Best inexpensive storage expansion?

Hi all,

I have been lurking here for a week, it has been helping me expand my skills with chia a huge amount, thanks to everyone on here, there is a plethora of resources for people starting out in chia farming.

One thing I have focused on is increasing what I have with as minimal cost as possible, used parts where possible, hopefully should help the struggle.

I found a nice dual CPU Xeon HP model running Windows 10 pro, thanks to this forum I’ve expanded my PowerShell ability, from none to some. I will be putting some M.2 drives in for faster plotting.

I have seen how expensive HDD are and am lurking every used site I can find here in OZ to get some scores.

What I want to know though, what is some of your guys best jerry-rigged storage expansion?

I am setting up an LSI 9211-8i that supports 8 SATA outputs. That should get me enough storage for the short term to get me going.

One thing that I am curious of, how big can you go from a windows setup mass storage wise, what would my limit be?


I’ve got 22 HDDs plus a few SSDs attached to a single motherboard and should be able to get up to 60 drives attached. I’m using 2 PCI-e 4x SATA 6 Port cards. Each port can connect to a SATA 1-to-5 port multiplier (I already have 4 of these connected for 20+ drives). Here’s more info: Show off your rigs! - #98 by enderTown

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That is pretty jerry-rigged for sure haha ! But still awesome.
I will look into the multiplier cards thanks!

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Here are the ones I used: SaiDian 1 Pcs SATA 1 to 5 Port Converter Expansion Card SATA Port Multiplier Hard Drive HDD SSD Accessory: Computers & Accessories

And here’s the 4x PCI-e 6 port SATA controller - 4x PCI-e is important so you have plenty of SATA bandwidth for all those drives. This controller also supports port multipliers like the one above - most controllers built into motherboards will not work with that 1-to-5 port multiplier! Ableconn PEX-SA156 6-Port SATA 6G PCI Express x4 Host Adapter Card - AHCI 6Gbps SATA III Port-Multiplier PCIe 3.0 4-Lane Low Profile Controller Card (ASMedia ASM1166): Computers & Accessories


The Ableconn host adaptor card is sold out on amazon for me, looking at local alternatives, a brand named startech they support port expansion but only 1-2 ports at once , not all 4…

I will be keeping my eyes open though, its a very viable setup to attain.

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The 10 port SATA PCIe expander is in stock on Amazon

That’s 10 ports through PCIe 2.0 x2. Not a high performance connection, low bandwidth, but fine for farming.


Bros, Those PCI-e SATA cards selling on Amazon, can they support bigger hard drive like 6TB or higher?

Yes, large drives are not a problem

Good morning ender, have you looked into these

Wonder good they work?

I’m using simple Inatec cards costs barely $20-25 for 4 USB 3.2 ports on my Z workstations

I am planning to use Adaptec 71605 cards that can accept up to 16 drives per single PCIe slot.

Ah the raid controller, refurb price tag is pretty good for those $80-100 aprox

Yeah just set it to HBA mode and you should be good to go.

Inateck KTU3FR-4P 4 Port USB 3.0 Expansion, looks like a good card, can plug in some USB hubs etc.

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A HP P812 SAS Controller with 16 external and 8 internal SAS ports is also a quite affordable option. I got mine for 15 € used (that’s a usual price for that adapter).

Cables to connect 4x SATA/SAS drives to the external ports are about 15$ on AliExpress and you can get up to 2 meters. That’s actually a pretty solid cable intended to be used outside of the case uike a SATA cable.

Putting it in HBA mode requires a patched Linux kernel and the external ports only work with an older firmware version and it is really HUGE.

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I started with one of these but well switched to the inateck USB ones… easier, and overal better imho…

I have 6 USB 3.0 Sata adapters for sale. Interested?

Yes I have connected exos 16 TB hdds. Works flawlesly.

You can get some pretty good deals on ex data centre drives. And SAS expanders/disk shelves to hold them in. They are kept cool, they spin up in sequence and not all at once.

It’s true some of these drives have a lot of hours on them, but they’re enterprise drives and have been run cooled properly. Plus losing a drive full of plots costs a few $ but its data you can replace.

That’s one of the best parts of Chia: the fact that plots are disposable. It’s a great project to send old drives to die: no parity or anything just run them until they go offline…