SilverStone has announced the ECS07 expansion card featuring five SATA III ports, perfect for homemade NAS systems or mini-ITX builds lacking in storage flexibility.
Measuring 24.8mm (W) x 10.3mm (H) x 80.5mm (D) and weighing 23g, the ECS07 offers five extra SATA connectors for those in need without taking valuable PCIe slots. This adapter uses an M.2 PCIe Gen 3 x2 NVMe interface and converts it to five SATA III 6Gbps ports with the aid of a JMicron JMB585 controller.
While SilverStone isn’t new to SATA expansion cards, this is its first attempt at one using an M.2 interface. The ECS07’s controller is cooled by a small black aluminium heatsink promising “great stability and heat dissipation,” though SilverStone may have missed a trick in not choosing a RAID-capable controller.
The ECS07 is plug and play, meaning no additional driver installation is necessary, and is also SATA specification revision 3.2 compliant, supporting plug-in detection and device sleep power management.
So, who needs such adapters? For starters, any big enough homemade NAS system that requires more SATA ports than typical motherboards can deliver, or those entry-level boards with limited SATA ports. Just keep in mind the absence of hardware RAID support.
Compatibility could be an issue on some motherboards whose M.2s are covered by multi-slot graphics cards, though 90° angled SATA cables ought to help alleviate any such complications.
How well performance holds up when multiple drives are engaged remains to be seen, but the ECS07 could be a useful option to some. Sadly, there’s no word on pricing just yet.