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Best solution to add more HDDs/SSDs to a Multiboot (MacOS/Win10/Linux) system

Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
131
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 Designare
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
RX 580
Hi All,
I would need to add more HDD / SSDs to my multiboot system (macOS / Win10 / Linux) which can be used for storing and backing up data and possibly bootable (if I were to use them to start operating systems).
My system is based on a Gigabyte Z390 Designare motherboard and I would have the possibility to use both thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports or add an internal card with SATA / PCIE controller to add 4/6 ports.
Which solution could be better suited to my system?
Thanks in advance for your help
 

jaymonkey

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My system is based on a Gigabyte Z390 Designare motherboard and I would have the possibility to use both thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports or add an internal card with SATA / PCIE controller to add 4/6 ports.

@SardusX,

With a TB3 capable motherboard like you have the decision would mainly come down to cost.

Remote TB3 disk enclosures are still relatively expensive, where as a simple PCIe add on disk controller is not.
If you have the room for the drives in your case and your PSU is up to the job then that would be the way i would go.

Using a TB3 disk enclosure has the benefit that it could be connected to other/future devices.
You have to decide what features you need and how much you want to spend.

If you decide to go with a PCIe add on disk controller then just make sure it is MacOS compatible.

Cheers
Jay
 

pastrychef

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Hi All,
I would need to add more HDD / SSDs to my multiboot system (macOS / Win10 / Linux) which can be used for storing and backing up data and possibly bootable (if I were to use them to start operating systems).
My system is based on a Gigabyte Z390 Designare motherboard and I would have the possibility to use both thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports or add an internal card with SATA / PCIE controller to add 4/6 ports.
Which solution could be better suited to my system?
Thanks in advance for your help
It depends on what you need the storage for...

If you want them to install more operating systems, I would say an internal controller is probably best.
If you need it for archiving a lot of files or Time Machine or just general storage, I really like NASes.

I prefer NASes over Thunderbolt DASes due to cost, compatibility with more systems, expandability, and flexibility. If using spinning mechanical drives, there should be little to no difference between performance especially if you are using 10GBase-T.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
131
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 Designare
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
RX 580
@jaymonkey, @pastrychef, thanks for Your replies
From both your answers I realized that in my case it might be better to use an internal PCIE / SATA controller.
What could be a disk controller card suitable for this purpose considering the fact that it should be compatible with a multiboot (macOS / Win10 / Linux) system?
I'm looking at some models based on the Marvell 88SE9230 or Marvell 88SE9215 chipset: could they be a valid choice?
Compatibility with macOS is not always included in the specifications of these models, how should I consider this information?
 

jaymonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
3,665
Motherboard
ASRock-Z97 EX6
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.8GHz
Graphics
Vega 64LC + HD4600
Mac
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
I'm looking at some models based on the Marvell 88SE9230 or Marvell 88SE9215 chipset: could they be a valid choice? Compatibility with macOS is not always included in the specifications of these models, how should I consider this information?

@SardusX,

Apple are notorious for dropping compatibility with 3rd party PCIe disk/raid controllers, they recently dropped support for some HighPoint, Marvell based products in both Mojave and Catalina.

A few thing to consider ....
  • If the product literature does not specifically state that its compatible with MacOS then assume that it is not.
  • If a product claims Mac compatibility be sure to find out exactly which version of MacOS it supports.
  • If in any doubt I would contact the supplier or manufacturer for clarification.
Like @pastrychef I gave up using add on PCIe cards for internal storage some time ago, I have a Synology NAS running a large redundant RAID array which i use for all my archiving and data storage.

Cheers
Jay
 

pastrychef

Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
14,041
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Radeon VII
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
@jaymonkey, @pastrychef, thanks for Your replies
From both your answers I realized that in my case it might be better to use an internal PCIE / SATA controller.
What could be a disk controller card suitable for this purpose considering the fact that it should be compatible with a multiboot (macOS / Win10 / Linux) system?
I'm looking at some models based on the Marvell 88SE9230 or Marvell 88SE9215 chipset: could they be a valid choice?
Compatibility with macOS is not always included in the specifications of these models, how should I consider this information?
Years ago, I used an ASM1061 based PCI-e card in my MacPro5,1 and it was natively supported. I have no idea if it still is...

I also use a NAS running Synology DSM. It's a a brilliant OS.
 
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