DDR to m.2

BaK

Master of Cramming
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May 17, 2016
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Hi guys

I have this old GA-Z77N ITX Gigabyte board laying around that I want to turn into an HTPC.
The case hosting it being 198x198x66mm only, I am looking for the smallest possible storage solution.
Unfortunately, there is no msata or m.2 port on this motherboard and the PCIe port is broken. : /

So while searching for some m.2 to SATA adapter, I have come across this: DDR to m.2 !


This has the advantage of not needing a mounting system which I find quite elegant.
This one above requires both a power and a data cable, while the following is getting power from the memory slot directly:


Getting rid of a cable is always nice so I am more interested in this one, but I would like to be sure I am not going to fry anything...
Has anybody already tried such a thing?



Bonus question, the adapter on the first pic above has two notches, one for a DDR3 slot and one for a DDR4.
On the other hand, the 2nd adapter has only one notch (DDR2 position I guess) but on its back we see "With DDR2/3 powered":




Does anyone see how this adapter could be compatible with the DDR3 slot of my motherboard?
 

BaK

Master of Cramming
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May 17, 2016
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I got it second hand from ebay and the seller did not find useful to protect the CPU socket before sending it, even with my recommendation about it... :mad:
This resulted in a couple of bent pins which I managed to put back in place somehow.
I was happy to see the board booting but no way to get a discrete GPU being detected. I tested 3 which work fine in other computers.
The seller told me the board was working 100% before shipping so this must come from the bent pins... but who knows?
 

Stevo_

Master of Cramming
Jul 2, 2015
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There are PCIE to M.2 SATA adapters also, where all you need from the PCIE is power looks similar, have used in older systems that can't boot an M.2 NVME from PCIE anyway like Z77s are unable to. That is only possible from Z97 and on IIRC.

 
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BaK

Master of Cramming
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May 17, 2016
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Thanks, could be an option too. As long as my PCIe slot manages to do it though...

There are PCIE to M.2 SATA adapters also, where all you need from the PCIE is power looks similar
That's actually my concern for the DDR slot also, how to be sure the power is of the right amount?

I guess I will soon find it out as I have finally ordered this one:


Not a black PCB but at least this one is no doubt made for a DDR3 slot!
 

Stevo_

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Jul 2, 2015
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I think either ddr3 or pcie will have sufficient power for any M.2 device you could put in there especially the pcie at 75w for full x16.
 

Kilrah

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 20, 2017
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I'd be very skeptical of the powered DDR mounts... I don't see how exactly they could power a 3.3V SSD from the 1.3ish a memory module is powered from without a DC-DC converter, which these obviously don't have.
There seems at least on DDR2 to be a supply for the identification EEPROM but what I see it could be anywhere from 1.7 to 5V and not designed for more than a few mA...

A legit company made one, and there it looks a lot more like what you'd expect.
 
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BaK

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May 17, 2016
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A legit company made one, and there it looks a lot more like what you'd expect.
Read that Guru article before, but no luck finding a place to buy this probably EOF Innodisk adapter.

I'd be very skeptical of the powered DDR mounts... I don't see how exactly they could power a 3.3V SSD from the 1.3ish a memory module is powered from without a DC-DC converter, which these obviously don't have.
That seems like a valid point. The m.2 pinout is indeed waiting for 3.3V (https://pinoutguide.com/HD/M.2_NGFF_connector_pinout.shtml)
As the thing has been ordered already I still feel like testing it. If that ends with my M.2 disk being undervolted, do I risk anything else than having it not being powered enough to be detected by the system?

If the DDR3 to m.2 happens to fail, I will have a look at the PCIe to m.2 adapter proposed by @Stevo_ , available here https://www.joybuy.com/653943788.html
Its specs look good:
Power supply: 3.3V from PCIe slot, suitable for M.2 SSD
Having it work on my defect PCIe slot is another question...
 

Stevo_

Master of Cramming
Jul 2, 2015
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I'd be very skeptical of the powered DDR mounts... I don't see how exactly they could power a 3.3V SSD from the 1.3ish a memory module is powered from without a DC-DC converter, which these obviously don't have.
There seems at least on DDR2 to be a supply for the identification EEPROM but what I see it could be anywhere from 1.7 to 5V and not designed for more than a few mA...

A legit company made one, and there it looks a lot more like what you'd expect.
There is a EEPROM supply which should be 3.3 but I don't think that'll will be stoutly supplied, but there's sufficient power just how they get the voltages is really
Read that Guru article before, but no luck finding a place to buy this probably EOF Innodisk adapter.


That seems like a valid point. The m.2 pinout is indeed waiting for 3.3V (https://pinoutguide.com/HD/M.2_NGFF_connector_pinout.shtml)
As the thing has been ordered already I still feel like testing it. If that ends with my M.2 disk being undervolted, do I risk anything else than having it not being powered enough to be detected by the system?

If the DDR3 to m.2 happens to fail, I will have a look at the PCIe to m.2 adapter proposed by @Stevo_ , available here https://www.joybuy.com/653943788.html
Its specs look good:
Power supply: 3.3V from PCIe slot, suitable for M.2 SSD
Having it work on my defect PCIe slot is another question...
Wow, didn't even notice that 2nd DDR M.2 adapter, only really looked at the first with the SATA power connector. Without some sort of boost DC-DC converter that seems shady to rely on the EEPROM supply.

You should be able to at least confirm the PCIE slot 3.3V pins at 9 &10 A/B supplies are there ahead of time while the system is booted. I've used the card in 2 systems now without issue. Z77 below and a fanless Asrock J5005 mobo.

 
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BaK

Master of Cramming
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May 17, 2016
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You should be able to at least confirm the PCIE slot 3.3V pins at 9 &10 A/B supplies are there ahead of time while the system is booted.
Not sure to get what you mean. There should be 3.3V at pins 9 & 10 ok, but then? A/B?

I've used the card in 2 systems now without issue. Z77 below and a fanless Asrock J5005 mobo.
Thanx for the pic!
Isn't the PCB a bit wobbly as there are no locking clips such as a DDR slot?
 

Stevo_

Master of Cramming
Jul 2, 2015
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Not sure to get what you mean. There should be 3.3V at pins 9 & 10 ok, but then? A/B?
By A/B I just meant the 2 sides of the board at that location. PCIE spec defines the 2 sides A/B instead of separate pin number, actually re-looking at that A9,A10 B8 are 3.3V, B10 is the 3.3Vsb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express

Thanx for the pic!
Isn't the PCB a bit wobbly as there are no locking clips such as a DDR slot?
Fit very snug IIRC and not a lot of weight there to move around, but it wouldn't matter in this case as that SATA connector at the top is almost right against the the cover. The Asrock J5005 only has an X1 connector and it's not an issue there either though same connector situation. The rubber band retainers for the heatsink disintegrate after a few months, the heatsink isn't even on there anymore as it fell off thermal oad just not sticky enough, doesn't get hot anyway. I'll probably put the whole thing up on ebay soon, no need or use for it anymore.
 
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