Short PCIe card needed for confined space.


P

Peter Jason

I have a Gigabyte motherboard, and the space available at the top of
the PCI slots is very narrow, about 90mm (3.5").

Are there PCIe cards made so short so that I could fit one in; a USB
or firewire one would do.

Peter
 
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P

Paul

Peter said:
I have a Gigabyte motherboard, and the space available at the top of
the PCI slots is very narrow, about 90mm (3.5").

Are there PCIe cards made so short so that I could fit one in; a USB
or firewire one would do.

Peter
Using the Newegg search engine, and skimming through the resulting images,
you can spot "low profile" or "short" cards. This one has two Firewire 800
ports and one Firewire 400 port. For downloading camcorder video, you're
more likely to want a card with nothing but Firewire 400 ports. I'm not
sure if there are any issues with Firewire 800 - you'd likely need some adapter
cables to use the 800 ports as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158091

This one, is really tiny. This would be a low profile. It's all Firewire 400 (1394a).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815166018

For USB, modern motherboards can have as many as 14 ports of USB2 total.
Eight on the back panel. Three motherboard headers of the 2x5 type, which
host two USB2 ports each. To use those, you can get slot converters. For example,
this device bolts into a slot cover position, where an add-in card
would normally go. This brings four USB ports to your back panel.
The motherboard provides the ports, and you connect this to them,
to get external access. These come in retail motherboard boxes,
and may be a bit more difficult to buy at a store separately.
You want the cable shielding to come as close as possible,
to the pin header. Not a lot of bare wire should be showing.

"Quad USB Module"

http://us.estore.asus.com/index.php?l=product_images&p=2091

You can also get a 5.25" tray with I/O connectors on it, for the front
of the computer. Newegg has these filed under "controller panels".

"SST-FP32-S"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813999355

You have to double-check the wiring on those, before buying,
to make sure it's the right type. (That particular one is also
available in black, perhaps a part number like SST-FP32-B.)
There are no active chips on this - this connects to the appropriate
motherboard header(s). The picture here, seems to be telling us
to expect 1x4 connectors for USB (place two of those on a 2x5).
You could, for example, connect two 1x4's and one shield wire, to
a regular 2x5 motherboard header. The shield wires may help with
electrostatic discharge or EMI control. The shield wires may be
joined together in some common way, such that they don't all
need to be connected. This isn't really good, as the only
source of documentation. I'd much rather also see some
pictures of the cable ends.

SST-FP32-S

USB x 4
Firewire IEEE 1394 x 1
Audio x 1 (Azalia compatible)
Mic x 1 (Azalia compatible)

http://www.silverstonetek.com/downloads/pindefine.jpg

More pictures here, also cunningly awful. I take it the
four blue cables are USB, in which case it might have been
nice to connect all the shield wires.

http://www.sundialmicro.com/product_images_568.html

HTH,
Paul
 
C

choro

I would have thought it would be much simpler and cheaper to get a
larger tower case instead of getting low profile cards.

System would run cooler too in a decent case.
 
P

Paul

choro said:
I would have thought it would be much simpler and cheaper to get a
larger tower case instead of getting low profile cards.

System would run cooler too in a decent case.
I think the problem is it's one of those retail motherboards,
which has a fat Northbridge heatsink, and it gets in the way of
slot #1 on the motherboard. They put a PCI Express x1 slot for
slot #1, but you can't put a full length card, because the
heatsink gets in the way. Users are then stuck, looking for
a "short" card to fit in there. If you can find pictures
of the add-in cards, it doesn't take too long to find the
right one.

Paul
 
P

Peter Jason

Using the Newegg search engine, and skimming through the resulting images,
you can spot "low profile" or "short" cards. This one has two Firewire 800
ports and one Firewire 400 port. For downloading camcorder video, you're
more likely to want a card with nothing but Firewire 400 ports. I'm not
sure if there are any issues with Firewire 800 - you'd likely need some adapter
cables to use the 800 ports as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158091

This one, is really tiny. This would be a low profile. It's all Firewire 400 (1394a).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815166018

For USB, modern motherboards can have as many as 14 ports of USB2 total.
Eight on the back panel. Three motherboard headers of the 2x5 type, which
host two USB2 ports each. To use those, you can get slot converters. For example,
this device bolts into a slot cover position, where an add-in card
would normally go. This brings four USB ports to your back panel.
The motherboard provides the ports, and you connect this to them,
to get external access. These come in retail motherboard boxes,
and may be a bit more difficult to buy at a store separately.
You want the cable shielding to come as close as possible,
to the pin header. Not a lot of bare wire should be showing.

