Radxa Penta SATA HAT adds up to five SATA drives to the Raspberry Pi 5 for NAS applications

The Radxa Penta SATA HAT leverages the PCIe interface on Raspberry Pi 5  SBC to add up to five 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA drives through four SATA connectors and an eSATA connector and enables NAS designs with the latest SBC from Raspberry Pi Limited.

The Radxa’s Penta SATA HAT was initially launched in 2019 as an accessory for the Rock Pi 4 SBC powered by a Rockchip RK3399 processor and an M.2 PCIe socket since Raspberry Pi competitors have been exposing PCIe interfaces for years. It turns out the exact same Penta SATA HAT design can be reused with the Raspberry Pi 5 by providing a new PCIe FPC cable and updating the configuration scripts.

Raspberry Pi 5 NAS HAT

Radxa Penta SATA HAT for Raspberry Pi 5 specifications:

  • 4x SATA interfaces + 1x eSATAp for up 100TB storage via 5x 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDD/SSD
  • Host Connection – Flat cable with 2-lane PCIe 2.1 via JMB585 PCIe to SATA controller
  • Storage Features – HDD suspend mode, software RAID 0/1/5
  • Misc
    • Optional PWM control fan for HDD heat dispatching
    • Optional OLED display for IP/Storage info
  • Power Supply
    • 1x USB Type C power input with USB PD support for both 2.5-inch HDD/SSD and the SBC
    • External standard ATX power supply support for 3.5-inch HDD

Radxa Penta SATA HAT board

Accessories are exactly the same, but Radxa had to design a new custom FPC cable to connect to the original Penta SATA HAT PCIe connector – shown on the left side in the photo above – and the Raspberry Pi FFC PCIe connector.

Radxa Penta SATA HAT for Raspberry Pi 5

The other change is the configuration method (up to PCIe Gen3) for Raspberry Pi OS which is explained on the Radxa documentation website. The HAT Wiki still points to the older install script for Radxa boards for now, but you should use the method in the first link for the Raspberry Pi 5 if that’s the board you are using. This solution should also you to create your own Raspberry Pi 5 NAS with the quad-bay 2.5-inch metal case or a 5-bay for 3.5-inch drives as shown below.

Raspberry Pi 5 NAS metal case
Metal case with 2.5-inch drives
Raspberry Pi 5 5 bay NAS
5-bay NAS with Penta SATA HAT and Radxa SBC

Radxa is working on opening stores on Aliexpress and Amazon to provide easier purchase methods to their customers, and they’ve listed the Penta SATA HAT for Raspberry Pi 5 on Amazon, but with no price for now. The Penta SATA HAT Pi 5 kit can still be purchased on Arace for $44.99 plus shipping.

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ROCK 5 ITX RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard

11 Replies to “Radxa Penta SATA HAT adds up to five SATA drives to the Raspberry Pi 5 for NAS applications”

  1. Some users requested just that fpc alone to upgrade from rock4 to pi5, but this is still not available.
    Also pi5 has only one pcie 2.0 lane, unofficially one 3.0 lane, jmb chip uses two 3.0 lanes.

    1. > Also pi5 has only one pcie 2.0 lane

      BCM2712 has six PCIe Gen3 lanes, four ‘wasted’ to access the RP1 chip, one available at that FPC connector and of course called ‘PCIe 2.0’ to avoid support hassles when PCIe link training fails completely or users suffer from interconnection problems at Gen3 speeds.

      1. So there’s a sixth lane just left wasted? The RP1 is connected by a 4x PCI-E v3.0? That a low of BW for such a meager peripherial.

        1. > So there’s a sixth lane just left wasted?

          According to bcm2712.dts yes. There’s also an own GbE MAC inside the SoC so maybe the CM5 will allow for 2 x Gigabit Ethernet and a 2nd user accessible PCIe lane?

          > The RP1 is connected by a 4x PCI-E v3.0?

          At Gen2 speed since RP1 can’t go higher. With ‘performance issues’ due to ASPM defaults.

          1. Well actually they are both of mine a 3 and a 4 are collecting dust here …

  2. Nice design but even with 5xHDDs, you can expect 500 Mo/s transfer speed, which would be limited to 120 Mo/s on gigabit ethernet. Goes directly in “drop in trash” for me.

    1. I would say not the speed is the goal but playing with nowadays obsolete raid levels and maybe expanding the storage by choosing cheaper but more drives. Definitely SBCs are not known for crazy bandwidth and unmatched speed.

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