"ICH9 is Intel’s latest update to the southbridge, sporting six SATA ports with the ability to use port multipliers if motherboard vendors wish to. This is especially helpful if you want to run eSATA and internal SATA off the existing six ports. While southbridge SATA controllers have advanced, we can’t forget add-on cards. When you run out of ports on your board, it’s time to slap in an extra card with SATA, and one of the biggest players is HighPoint.
HighPoint has been on the front of the peripherals storage add-on for the last five years. HighPoint was rather slow to start adopting native SATA chips, but rather used its own IDE chips with PATA to SATA bridges. This was okay for generation one drives, but gen two drives supporting 3Gbps and NCQ simply won’t cut it on a bridge chip."