATA mode. but the more i think of it, i guess there has to be some sort of SATA/SAS controller, but i was unsure if the C621A chipset supported something like that. seems like no, i guess

The SFF-8654 cable is intended for use with SAS HBA cards like the LSI 9500-16i. In order to use the NVME port to control SAS/SATA drives, the motherboard would need to have equivalent electronics to that card, ie a SAS3008 chip.

Compare the specs at the link for your motherboard to the one for the HL15 full build x11sph-nctpf. Where the X12SPI just says;

SATA * Intel® C621A controller for 10 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports; RAID 0,1,5,10

but the X11SPH says;

SATA * Intel® C622 controller for 10 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports; RAID 0,1,5,10
* Broadcom® 3008 SW controller for 8 SAS3 (12 Gbps) ports; RAID 0,1,10

It is possible you could connect one or more U.2 drives to that NVME port, but I don’t think those drives plug into the backplane. There is at least one forum member who has posted about U.2 drives, but I think your intent is to use the other SATA/SAS bays on the backplane. To do that you need an HBA card. It doesn’t have to be an LSI 9500. If you are just using SATA drives you could get an LSI 92xx-8i card with two SFF-8087 connectors pretty cheaply, or an LSI 93xx-8i with SFF-8643 connectors for a bit more money. I guess I’d get one compatible with whatever cable set you originally ordered with the HL15, since you should still have two cables left from that.

yea makes sense. i have 92xx-8i and 92xx-16i, but i am trying to avoid them, even though they say they support ASPM, they in fact do not, and it costs 10w+ of power going up the PCI tree with ASPM disabled. just annoying none of the X12 gen boards have extra SATA/SAS controller like X11SPH

for the 15 bays, i could just use the 16i or use the 8i + 8 C621A ports. all good. it is what it is.

What about a PCIe card with just 8 or 10 SATA expansion ports and nothing to do with SAS and it’s features? For example, this one;

or this one;

As I understand it each pair of SATA ports is multiplexed, so you aren’t going to get blazing performance, and I’m not sure about ASPM, but I would think without a SAS3008 chip their continuous power draw would be less than an HBA.

I used a 6-port version once with an mITX motherboard and it seemed fine. I wasn’t benchmarking performance or anything though.

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