Storage Wars: this motherboard packs a staggering 32 SATA ports

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

There was a brief and unusual backstep with the introduction of solid state drives roughly a decade ago but things are more or less back on track now. And heck, with streaming music and video services as well as cloud storage providers, some are finding their storage capacity requirements have actually decreased.

But if for some bizarre reason you demand an overwhelming amount of onboard storage, Chinese motherboard maker Onda has you covered. The company’s B250 D32-D3 features a staggering 32 SATA ports (and yes, it looks just as ridiculous as it sounds) that are almost certainly driven by a third-party I/O controller.

The oddities don’t end there, however, as the socket LGA 1151 board doesn’t have a 24-pin power connector, instead opting to what appears to be a six-pin PCIe power connector. Other, more standard features, include a single PCIe x1 slot, two SO-DIMM slots and a USB 2.0 header; around back, you’ll find dual Ethernet ports, one HDMI port, four USB 3.0 ports and a VGA connector.

I’m drawing blanks as to any practical purposes for a motherboard of this nature but surely Onda has some specialty clients that’ll find it handy for around $465.

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Scshadow

TS Evangelist
I take it that you would put the hard drive right onto the sockets?
That sounds like a bad idea. There would be nothing to support the weight when the motherboard is upright mounted in a chassis. I imagine the power connectors is so you can run power through the motherboard rather then trying to find a power supply with that many individual power connectors.
 

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
I take it that you would put the hard drive right onto the sockets?
That sounds like a bad idea. There would be nothing to support the weight when the motherboard is upright mounted in a chassis. I imagine the power connectors is so you can run power through the motherboard rather then trying to find a power supply with that many individual power connectors.
Obviously this thing is designed for a equally unique chassis to be used as a back plane, the standoff holes are nothing standard and those PCIE power connectors won't simply connect through the back of the IO slots...

For the price it's not bad, just need to know the price of the one off chassis it goes with and if simply shorting a regular PSU with enough PCI connectors would get the job done to power the thing.

Did a quick search and found the chassis that supports this mobo.

https://www.chinahao.com/product/597426846701/
 
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neeyik

TS Guru
Staff member
The oddities don’t end there, however, as the socket LGA 1151 board doesn’t have a 24-pin power connector, instead opting to what appears to be a six-pin PCIe power connector
The lack of the 24 pin ATX connector is odd, for sure, but it's far easier to use multiple PCIe connectors to provide the necessary current to drive 32 SATA drives. Each one has two 12V lines, so it's just a case of using them to provide the 5V (required for SATA) and 3.3V supplies needed.

The company’s B250 D32-D3 features a staggering 32 SATA ports (and yes, it looks just as ridiculous as it sounds) that are almost certainly driven by a third-party I/O controller.
You can see from the motherboard traces that it's the chip under the passively cooled heatsink. Anybody fancy buying one to find out for us all? ;)
 

3volv3d

TS Addict
Holy sheet I want this.
64 TB of data... (if using standard mech hdd)
Id assume you would want a ton of light SSD's in this... but then why not 32 x m.2 slots ?
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
Holy sheet I want this.
64 TB of data... (if using standard mech hdd)
Id assume you would want a ton of light SSD's in this... but then why not 32 x m.2 slots ?
I'd expect that to be an option later down the track when SSD storage and price point reaches a better spot than atm otherwise you'd have such a tiny market to aim at.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I take it that you would put the hard drive right onto the sockets?
No, the sockets are male, the same as those on a mechanical HDD.

You'd need an adapter. Maybe SSDs (tiny form factor ones) with adapters but not spiny HDDs.
The function of the power socket on the board's connectors has to be reversed. In other words, it supplies power to the HDDs, instead of the normal way which receives power at the drive it self.

My best guess is that you need female to female jumpers, if you want to use any drive with this board. Although for a standard 2 1/2" form SSD, you might get away with a hard coupled female to female plug....(and then again, maybe not).
 
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flipp3r

TS Member
If you look at the motherboard you'll see it doesn't have standard mounts.
I'd say this is going into some type of nas chassis, probably with hotswap cages...
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I'm pretty sure those are female sockets on the mother board. Here is a link to a photo of a HD that has male sata connectors: https://images10.newegg.com/ProductImageCompressAll1280/22-236-873-05.jpg?w=1280&h=960
@stewi0001, I already edited my post to reflect that the board sockets.are female. (Actually, I edited them from female to male. I plead nolo contendre, my short term memory isn't what it used to be).

It's just that this new millennium's sexuality has become so ambiguous, I forgot what was what and who was who for a brief moment.

All I can say is, "go Pete Buttigieg, after Trump that's exactly what the US needs, is a male FLOTUS". Putin will really fear and respect us if that happens.

Actually, (IMO), this board would be useless for HDDs mounted directly. What it needs is SSDs, in an M (PCI-E) form factor, but with standard data and power connectors. at least for it to be self contained
 
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3volv3d

TS Addict
How do you figure only 64 TB of storage? The largest consumer HDDs are 16 TB. 16 * 32 = 512 TB.
I used to work in Data Storage, and while stuff changes, like seagate were great and now imo wouldn't touch them, I know that the bigger the disc the more platters the higher fall over rates, and 2tb was the sweet spot cause everything else was just dying a death.
Maybe they have improved since. But its all SSD's now anyways, and like I said why would you make this why not a shed ton of m.2 slots and have a very low profile system.
Still wondering if we can ever just have a modular pc. But even then I make a build thinking I am future proofing, and then when I need to upgrade a part, I build another pc.
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
How do you figure only 64 TB of storage? The largest consumer HDDs are 16 TB. 16 * 32 = 512 TB.
I used to work in Data Storage, and while stuff changes, like seagate were great and now imo wouldn't touch them, I know that the bigger the disc the more platters the higher fall over rates, and 2tb was the sweet spot cause everything else was just dying a death.
Maybe they have improved since. But its all SSD's now anyways, and like I said why would you make this why not a shed ton of m.2 slots and have a very low profile system.
Still wondering if we can ever just have a modular pc. But even then I make a build thinking I am future proofing, and then when I need to upgrade a part, I build another pc.
Blackblaze puts out hard drive failure rates yearly the sweet spot currently is 12tb the rarely fail the larger they get the more reliable they are becoming.