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I have seen examples of home-brew NAS units that use SAS expanders plugged into a host motherboard that has neither a CPU or memory, literally for the purpose of powering the card. If the card doesn't need the PCIe slot, why are they all designed to consume one? HighPoint make a SAS expander that uses a floppy frive power connector and the SCSI bracked mount, though I'm learning it is proprietary in the communication so unsultable for my needs.

Some example cards with internal/external ports. Interstingly the second card seems to have no pin contacts at all for the slot shape, how it is powered is ambiguous:

enter image description here enter image description here

Would this board be effective at powering such cards? Would there be any missing features or functions?

PCIe power board

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A PCIe card is a convenient form factor for a SAS expander. Most often, the number of internal ports is insufficient and it's easily expanded internally.

Would this board be effective at powering such a card?

Possibly. You're not providing details to that card nor a link to its datasheet.

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  • On the 'Possibly'. I gather from this answer that there is no general answer, compatibility will be a function of a number of more detailed factors. I was hoping that an expander going from card mounted internal ports to card mounted external points would only be using the PCIe port for power - in which case power supply capacity is the key question. I will add an example card to the question. – J Collins Feb 24 at 12:57
  • The picture isn't enough to judge. You'd need to look at or provide the datasheet, manual or something else to see if that use is possible. Yes, an expander uses only power from the slot, so if that adapter provides power by itself you're good. The power supply capacity would only be an issue with a very slim PSU - I'm sure an expander draws below 15 W. There are expanders in different form factors as well, so it might be simpler to use something different. – Zac67 Feb 24 at 13:10
  • I am asking as the only card I've found not in the PCIe form factor is one using the proprietary HighPoint communications. Can you recommend any? Also if you need the datasheet, I would ask what characteristic you are looking for. – J Collins Feb 24 at 13:12

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