These cards work great. Any issues come from the PCI bus limitations in speed.
In my UnRaid NAS, the drives hooked to the PCI controller cards average 75MB/s. While the onboard SATA drives average 109MB/s. This may seem like a big drop in performance, but for the price, it's a huge bang-for-your-buck!
My NAS drives are mostly read from and not written to. (I never tried the RAID functionality of the cards since UnRaid is JBOD, and in my opinion is better for my needs than RAID)
PROS: Can put 4 SATA drives on one PCI card inexpensive works with all OS that I tried
CONS: I wish it were faster, but that is the fault of the PCI bus, not this card.
Works great so far (mind you, I only have 1 HD plugged into the card).
Also, mine didn't come with the 2 sata cables it was suppose to come with. I'm going to mention this to Monoprice.
I took off 1 star for each for the tricky set up to JBOD and the missing cables.
PROS: - Comes with Windows 7 drivers - works as raid and JBOD (just a bunch of disks or non-raid) (FYI, I never tried the raid function)
CONS: Thanks to nickv2002, I was ready to flash the bios (or firmware?) on my card. The default bios only allowed for my HD to be set up as raid. Below are the steps I followed (again thanks to nickv2002).
1) Go to http://www.siliconimage.com/support/searchresults.aspx?pid=28&cat=15&os=0 2) Download the "BIOS Update Utility for Windows" 3) Download the "SiI 3114 IDE BIOS" (v184.108.40.206) 4) Unzip them both 5) Copy all the file to the same folder 6) Click on Start - Run and enter in "cmd" (this will bring up a command prompt window) 7) Go to the folder where the flash tool and the bin file is 8) Type in "siflashtool /v" to see the current version of your bios 9) Type in "siflashtool /file:b5500.bin"
NOTE: To flash back to raid then download "SiI3114 IDE, SATARAID5 and system BIOS" and use the file r5403.bin.
Using it to add 4 additional SATA ports to my home made WHS machine. Make sure to flash the card to the latest BIOS just in case though. The BIOS and flash utility can be found on Silicon Image's website, google it to find it.
4 Port SATA Serial ATA PCI RAID Controller Card - Silicon Image
This card worked great, I needed extra Sata ports and this was the ticket, the included drivers only go to win xp or maybe Vista but my windows 7 rig auto loaded the drivers from the windows update.I was also glad that the card size was small and fit perfectly without blocking my video card fan....I cant believe how much it would cost at a retail store....good job monoprice..I love you in a straight sort of way:)
PROS: I just like to say that I received this card today, 8/4/10 and with the drivers installed imediately. It truly exceeded my expectations and I also noticed that there are drivers for windows-7. I truly wish everything was as easy to install as this card.
If you want this card to do JBOD you have to change the firmware. In all the documentation it shows the ability to choose JBOD for a drive within the BIOS but, on my card at least, there was no JBOD option presented, just RAID options. It's nuts, but here's how to get JBOD to work:
First you need to download the latest BIOS files from SiliconImage, which you should be able to find here.
You'll also need the BIOS Update Utility for Windows or DOS (I used the latter with a DOS USB key).
For JBOD you need to load the firmware with the name b.bin where is the version number. This is unhelpfully identified as the IDE firmware by SiliconImage. This firmware removes RAID support so your system just sees a bunch of disks rather than a RAID controller. If you want the non-JBOD firmware you can update the firmware to a r.bin image instead. In any case run the command, something like:
It might ask you to pick some kind of memory type. I have no f-ing idea what this is about, I just chose the first thing on the list (option 0). Then it should flash your firmware, if things go okay you should get a message like "Return Code 0" which is a success.
After this, your system, provided it has adequate driver support, should just see the raw drives you have connected to the card. I've used this card with recent versions of Linux (Ubuntu) and OpenSolaris and I never needed to install drivers for those operating systems. Your milage may vary.
PROS: Cheap Works Good *nix driver support
CONS: BIOS Change Required for JBOD Bad Documentation
This is a rebranded, reboxed Syba card which if needing correct drivers, sends you to a third different company to get correct software if you can decipher their product coding. This is not Monoprices fault.
I installed the card, it installed as a Raid card. I wanted it to add only SATA ports, so had to reflash the bios of the card, easy enough, as was installing driver. Here is thw problem. This is on an older Dell machine. The adapter card is seen in the system bios, as well as Windows XP. Same with the two optical drives on the card. When you try and use either, you get a code 19 AND a code 28 error. These errors mean drivers are not installed on either the adapter or optical drives. The drivers for the adapter card are installed because device manager sees them unless you try to use the card via the control card managent software. Neither drive came with driver software, nor is there any from the drive manufacture as they utilize the Windows system drivers. This leaves me with two unusable drives as well as an unusable adapter card. The same code problem shows up when trying to set card up as a Raid card as well.
PROS: Decent price, ease of swapping bios between RAID and storage device.
CONS: Difficulty of location of device drivers. Very poor instructions, no way to swap bios and drivers with software provided on driver disk.
Very Good Card. Worked very well with Linux, clonezilla. Initial configuration problem and left single drive as Concatenated. Don't know if that's required or not. Drivers worked very well with XP. I am satisfied with the card at this reasonable price.