m.2 -> pcie x4 -> pcie x16 power for sff stx build?

sffwjd20

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
3
0
Hello all, I just made an account just to ask this q here. So you may know of the STX 160 build that that guy made that has a whole gaming rig in the size of a PSU? I want to make something similar in size to that using an STX motherboard. STX needs an adapter from ultra m.2 to PCI in order to use a GPU. My problem is the powered m.2 to PCIe x4 adapter recommended by the dude that made the STX 160 is 125USD, which is absurd. I scoured the internet for a cheaper deal, but not one site besides Bplus' own site had them in stock. So I found a similar powered m.2 to x4 adapter on eBay for about 15USD, but it doesn't support an x16 extension to be plugged directly into it like the expensive one does. So I am forced to use a PCIe x4 to x16 adapter/extension. The only x4 to x16 adapter I can find is also a powered riser for about 20USD. Therefore I would have 2 powered adapters. So my question is this: would this configuration even work? If both of the risers are powered at the same time, would it send DOUBLE the power or just explode? Planning to use a GTX 1050ti, so no PCI power will be provided from that either.

Links to my planned parts:
(already have a g4560, cooler)
wifi card: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MV3N7UO/?tag=theminutiae-20
antennas (or antennae?): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MJU6X5U/?tag=theminutiae-20
motherboard: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...&cm_re=stx_motherboard-_-13-157-723-_-Product
hdplex 160w (160w ac-dc combo): http://www.hd-plex.com/HDPLEX-160W-DC-ATX-Power-Supply-16V-24V-Wide-Range-Voltage-Input.html
m.2 to PCIe x4 powered adapter: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/192015871521?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
PCIe x4 to PCIe x16 powered adapter: https://www.moddiy.com/products/PCI%2dExpress-PCI%2dE-4X-to-16X-Riser-Card-Flexible-Ribbon-Extender-Cable-w{47}Molex-%2b-Solid-Capacitor-(30cm).html?gclid=CjwKEAjw8ZzHBRCUwrrV59XinXUSJADSTE5kSCjZwOvqARKaY2VYYWtORbduh7IS5EuKiPdK8xKyVxoCjczw_wcB
GPU, Ram, and SSD: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/RdzKRG

Also a link to the build that inspired me, the STX 160: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/stx160-0-the-most-powerful-atx-unit-in-the-world.934/

Also I just realized the hdplex 160w doesn't have any molex cables, so could I just use some sata to molex adapters? Thanks
 

Arboreal

King of Cable Management
Silver Supporter
Oct 11, 2015
668
698
Hello all, I just made an account just to ask this q here. So you may know of the STX 160 build that that guy made that has a whole gaming rig in the size of a PSU? I want to make something similar in size to that using an STX motherboard. STX needs an adapter from ultra m.2 to PCI in order to use a GPU. My problem is the powered m.2 to PCIe x4 adapter recommended by the dude that made the STX 160 is 125USD, which is absurd. I scoured the internet for a cheaper deal, but not one site besides Bplus' own site had them in stock. So I found a similar powered m.2 to x4 adapter on eBay for about 15USD, but it doesn't support an x16 extension to be plugged directly into it like the expensive one does. So I am forced to use a PCIe x4 to x16 adapter/extension. The only x4 to x16 adapter I can find is also a powered riser for about 20USD. Therefore I would have 2 powered adapters. So my question is this: would this configuration even work? If both of the risers are powered at the same time, would it send DOUBLE the power or just explode? Planning to use a GTX 1050ti, so no PCI power will be provided from that either.

<SNIP>

Also I just realized the hdplex 160w doesn't have any molex cables, so could I just use some sata to molex adapters? Thanks

If you have time to read @Aibohphobia 's STX 160 thread again in full, James has crammed a massive amount of information relating to that build and how to make a custom case in general - a real labour of love!

With regard to the M.2 riser adaptor that you have 2 options IMHO.
As the PCI-E x4 socket isn't open ended, you could, with care remove the plastic at the rear - it's been done before.
People either use a very sharp blade or a saw to open up the rear.
At least with this set up, you only mess up $15 of kit; unlike doing this operation on a slot on a full motherboard :eek:

If you use a PCI-E x4 to x16 adaptor as suggested, be aware of how much room it will take up in the very small proposed space.
On the power front, I would I say that only one riser needs a power supply. If it were me, I'd 'inject' the power as near to the card as possible. i.e. wire in the x4 to x16 adaptor, so that the power goes straight to the card.
There has been a fair amount of experimentation with risers, and some have found that cheap ones don't work fully, so could be a false economy.
With the double riser there, you've spent $35, which is a saving compared to the 'painful' $125, but not if it doesn't work.

This kind of modding is pushing the kit beyond what it was designed for, so you need to do it carefully with the right kit, which may be more expensive than you'd like.

I'm looking at internal AC-DC + DC-DC options to potentially save space over an SFX PSU, and can see that it could become a money pit compared to my modest PC modding budget.

Good luck with your project, SFF adventures are fun and frustrating :cool:
 

Aibohphobia

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,962
4,757
You would only want to power either the adapter, or the riser, but no point doing both.

It'll be hard to tell, but you'll also want to be sure that whichever point you add the power, it can handle 75W for the 1050 Ti.
 

sffwjd20

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
3
0
If you have time to read @Aibohphobia 's STX 160 thread again in full, James has crammed a massive amount of information relating to that build and how to make a custom case in general - a real labour of love!

With regard to the M.2 riser adaptor that you have 2 options IMHO.
As the PCI-E x4 socket isn't open ended, you could, with care remove the plastic at the rear - it's been done before.
People either use a very sharp blade or a saw to open up the rear.
At least with this set up, you only mess up $15 of kit; unlike doing this operation on a slot on a full motherboard :eek:

If you use a PCI-E x4 to x16 adaptor as suggested, be aware of how much room it will take up in the very small proposed space.
On the power front, I would I say that only one riser needs a power supply. If it were me, I'd 'inject' the power as near to the card as possible. i.e. wire in the x4 to x16 adaptor, so that the power goes straight to the card.
There has been a fair amount of experimentation with risers, and some have found that cheap ones don't work fully, so could be a false economy.
With the double riser there, you've spent $35, which is a saving compared to the 'painful' $125, but not if it doesn't work.

This kind of modding is pushing the kit beyond what it was designed for, so you need to do it carefully with the right kit, which may be more expensive than you'd like.

I'm looking at internal AC-DC + DC-DC options to potentially save space over an SFX PSU, and can see that it could become a money pit compared to my modest PC modding budget.

Good luck with your project, SFF adventures are fun and frustrating :cool:

Ok, I think I'm going to try my 35$ idea first, but if that doesn't work I will try to cut the end to make it open ended. If all else fails I'll just buy the 125$ one. I'll keep you guys updated