I am wanting to stop using the onboard LSI controller on my X8DTL-3F since it can only handle up to 2TB. What SAS controller cards would you recommend as a replacement? I am wanting to support 8TB drives. I am running Unraid as the server OS.
You have a few options, but they are all based on the LSI SAS2008 chipset. I’d look for one of the following models, the 9200-8i, 9201-8i, 9210-8i, or the 9211-8i, and get whichever card you can find cheapest. This chipset is the workhorse of SAS controllers - it gets the job done without a ton of extra fancy features that you don’t need. The only difference between models that you would need to be concerned with is the location of the SAS ports. The 92x0-8i has ports on the top of the card, where the 92x1-8i has the ports on the rear of the card. Since you’re replacing an onboard controller, the rear ports are probably your best bet without replacing your existing cables. When you get the card, you will need to flash it with the IT mode firmware to make it work properly with unraid. The process is quite easy and should only take about 5 minutes to complete. Here’s a video walkthrough on the flashing procedure: https://www.serverbuilds.net/flashing-add-in-sas