View Full Version : Looking for bootable PCI SATA card options

06-20-2008, 09:36 AM
Looks like Siig is discontinuing their excellent 4 port SATA host card which was bootable in Macs. I have been recommending it for the last few years. Now I need to find another card for G4 users in particular. Any thoughts?



06-20-2008, 11:08 AM

Well I have both the Siig 4 port and the Sonnet (aka Firmtek) 2-port in my MDDs.

With the Sonnet, attention needs to be paid to the firmware -- I needed to downgrade the firmware for Tiger as the card shipped with the latest which is for Leopard. My memory is toast, I forget the exact reason why -- I think sleep issues.

Anyway both have been rock solid for me. But the Siig gets smoked in benchmarks with Intech's utilities (tested in Tiger). I benched the very same drives, only swapping the cards.

06-20-2008, 11:33 AM
This is a funny little card (http://www.macsense.com/product/storage/sua-100e.html). Never seen anything like it for Macs. Not the solid, known company and product that Gurus usually recommends, but still interesting for G4s that are in process of migrating. Looks like an older card and an older page.....could disappear at any second. :)

Wonder what it is based on?

06-20-2008, 12:10 PM
Still not a 4 port, but what about Acard (http://www.acard.com/english/fb01-product.jsp?idno_no=125&prod_no=AEC-6890M&type1_title=Adapters&type1_idno=3)?

Some other unknowns (http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=8&modelno=norco-4618&PHPSESSID=eef60bba13a4409b5862a51e98de1dbf) out there too.....but never seen any of these.

06-20-2008, 12:24 PM

I have no idea what that card is either, never seen it before. It is interesting.... ATA is pretty passe' these days, so that is a semi useless feature.

All of the cards I have seen that are bootable are older SATAI cards. Sonnet is buying one from someone other than Firmtek now. Firmtek themselves seem stuck with their older junk chipsets from 3 or 4 years ago, they haven't updated or moved forward at all. And the scary part is all the bugs and incompatibilities those older chipsets have with newer drives.

All of the cards that are bootable that I have seen or we have discussed are 2 port cards. I sure liked the Siig 4 port card for G4s. Upgrade the computer to SATA completely.

Thanks for the ideas.


12-26-2008, 04:18 PM
I'm looking for a four port internal card myself. Came across this one http://www.datoptic.com/cgi-bin/web.cgi?product=SATA4-PCI&detail=yes, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Anyone familiar with it? I saw something about there being problems with Silicon Chipsets in another post. Any thoughts?

12-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Doesn't say what Silicon Image chipset it has. Old stuff though, SATAI spec. May not work with SATAII drives.

It isn't a hardware RAID card, it is a firmware RAID card. Fine for JBOD use. Not worth a fart in a hurricane as a RAID card.

Doesn't say Mac. Usually, especially with the older chipsets, they have to be Mac specific or the firmware isn't there for the Mac.

If i was looking for a SATA card to put inside a Mac it would most likely be either the Siig or the Sonnet. Both are bootable.


12-27-2008, 04:55 PM
Okay, so I bought two Macsense cards that look a lot like the one unclemac posted about earlier and called a "funny little card." They each have two internal SATA ports, an external port, and an ATA133 port. The external and one of the internal ports run the same paths, so you have to designate which option you would like to use with jumpers. This gives me the four internal ports I needed and I am actually using the IDE-133 for my boot drive since the MDD board only comes with ATA66 or ATA100. They plugged right in and worked immediately with no need for drivers or anything. I'll keep you updated if anything goes wrong and let me know if anyone has any questions. I've got some general questions about my whole set up, so I'm gonna post over in the Networking section since that seems more appropriate.

12-27-2008, 09:03 PM
Cool, thanks for the info. It sure is a good idea with both buses.....only wish it was available (or we were aware of it) a few years ago when the biggest bunch of folks were converting. May help ring the last year or three of life out of the G4 towers out there.

01-13-2009, 09:25 PM
This is a good discussion. I looked for another SIIG card recently only to find the bad news that it was discontinued.

I am in the midst of splitting my drives on my main MDD (WD 300 GB Velociraptor as the boot and a WD 1 TB Black w/32 MB cache as the Home folder drive), and was thinking of tossing one of the SATA optical drives that ricks carries in it, but needed some extra SATA ports to run some outside drives on.

mscriv: Where did you get the Macsense cards? It may be better than getting any more FirmTek cards.

I guess the clock is ticking on older machines.



01-13-2009, 10:03 PM
I think this is the best product still available. I have yet to hear any complaints on it.

Sonnet 2 Port Bootable SATA PCI card. (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_serial_ata.html)


01-13-2009, 10:53 PM
Thanks, Rick. I will look into that. (I did not see it in the store...are you picking them up?)

01-13-2009, 11:01 PM
I never sold them. The price range wasn't so good for us and the market is so limited these days. Most of our business is in external storage. I sure don't mind pointing folks to it since it is a good card.


01-14-2009, 08:23 AM
Thanks, Rick.