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user00293
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Message 1 of 8

ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

Hello,

 

I have a P300 Thinkstation and a M93p Thinkcentre. The motherboards are nearly identical and have

 

1 x estata port (black) (printed under the connector "sata2  esata")

3 x sata ports (red)

 

User manual has  "SATA 3.0 connectors (4)"

 

black esata and red sata connectors other then their color appear to be the same

 

Are there any differences between the esata and sata ports on these motherboards?

 

I'm wondering if all the sata ports are version 3.0, the motherboard's black estata port is labeled ver. 2.0?

 

I have  external brackets (w/cables) that have two e-sata ports, I want to add to both pcs.

 

My HD enclosures with both USB and Esata, are old and most likely are USB 2.0 and esata 1.0 or 2.0.

 

Currently when connecting an external hd installed in the older enclosure via USB the transfer speeds are usually around 20 to 35 MBps, and have been slower between 2 and 8 MBps

 

So I would like to try estata connection to see if I'm able to increase transfer speed.

 

From what I've read so far online ESATAp would provide  12 or 5 volts power and the original specifcations for estata has  no power?

_______________

 

Off-topic question:

 

I noticed what appears to be a 49 pin connector near the edge of the motherboard in the same location as the esata and sata ports. What's this connector used for?

 

 

 

Lenovo Staff
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Message 2 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

Couple of odd things going on here.

 

P300 should have 4 x SATA (red) + 1 x eSATA (black).  You mention your board as 3 red SATA ports + 1 red eSATA.  Are you sure you're referencing the right system?

 

I was going to point you at the ThinkStation Tech Specs for P300 (found here).  This page calls out the SATA ports as 2 x gen2 and 2 x gen3, with the eSATA port being gen2.

 

This conflicts with what you're reporting from the user guide, so I went and checked my internal spec listing, and that listing seems to confirm that all 4 SATA ports are gen3 and the eSATA port is gen3 as well (which somewhat confirms the user guide info).  Typically we've used red SATA port color to indicate SATA3, so that also somewhat backs up the idea that the tech specs site is wrong.

 

So I'm tempted to believe there's a mistake in the tech specs on this and that everything might be gen3 on that board.  If I can get a P300 booting, I'll try to check out the ports.  Of course, if you already have everything in front of you, there should be no harm in hooking up your enclosure to the eSATA port and checking it out on your own as well.

 

On this particular board, I believe all 4 SATA and the eSATA port are routed off the AHCI side of the onboard Intel controller.  So there should be no difference between the ports other than the fact that the eSATA port gets configured as a removable device in the registry.

 

 

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user00293
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Message 3 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

Ok you're correct the P300 users manual shows 4 x sata and 1 x esata.

 

I was looking at the M93p which I thought was the same, however M93p only has 3 x sata and 1 x esata.

 

I was physically looking at the P300 motherboard however there are a bunch of cables, in the same area some are for sata while another is for a multi-media drive, plus other wiring and cabling. Also a Nvidia Quadrom K4000 video adapter. I didn't want to remove all the cables and video card to expose the sata ports.

 

The OEM sata cables have clip in plugs whereas the aftermarket esata  with plate and cable doesn't. When I plugged it into the mb's esata port it just slipped in and didn't snap or click in .. Very loose just sitting in the esata port without being secured.

 

P300 datasheet:

 

SATA(2) x SATA Connectors, Gen. 2 (AHCI)(2) x SATA Connectors, Gen. 3 (AHCI)(1) x eSATA Connector, Gen. 2 (eSATA bracket)
SATA RAID 0,1, supported natively via Intel Controller
eSATA(1) x eSATA Connector, Gen. 2, cabled to slot via bracket
 

SATA I (revision 1.x) interface, formally known as SATA 1.5Gb/s, is the first generation SATA interface running at 1.5 Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 150MB/s.

SATA II
(revision 2.x) interface, formally known as SATA 3Gb/s, is a second generation SATA interface running at 3.0 Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 300MB/s.

SATA III (revision 3.x) interface, formally known as SATA 6Gb/s, is a third generation SATA interface running at 6.0Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 600MB/s. This interface is backwards compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s interface.

SATA II specifications provide backward compatibility to function on SATA I ports. SATA III specifications provide backward compatibility to function on SATA I and SATA II ports. However, the maximum speed of the drive will be slower due to the lower speed limitations of the port.

 

Lenovo Staff
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Message 4 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

I was able to confirm the P300 board indeed has 4 x SATA3 (red ports) + 1 eSATA that is also SATA3. 

 

I'll work to get the tech specs site updated.  I'm suprised it's gone this long without that error being uncovered.

user00293
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Message 5 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

That was me,  I made the mistake about the number of sata ports.

 

I thought the P300's motherboard to be the same as the M93p as they appear nearly identical and I have both pcs and happened to have the M93p case open.

 

The M93p has 3 x sata ports and  1 x esata port, whereas the P300 has 4 x sata and 1 x esata.

 

I'm  unable to determine any differences between the sata and esata ports other than their color? The datasheet shows a "Gen 2" however the user manual lists sata as ver. 3.0.

 

SATA(2) x SATA Connectors, Gen. 2 (AHCI)(2) x SATA Connectors, Gen. 3 (AHCI)(1) x eSATA Connector, Gen. 2 (eSATA bracket)
SATA RAID 0,1, supported natively via Intel Controller
eSATA(1) x eSATA Connector, Gen. 2, cabled to slot via bracket

 

______

SATA revision 2.0 (3 Gbit/s, 300 MB/s, Serial ATA-300)

SATA revision 2.0 was released in April 2004

 

SATA revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s, 600 MB/s, Serial ATA-600)

The full 3.0 standard was released on May 27, 2009.

-----

 

 

 

 

 

Lenovo Staff
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Message 6 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

The info I listed above is correct regarding what gen/speed each port is.  The info you pasted from thinkstation-specs.com is wrong, and I'm working to get that updated.

 

The eSATA ports function just like normal SATA ports are are part of the same controller.  The main difference is that eSATA has slightly different registry settings to mark it as a removable device, unlike standard SATA ports which are marked as non-removable.  You still need to properly shut down the device within windows (from the taskbar) to safely remove it from the system.

user00293
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Message 7 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

So this means since the estata port has a different registry setting, one doesn't need to shut down windows to safely remove a sata drive connected to the esata port?

 

I've connected to the mb's esata an external esata port with bracket to the P300 and M93p and would like to be able to hot plug a sata drive without requiring a shutdown or reboot.

 

Another other option would be to use hot swappable sata drive enclosures. Years ago I use to mainly use SCSI  and SCSI SCA drives with enclosures.

Lenovo Staff
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Message 8 of 8

Re: ESATA and SATA ports on P300 Thinkstation and M93p Thinkcentre motherboards

Hotswap and removeable are not the same thing.  eSATA is removable...yes....you must take action within the OS to stop the device before removing it though.  Shutting down the OS is not required...you just need to stop the device within the OS via the taskbar.

 

Hot swap is something generally reserved for server usage (at least in terms of SATA).  That's not supported on ThinkStation.

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