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

SAS Expanders vs. SATA Multilane

Technology Comparison
Price Comparison, Tower
Price Comparison, Rackmount

Most people who need fast hardware RAID are choosing the newer SAS controllers over their older SATA counterparts. The enclosures that accompany the SAS controllers are still a mix of SATA multilane, SAS Expanders and SAS (without expanders).

SAS Expanders

SATA Multilane

High-capacity external enclosures.
16-bay 3U rackmount, 15-bay tower.
12-bay 2U, 24-bay 4U rackmounts.


The broadest range of capacities.

SAS Controllers, expander enabled.
Requires a single external connector.


SAS or SATA controllers.
Require more connectors for more drives.

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 external cable per 4 drives
(4 for a 16-bay enclosure)



Yes, for internal connectors
(if no internal/external cable)


Cost more per enclosure.
Partially offset by less cost for cables & adapters.
Future enclosures will not require another controller.

compare the cost for tower or rackmount


Definitely costs less if you need fewer drives.
The cost gap narrows as you add more drives.

compare the cost for tower or rackmount

SAS Controllers (which work with SATA drives)
have faster hardware than SATA-only controllers.


You can use SAS Controllers with your SATA setup,
but you lose some of the flexibility of SAS (expanders)

SAS Expanders cost a little more, but
are strong in both speed & flexibility.


SATA Multilane can be sufficient if you know
you won't need more capacity with expanders.

SAS Expanders


SATA Multilane

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