What is a 4-pin power bracket slot?

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by Senex, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Senex

    Senex New Member

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    I want to get a 2-port SATA to eSATA bracket, and there seems to be two sorts. Those with a 4-pin power bracket, and them without. Problem is Google is not telling me what exactly it is, so I don't know if I need it. Here's a link to one:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...ata_2-port_bracket-_-9SIA27C3GN9543-_-Product

    Can anyone give a short explanation of what it is and does, so I can decide whether to buy one with or without?
     
  2. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    I think they mean a legacy Molex connector. It looks like that's what it has right in the middle of the two ports. I have no idea why you'd need an external Molex. Maybe some early eSATA drives used them for extra power?
    By the way, that is only SATA II, not III.
     
  3. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    They used to sell these backplates with the eSATA to SATA adapter (eSATA on one end with a second line with a female molex, and SATA + SATA power on the other end.. or a single piece adapter that had both combined), but stopped to save some bucks, or because the clone guys didn't see the need for it. The idea though is that the backplate serves a dual purpose. If you have a self powered eSATA hub then all you need is an eSATA to eSATA cable. However, if you have the eSATA to SATA cable, then you'd have a cheap alternative method to hooking up your hard drive if you didn't want to open your case.
     
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  4. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    back in the old days when there were hybrid sata power and molex powered internal SATA drives being used..... it's mostly irrelevant now and with USB 3.0/3.1 (or 3 gen 1 and 3 gen 2)... esata has mostly disappeared from the market ... Hell i only ever sold one eSata drive as most were content with USB2.0 and specially now with usb 3.0.
     
  5. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    This is the weirdest thing I have seen in a long time.
    It looks like it is used to....it doesn't make any sense. It provides internal sata connection (inside the PC case) to connect ...what, an external drive to the internal drive? It doesn't compute. The power connector seems to provide a way to connect an external molex power to the bracket so that you then power an internal drive. Which while crazy it's been done before, but, why the esata connector too?
    UNLESS, they are not related. Perhaps this bracket provides power to an internal drive from an external power source (thus the external molex connector), and also provides esata connections to the PC. So that you can connect an esata external drive to the sata connections of the motherboard. One doesn't need the other.
    The same way that they used to (still do?) make cards which provided USB and say Modem. You didn't need one for the other, they were just bundled on the same bracket.
    I assume that's what it is.
     
  6. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Like I said, when they first started making that bracket they used to give you the following cable (not pictured is the molex to sata power cable which would attach to the right side of the sata power/data connector), or a variation of one:

    [​IMG]

    So, as I mentioned, if you had an eSATA hub or box, then you were fine. eSATA to eSATA. If you wanted a quick way to attach a hard drive without opening your case, then you could use the provided cable. I still have one somewhere.
     
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  7. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    So the bracket provides esata and power connection to external drives....yes that makes more sense. The problem is that from the photo of the product, it looks....weird?
     
  8. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    The biggest issue with the newer/clone plates is the molex connector: most use a female connector. Yes, it's flush with the plate, but it also means you have to use a custom power cable (ie. save money by not supplying it, and make money by forcing people to buy one.. can we say dirty?). The original backplate used a male connector, so you could use the standard molex to SATA power adapters that pretty much all motherboard manufacturers were throwing away with new motherboards.

    I know it's here somewhere. If I can find the PC that has the plate I'll post up a pic.
     
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  9. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Ok... i just pulled an entire package (backplate) out of my storage and tore it apart to show how this works:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Basically it's pretty simple... there are 2 sata connectors that run internally to either the physical SATA ports on the motherboard, OR if the motherboard has internal eSATA ports.. then you'd connect to those... then the 4 pin molex connector would connect directly to the PSU

    Then on the other side, you've got a 4 pin connector that is female (with male pins obviously)... along with the 2 eSATA ports.... to which the last picture shows a 4pin moxel to Y split eSATA/Sata power connectors plus the 2 normal looking SATA/eSATA data cables.

    Now if i still had my Seagate 750GB Pro freeagent drive which used eSATA.... i could show you have using either the supplied cable or the 6ft eSATA cable that i have on hand.... to plug into that powered eSATA drive (no power connection required to be ran from the computer).... however there were quite a few eSATA drives that required sata power to be ran to it as well which then would work. The nice thing about these plates is that it allows you to connect standard internal 3.5/2.5" sata drives "externally"... these brackets are very handy for those constantly testing hardrives and such since they just generally work fairly well, personally though i have less issues and my reliability using very short 8" sata connectors because the extra length can significantly degrade performance or introduce issues.


    Now this of course is the messier version... later interation molded the power and data cable together without weird 4 pin molex connect on the outside.... basically it's much akin to what you see in laptops where some of the laptops use a single header plug that provides power and data into a single round or flat cable that then is molded as one with a sata power/data all as one piece at the other end.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  10. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Wow.. haven't seen that one in a looong while. And yours has the female molex. Thing I always liked about that one is that the coverings on the adapter ports make the whole thing more ridged. The cheaper ones, the plate bends real easy when you insert/extract connectors from it.

    Now I really have to find the one I have.
     
  11. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    I've about 10 of these packages still laying around here, entirely useless nowadays
     
  12. Senex

    Senex New Member

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    So are you saying this is the sort of bracket for 'powered' eSATA. and the other sort of bracket is just for regular (non-powered) eSATA? I vaguely recall reading something about powered eSATA....is that something I could need?
     
  13. Senex

    Senex New Member

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    As I understand it (not much), these brackets are a way to get eSATA ports when the motherboard does not offer them. You hook up this bracket to two internal SATAs on the motherboard, then run the two external ports out the back (apparently via a PCI slot). As for the mysterious middle port, I think Judas would know better than me.
     
  14. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    You only need the one with the molex or for later version that provide power a sata power adapter if you have drives that require it.... Most modern eSATA external drives i've worked with have their own power brick that you need to plug into the wall and then it's just the single slim eSATA Data cable the plugs into the port. If you have eSATA drives that require power from the port itself, then you'd need the powered version.

    As i said, these brackets are handy for those whom work with INTERNAL drives without having to pull the case apart or those that don't have a hot swap external enclosure of some sort.
     
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  15. Senex

    Senex New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like I don't need powered eSATA, so I'll stick with the regular adapter.
     

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