A few personal hardware recommendations and lessons learned.

Some categories may also include a “do not buy” section for things to stay away from.

USB 3.0 expansion cards


Don’t by anything with a VIA host controller. Especially cheap chinese expansion cards with a VL805. They are notoriously bad and cause to weird problems like machines waking up from suspend randomly, PCI bus hard freezes (read: total system failure) and general throughput and disconnection issues. Hub chips like the VL812 are fine in USB hubs though.

Fresco Logic FL1100EX

A newer and good working USB 3.0 host controller chip.

Supports the full 5Gbit SS host controller bandwidth. No problems with various high bandwith cameras (esp. with Oculus CV1 hardware, which is extremely picky). Suspends fine, no electrical issues, uses MTT and has native support on both Linux and Windoze.

Known cards with this chip:

  • Inateck KTU3FR-4P
  • Inateck KTU3FR-5021
  • Inateck KT4006

Molex-to-SATA adapters

Fire hazard

This is not overexaggerated! The molded versions of these adapters are known to cause fires! Make sure to only use the crimped version of SATA power connectors.

“Molex-to-SATA, lose all your data."

The molded SATA connectors all have a common flaw: Over time heat builds up and the connectors inside the deteriorating lastic begin to move closer together, causing microcurrents to flow between the wires eventually causing a short. As the 12V and 5V rails are not low ampere fuse protected the short builds up and causes more material deterioration until enough power is heating up the whole surrounding area.

SATA burn SATA burn SATA burn

When buying these kinds of adapters make sure you buy the metal crimped variation of it which don’t cause these issues:

SATA molded vs. crimped