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Using PCI-Express Riser Cables


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So, I said I'd post this and it's certainly nothing pronominal but let's talk about tech. :)  A PCI-E riser cable is basically just that, it's an extension cable for your PCI-E slot and they have different applications.  Some cases use them because they mount the GPU or other expansion card away from the CPU.  In some rack cases there are mountings for expansion cards that would require such a cable to fit, since to use the 'T' intersection that an expansion card and a motherboard make would result in something too large to fit in a case.  In my situation however, I'll be using it to access the 1x PCI-E slots that a graphics card cooler blocks.  I got mine on eBay for $3.82 USD, shipping included, because eBay is my dollar store.



The server, you can't even see the 1x PCI-E slots because the Radeon HD 6950 and it's aftermarket cooler occupy all three slots on the mATX mothereboard.  In a lot of this situations this would render the 1x slots unusable.  This however is a storage server so I kinda need those to attach more SATA controller cards.  There is some clearance but obviously no expansion card will fit in there.  So we apply our riser cable to act as an 'extension' to the slot and allowing us to mount the SATA card below the motherboard.



And bam!  There we have it, our four port SATAIII controller is installed but its below the motherboard.  It's connected and is fully detected by the OS without any special effort needed.  This is only one controller but now that it's worked, I've ordered a second one so I can add another controller in the last free PCI-e slot.

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