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This review is from: SYBA SI-PEX40108 4 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x1 Card
Pros: So as the story goes . . . I built this new Skylake system. I had the basics of my storage strategy planned out, and you only get a maximum of six SATA ports on my Sabertooth motherboard. If you want to use the M.2 motherboard slot, you lose two SATA ports. If you want to put the M.2 in a PCI-E x4 slot on this motherboard, you lose a different pair of SATA ports to make the slot run at x4 instead of x2. I realized I had a couple unused x1 slots, and investigated controller cards like this PEX40108 with the Marvell controller.
The PEX40108 will be used for hot-swap bays and eSATA ports. Some say you could attach an SSD to it and get up to 500MB/s throughput.
It seems to work like a charm.
Cons: Only one con, but it relates to my easiest choice of an x1 port. The port is next to my Gigabyte GTX 1070 OC-Mini on the fan intake side of the card. The PEX40108 obstructs about 25% of the fan intake. If the card had a lower profile to make it about a half-inch lower in the height above the slot, there would be no obstruction. I've run all my benchies on the graphics card, and the temperature profile remains the same.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: DT 120 - M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter (support M.2 PCIe 2280, 2260, 2242)
Pros: There are several makes and models of these devices. I originally built my Skylake system without any deep planning for use of M.2 NVMe drives. When I finally got around to investigating the prospects after the system was up and running, I had two choices: Use my Sabertooth Z170 board's M.2 slot and lose SATA ports 1 and 2 to still take a performance hit; and use an M.2 NVMe in a PCI-E slot with full performance -- losing SATA ports 5 and 6 so that I can use my third "PCIE x16" slot in x4 mode. It would otherwise default to x2.
The BIOS was already configured properly for this. I just connected my Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 to the DT 120, moved some SATA connections around so as not to use ports 5 and 6, and put the rocket in the socket. Samsung Magician proves out the M.2 spec showing about 3,100+ MB/s sequential reads and 1,500 MB/s sequential writes.
I'll explain in "Other" how and why I'm using that small-capacity EVO.
Other Thoughts: One reviewer noted something about disappointing performance. Maybe he used the right slot, but it was configured to offer only x2 speeds. But I have none of the frustrations he says he suffered.
We all want to integrate older tech with newer. HDD electro-mechanical storage still provides the highest capacity at the lowest price per gigabyte. With a 250GB EVO and this PCIE card as a caching SSD, I can cache SATA devices (both SSD and HDD) to the EVO and cache all of that to RAM. The benchmark results are insane, and you can feel the difference. Great idea, if you don't want to spend $600 on a 1TB M.2 NVMe. And if the price is right and you still chose to buy such a 1TB drive, you could simply move the small drive and DT 120 to another system, get another DT 120, add your OS volumes and a caching volume to the NVMe, and still come back with the same sort of integration and insane speed.
This review is from: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC GV-N1070IXOC-8GD Video Card
Pros: Situation. I had an eight-year-old CoolerMaster Stacker 830 anodized aluminum case with the 12-plus-inch Crossflow barrel fan. The case could be configured with it, or without it. But my plans were to use it as an exhaust drawing air from under a Lexan duct over my Sabertooth Z170 S motherboard. Never mind the DIY Lexan -- the barrel fan would make it impossible to use a full-sized graphics card, because the barrel fan makes it almost impossible to use straight-plug SATA cables connected to the motherboard. You have to order a set of L-angle and the usual R-angle SATA cables, with plans to cable the motherboard completely at first so you never need to remove that barrel fan.
I have one more almost useless task to extend the duct with a "tower" covering the forward exhaust and end of my GTX 1070 Mini card.
So far, just for preliminaries, the card heats in a range between 58C and 66C under different loads including Valley, Furmark, and other graphics tests. I would need to run 3DMark Extreme but temperatures could have passed 70C. These temperatures were observed with a preliminary overclock to 2011 Mhz, default 4004/DDR 8008 for memory clock.
The Extreme Tuning Engine software is perhaps easier to use than Afterburner or others, but the latter gives as much control over clocks, voltages, temperature and power thresholds and simply has a better-looking visual interface.
Cons: I really can't say I have any. You would expect this card to cost as it's priced.
Other Thoughts: I can't decide whether to buy a second card. I still game in 1920x1080 HD. Am only window-shopping replacements for my BenQ at this time. Of course it is easy to run two monitors -- desktop and HDTV; watch TV on the latter while playing a game on the former with a single one of these cards -- stock-clocked or otherwise.READ FULL REVIEW