"Quad USB Module"

http://us.estore.asus.com/index.php?l=product_images&p=2091

You can also get a 5.25" tray with I/O connectors on it, for the front
of the computer. Newegg has these filed under "controller panels".

"SST-FP32-S"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813999355

You have to double-check the wiring on those, before buying,
to make sure it's the right type. (That particular one is also
available in black, perhaps a part number like SST-FP32-B.)
There are no active chips on this - this connects to the appropriate
motherboard header(s). The picture here, seems to be telling us
to expect 1x4 connectors for USB (place two of those on a 2x5).
You could, for example, connect two 1x4's and one shield wire, to
a regular 2x5 motherboard header. The shield wires may help with
electrostatic discharge or EMI control. The shield wires may be
joined together in some common way, such that they don't all
need to be connected. This isn't really good, as the only
source of documentation. I'd much rather also see some
pictures of the cable ends.

SST-FP32-S

USB x 4


Thanks for this detailed reply. As you point out below, my
motherboard (Gigabyte GA58AUD7) has a heatsnk at the top occupying
most of the space at the top where a PCIe card would go, and this is
why I need a short card. I'll go for a USB2 card, especially one with
internal USB sockets so I can connect some of the front-panel USB
sockets. My case is a very large LianLi and even so it is a wonder
how the space is used up with cables and the like. Another problem
is that the video card (Gigabyte GV-N480UD-15l/) actually covers up a
lower PCI8 slot which then becomes unusable. I am considering buying
a PCI extension cable to move the video card away from the motherboard
and so free up the now-covered slot. Vis:
http://webshop.schneider-consulting.it/bilder/produkte/normal/1816_1.jpg
though this will require some engineering.
Peter
 
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P

Paul

Peter said:
Thanks for this detailed reply. As you point out below, my
motherboard (Gigabyte GA58AUD7) has a heatsnk at the top occupying
most of the space at the top where a PCIe card would go, and this is
why I need a short card. I'll go for a USB2 card, especially one with
internal USB sockets so I can connect some of the front-panel USB
sockets. My case is a very large LianLi and even so it is a wonder
how the space is used up with cables and the like. Another problem
is that the video card (Gigabyte GV-N480UD-15l/) actually covers up a
lower PCI8 slot which then becomes unusable. I am considering buying
a PCI extension cable to move the video card away from the motherboard
and so free up the now-covered slot. Vis:
http://webshop.schneider-consulting.it/bilder/produkte/normal/1816_1.jpg
though this will require some engineering.
Peter
I still think you could pick up USB via the available motherboard headers.
It could be the two blue ones on the left. The white trimmed one with the
red core, could be the special "charger" USB connector. (I think the
charger one, may be PCB board revision sensitive. One version has it,
the other doesn't ?) In any case, the two blue ones could at least
give you four more ports, for the cost of cabling. If the Lian Li used
pin header cabling, then you could get four ports that way.

http://www.3stechnology.co.za/images/GA-X58A-UD7.jpg

If your Lian Li uses regular USB connectors, someone found this the
other day. It fits into a USB 2x5 header, but lacks good mechanical
support. (Use strain relief on your attached cables, like tie wrap
the USB cables to the drive rack, so this thing doesn't tip over.)
It gives a way to adapt the header type. It plugs into your USB 2x5
header, and makes regular connectors of it. You couldn't use two of these,
because these assemblies would be too close to one another.
Using one of these should be safe, for a total of two ports expansion.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815201028

Using a PCI extender assembly should work OK, as your PCI bus
on the motherboard likely isn't anywhere near the max length.
The problem with the concept, is mechanical mounting for the card.
You can also bridge from a PCI Express x1 connector, and make your
own PCI bus (there are bridge chips that convert PCI Express x1 to
32 bit PCI bus).

This company makes expansion chassis boxes.

http://www.magma.com/store/img/product_img/7slotB_xl.jpg

A card plugs into your computer, then a data cable runs over to
the expansion chassis, and a receiver card plugged into the
expansion chassis, completes the connection. One of the card
options, is a "short" PCI Express x1 card, with the data cable
connector on the faceplate. The boxes are ultra-expensive,
priced for business usage rather than home usage. So this
is another way to get yourself a PCI bus.

http://www.magma.com/store/catalog/pehifx1.gif

Paul
 
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