SAS Expanders vs. SATA Multilane SAS Expanders vs. Port Multipliers SAS Expanders vs. SAS Enclosure without Expander
SAS Expander Comparison Chart

SAS Expanders vs. Port Multipliers

Technology Comparison
Price Comparison, Tower
Price Comparison, Rackmount

People look to SAS expanders and SATA port multipliers for convenient expansion, but in many cases they are not competing technologies. Port multipliers are mainly used for bulk storage when cost is the dominant consideration. SAS expanders also support a large number of drives, but they are suitable for more applications, due in part to the features of hardware SAS RAID controllers.

SAS Expanders

Port Multipliers

High-capacity enclosures only.


Broader range of capacities.

Can choose the latest & greatest controller cards with
Intel IOP348 1200MHz chip and 'hardware' RAID 6.


Typically not 'hardware' RAID.
No option for RAID 6.

Can use SAS or SATA hard drives.

Hard Drives

Can only use SATA hard drives.

1 external cable per expander
(typically = 12, 16 or 24 drives)


1 eSATA cable per multiplier chip
(4 or 5 drives per cable)


Enclosures already include
the SAS Expander module.



Enclosures already include
the Port Multiplier chip.


No cost savings vs. port multipliers.

compare for tower or rackmount


Low-cost controllers. Low-cost cables.
Pay for new enclosures only as needed.

compare for tower or rackmount

More speed via higher-performance controllers.


Used more for bulk storage space than speed.

If you need the performance and RAID 6 of the new
SAS controllers, expanders offer a flexible solution.


If you -KNOW- you will not be limited by
the performance it is a viable alternative.

SAS Expanders


Port Multpliers

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