External PCIe x16
Hello. We are using a Matrox Orion graphic card as an additional graphic card to our PC (used to receive 2 video inputs from another system). Currently we're using a big desktop simply because the smaller ones only have one PCIe x16 slot (and it's taken by the OEM graphic card). My problem is that I want to integrate this card into our slim MSI desktop instead of using the bigger case. MSI already told me that it is not possible to have another slot into this slim case, so I'm looking for other solutions.
What I'm interested in knowing is if there are external PCIe x16 slots that i can plug into this PC? And if so, how do they connect? Via hdmi? Is there a way to connect an external slot directly onto the motherboard somehow?
You didn't state the models of your PCs.
Do the slim cases have CPUs with integrated graphics, so you don't need the OEM graphics card?
If you need the OEM graphics card, then you need a solution that has multiple slots and uses a PCIe switch to connect the multiple downstream slots with the upstream slot in the desktop.
If x4 is ok, then you could use a card that contains multiple M.2 slots or U.2 connectors (Highpoint or Amfeltec or ...). Each one is PCIe 3.0x4. Then you can connect various adapters/cables to external PCIe slots.
If x1 is ok, then there are various bitcoin mining solutions that can add multiple x1 connections using simple USB 3.0 cables.
Many of these solutions don't come with required power supply or a case.
Thank you for your response and links!!
For these expansion systems (which look promising to my goal), how do these connect to a PC? What are these PCIe cables? Where exactly to they connect to?
@ofir_magen There are pictures at https://www.onestopsystems.com/pcie-expansion in the Cables, Kits, Cards, and Backplanes section. A host card goes in the PC. A target card goes in the backplane in the upstream slot. One or two cables connect the host and target cards. Your GPU and video input cards go in the backplane's downstream slots. The PCIe switch chip is on the backplane card and connects the downstream slots to the upstream target card. The host and target cards have PCIe redriver chips to transmit and receive the PCIe signals.
The Netstor NA255A comes with everything (cables, cards, backplane, power supply, case, fans - the rear picture shows a different connector than what you actually get - instead, look at the inside picture which shows the target card with two x8 connectors). The downstream slots are PCIe 3.0 x8. It uses two x8 cables to make a x16 connection. The cables are 1.5 meters long. Each x8 connector uses two thick cables, so there's 4 cables all together, two connectors each side.
The Netstor solution is a showstopper for me based on the size. I already have a big PC case that holds the Matrox card, and my goal is to not use this PC but use that slim MSI one. These are its specs btw: https://www.msi.com/Desktop/Trident-X-Plus-9th/Specification
Regarding your first paragraph, I apologize, but I don't understand it so much. Can you help me choose the right cables/cards?
I saw a bunch of solutions online (expansion chassis like this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1378953-REG/xcellon_ect3_pcie_tbt3_expansion_box_for.html/specs ) but I don't have a Thundebolt 3 port so I don't think it'll work.
Do you still think I can somehow make this work? IE connect the Matrox to something external to the PC? Money (for now) is not an issue as I'm trying to get a prototype working.
computer: contains CPU and PCIe slots.
host card: A PCIe card that goes into a PCIe slot of the computer.
target card: A PCIe card that goes into a PCIe slot of a backplane.
PCIe cable: super thick cable with super big connectors, plugs into host card at one end and target card at the other.
backplane: contains a PCIe slot for target card; contains PCIe slots for other cards.
Netstor NA255A: contains backplane, power supply, x16 target card. Includes PCIe cables. The backplane has 4 slots available slots.
Netstor NA211A-G3: similar to NA255a except target card is only x4 and backplane has only 3 available slots. Might not be large enough or have enough power for a GPU. It does have 2 eight pin connectors so maybe it's enough. Check the specs of your GPU and compare with the dimensions of the NA211A.
Netstor NA221A-G3: similar to NA211A-G3 except contains only one slot. Not sure this one is useful - maybe for portability of a single card, or allows using a full height card if your computer only supports low profile cards.
Thunderbolt is not an option for you because the computer's firmware probably won't support a Thunderbolt add-in card (like the GC-TITAN RIDGE). I guess you could try. The Thunderbolt devices might work but wouldn't support hot plug or sleep.
Your computer has integrated graphics (9900K CPU and DisplayPort 1.2 output), so you could remove the GPU and just use that slot for the video input card - if you don't need the GPU for video rendering.
Your computer has two M.2 slots. Are they being used? Can both be used at the same time? Check the user manual. Maybe one of them can be converted to a PCIe slot with an adapter. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of room inside. You might need to drill some holes.