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Maximum number of supported SATA drives

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Maximum number of supported SATA drives

  • Hello,
    I recently purchased an XPS 400 and I'm interested in adding additional hard drives.  I see that the motherboard has 4 seven pin SATA connections, but the technical specifications say that only 2 SATA drives are supported. 
    I'm guessing that I am only able to install 1 additional hard drive without needing a PCI SATA controller card?  Is there a way to convert the other 2 SATA connections to accept additional hard drives?
    I found the information here:
    I have seen others that own XPS 600's that have up to 5 drives without adding a controller card.
    Thanks for your help!
  • The mother board supports 4 SATA devices, and 2 IDE devices.    Problem is the case only has room for 2 HD, and 2 CD drives.   I think there may be a third/and fourth slot available in the flexable 3 1/2 drive the spec referes to.   Not sure about power  connectors.  

    I did see once a connector to move the SATA ports to the outside to be to an external SATA HD encloser.   







    Message Edited by TomXPS on 01-26-2006 01:17 PM

  • So the motherboard will support 4 SATA hard drives if I could find somewhere to put them?
    I'm not trying to be rude, but I want to make sure before I start ordering a bunch of hard drives.  :smileyhappy:
    Thanks Again!
    EDIT ->  I also noticed that my system BIOS says that the link speed on my existing 160 GB HD is 3.0Gb/s.  So I should be looking for something like this:

    Message Edited by Spyderturbo007 on 01-26-2006 05:18 PM

    Message Edited by Spyderturbo007 on 01-26-2006 05:44 PM

  • Best to look at you documentation and look inside the case.   The Dimension or XPS are desktop so the number of hard drives they expect a user to have is limited.  It's not a Server.   With 500 GB drives you can get a lot of data on 2 HD. 

    Yes SATA drives are either 150 mbs (SATA 1) or 300 mbs (SATA 2)  not sure if there a much gain from SATA 1 to 2 since usually the 150 mbs speed is not even being hit as far as actual transfer rate.   But if I was buying drives and the cost was not much different I would certainly buy the SATA 2 version. 



  • There are four 3.5" bays in the XPS 400.  See this:
    There's only two SATA power hook ups - you'd need either IDE drives or adapter plugs or an SATA power splitter.  You could install 4 SATA drives easily that way.  You could also install an old IDE drive if you only have one CD rom easily enough.  Or more IDE drives with an IDE PCI adapter card.
  • Would the power supply in the XPS be able to handle the addition of 3 more SATA drives?
  • I'd think so, or they wouldn't leave all those bays in there. I ran 5 hard drives and a 16x DVD-DL burner on a 250W power supply without issue on my Dim. 8250...
  • Spyderturbo,

    The specs say 375W Power supply for the 400, you will be fine. Just watch your temp inside the case, CT, Phil1234 and others have posts on recommended temp limits for their XPS systems.

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