The DH67GD motherboard, among others, has an red internal eSATA connector which is described in the documentation as suitable for connecting to a front- or back-panel eSATA port. I assume it's also possible to connect this to an internal drive, but the Intel technical docs, which are fairly carefully written, don't explicitly state that this is OK. Before I shell out for this board, if anyone knows what the differences are between the red connector and its less eye-catching friends, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
According to Building the Perfect PC by Robert and Barbara Thompsom, "...we wondered exactly what the difference was between the red eSATA motherboard ports and the black standard SATA motherboard ports." "...we asked one of our technical contacts at Intel who explained it all to us. The only difference between the red eSATA motherboard connectors and the black standard SATA motherboard connectors is the signal level. The red connectors use a slightly higher signaling voltage to allow using the longer cables supported by the eSATA specification. The higher voltage on the red ports won't harm standard SATA devices, and eSATA devices work properly on the black ports if the cable lengths are kept short."
There is no distinction other than the connector. They use the same electronics and the same protocol. All of the internal ports are SATA ports. Two are 6Gb/s and three are 3Gb/s. The internal red SATA connector is provided for attachment to a front panel eSATA port and is colored red simply for reference. Most front panels come with a hard wired SATA cable. This cable could be plugged into any of the SATA ports and it would still make the front panel outlet an eSATA port. The rear panel red connector is also SATA (3Gb/s). What makes it eSATA is the connector. Nothing more.
I've never heard of the "higher voltage". The eSATA specification doesn't support that statement either. The cables are double shielded and the connectors have the pins deeper to lower EMI but the eSATA specification says nothing about higher voltages. If you wanted to fudge on the voltage, it would still have to remain within the specifications for drives. This spec is +/- 5%. This is normal fluctuations.
Hotswap is working fine with this board provided you upgrade the bios to 125 rev.
With Intel driver (and console) e-sata ports 4 and 5 are labelled "external" instead of "internal".
For internal use (hotswap rack) using either 0,1, or 2,3 ports is to be done in priority, it is possible but not necessary to use e-sata port #4 (the red one).
Microsoft AHCI driver alone works fine for hotswap (at least without RAID and I dont know about UEFI boot).
With Windows 7 x64, in these conditions, it is possible to install and remove Intel driver, going back to Microsoft driver, to compare.