When building my unRaid box for my HTPC,.the mobo I used (one I had laying around) only had 4 sata connections.
I had 5 HDDs installed, 4 were plugged in and running unRaid perfectly,..the 5th drive was installed but unplaugged.
I also had another drive laying on a table until I could figure out what I was going to do.
I ordered this PCI to SATA / IDE (2 SATA / 2 PATA) Combo RAID Controller Card - VT6421A (Manufacturer Part # SY-VIA-150R)
At less than 10 bucks, it was worth a try.
It came yesterday and I installed it last night.
The box contained the card and a sata cable, which was really cool, since I've seen some local shops charging 5 bucks for the cable alone.
I started up unRaid and it perfectly saw the 5th drive.
Once it was formatted, I ran some tests and I can't tell any obvious differences between the 5th drive and any of the other drives.
Speed was great, copying to, and reading from,...
Can't wait to install the 6th drive and plug that in too.
I'll be ordering another one of these cards, so I can install the unRaid cache drive.
Problem is,..that will give me another free SATA connection,...you know what that means right?????
I'll have to buy the next step up of unRaid server. I currently have a 6 disk license.
Hope this helps someone unsure about PCI-SATA cards. It certainly helped me!
Oh,..one more note,..the picture of the device only shows the sata connections livign on the card itself.
I was happy to find the card I received also had an external sata port. A nice bonus for me!!!