Joined on 02/02/05
Great card for Linux
Pros: I found that Linux kernels have very good support for SATA interfaces commonly available on motherboards, but support for add-on cards is a lot less reliable. This is one of the few cards that is fully supported by the sata_mv driver (PCI id: 9005:0243) in recent versions of the Linux kernel (tested with 2.6.23-rc7). Furthermore, this card uses 4 PCIe lanes (as opposed to just one, which some other entry-level cards do). This means, it has plenty of spare bandwidth to drive four disks concurrently. For setting up RAID arrays under Linux, it is usually preferable to get software RAID controllers, configure the drives as JBOD, and then have Linux's "md" driver do the RAIDing. This gives better performance, better upgradability, and better cost than most hardware RAID controllers. And the Adaptec 2240900-R fits all the necessary requirements.
Cons: Add-on PCIe SATA controllers are still more expensive than controllers with other interfaces, and more expensive than SATA ports on the motherboard. While the cost will eventually come down even more, in the meantime it is often a worthwhile trade-off to buy a more expensive motherboard that already has the required number of SATA ports. Of course, most motherboards top out at about ten SATA ports, so add-on cards are required for anything beyond that.
Overall Review: The controller comes with SATA cables, even though it does not say so in the product description. So, no need to buy extra cables, unless you have special requirements (e.g. color, length, angled-plugs, eSATA, ...). Do note though, that due to the stacked connectors on the controller, angled plugs will not necessarily fit.
Some growing pains
Pros: Seagate drives have a good reputation, five year warranty can't be beat, the price is competitive with other manufacturer's drives, and power consumption is better than for any other drive on the market.
Cons: Out of twelve drives that I ordered, four had unrecoverable read errors. While Newegg takes care of the warranty replacement, it is quite disappointing that they cannot cross-ship and that I need to pay for return shipping. For a $4500 order I would expect a somewhat better experience. 30% disk failures unfortunately cost me some lost (but recoverable) data. This could have been avoided if the drives came with S.M.A.R.T enabled. Unfortunately, it seemed that only some of the drives had S.M.A.R.T turned on. As a tip, make sure you thoroughly test the drives before committing any data to them. I have no doubts that Seagate will live up to their reputation once the drives have made it past initial burn-in, but until then: caveat emptor.
Overall Review: As for the reviewer who reported that the drives only had 31MB of available storage until he reset the host-protected-area (HPA), I had the same happen to some of my ES.2 and to some of my Hitachi 1TB drives. I suspect it is a bug in one of the RAID controllers on my Gigabyte motherboard, as the drives only showed this problem after a reboot. Resetting the HPA and writing a valid partition table made the problem go away.