I have a mirco ATX mobo

I have a mirco ATX mobo & space is a real issue(video card is too big).

So I am wondering if I can safely move my video card via a pci x 16 riser ribbon.

I haven't used them before and wondered is any here has?

Not sure about where to get them and do I need a powered one or not?

Any help would be muchly appreciated

Mobo: MSI FM2-A55M-E33
GPU: Radeon R9 200
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
While I still think a new motherboard is your best choice;  it's certainly true that if you're going to use a PCIe extension cable it makes a lot more sense to use an x1 cable for the USB3 card you want to use than an x16 extension for the video card.

If you want to go this route, buy an x1 extension cable [e.g. http://www.frozencpu.com/products/20748/cab-1903/PCI-Express_PCI-E_x1_Extension_Cable_Riser_-_7.html?gclid=CI6boJey5rwCFShk7AodTnEABA ]  and some left-angle connectors as I suggested earlier for the SATA ports.

Note that the angled SATA cables suggested above (by kode99) will NOT work, as the keys are in the wrong place [Unless you just want to use 2 of the 4 ports].    But the left-angled connectors I noted earlier will work fine -- you can use all 4 ports with those.
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
Hey mate,

You can use a riser cable or change the case you have, the bitfenix prodigy can take a full length card.


That's the cable you need to use, I've used them before and they are very good.


Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
It looks like the issue isn't your motherboard, but your case, or possibly the location of the SATA connections.   The motherboard shouldn't have a problem with the video card -- it will keep you from using the PCIe x1 slot next to the x16 slot; but otherwise it should work fine.

If your problem is the depth of the case, you should just get a new case that will accommodate the length of the video card.

If it's the SATA cables, you simply need to get angled connectors.   It looks like you'll need left-hand cables, which you can get here:  http://www.cpustuff.com/left-angle-to-straight-sata-cable/
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i have a micro ATX build at home that i use for gaming

i would recommend that you change your case to something like the above mentioned Bitfenix prodigy or even a mirco atx case like the corsair 540 air which is a  cube shape case that is big enough to expand to bigger components but its cube shape makes it very space efficient.

i personally have the 540 air from corsair and i must say its the best case i have owned.
Its cooling specs are also very good out of the box.

a usual problem with small factor cases is that they get very hot which over a long period of time isnt ideal for your components.

what case do you currently have ?
Risers work fine .  You can get short cables for less than the 3M cable alexgreen312 linked (which are really good cables btw, easier to work with than a single wide ribbon cable).  

This one is 100 mm or ~ 4 inches and is a x16 to x16,


There are also quite a few amazon listing.  You really need to make sure the connections are solid.  If a cable comes lose while powered up it can damage things.  So be careful as most of these do not lock into the slots.

If you are connecting a x16 card to a x16 port with a riser it does not need to be a powered riser.  It won't hurt but it is not necessary.

The powered risers needed if you are connecting a card through the riser that would not normally work in that port.  A x1 interface may only give 10 watts max,  but if you used a riser with a x4, x8or x16 card it could try and draw 25 watts which is what a port for those cards would normally allow.

I do think you would be better served by a case that can accommodate the card properly.
citrineAuthor Commented:
Hi, I sould have explained clearer, the Video card is so big that it covers the SATA connectors and the PCI Express slot, the case isnt the issue.
I have a Thermaltake commander ms-III mid tower
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
That's what I expected -- you simply need to buy left-angled SATA connectors and plug them in before you mount the video card.

Any dual-slot card is going to cover the slot next to the one you use for the card.   If you need an additional PCIe x1 slot, then you'll have to either use a different motherboard or mount the card with a riser cable -- although I don't consider that a good option, as positioning the card can be a real hassle.

What other cards are you planning to install besides the video card?
citrineAuthor Commented:
USB 3 & use of those hidden SATA connectors
The case has ample room to accommodate the Video card sitting off the mobo.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Note that if you use a moderately long PCI riser cable it will reduce the signaling performance on the x16 bus.    Not a lot ... but I presume you bought that high-end video card for max performance, so it may be something you want to consider.

A better solution is to simply upgrade your motherboard to one that has (a) USB v3;  (b) SATA connectors that won't be blocked by a large video card;  (c) an available PCIe x1 slot even if one is blocked; etc.

Here's one that supports your CPU socket (FM2) for $79.49 that meets all of those criteria -- PLUS has a 2nd x16 slot at the end of the board that would let you use your video card without blocking anything :-)

I was kinda surprised the 3M cable linked was 20 inches long,  I did not think it was possible to run one that long.  I've only used short ones,  no more than 6 inches.

If it is just for the USB3 and sata you can get not only 90 degree angled Sata cables but slim ones that are specifically for this problem.


Instead of using the riser for the video card,  get one for the other port to hook up the USB.  Far less likely to have issues,  but also you just need to move it over a bit and you can mount the card in a spare slot just past the end of the motherboard.  It would require a shorter PCI extension cable.  Mounting the USB card anywhere else is a lot less trouble than the big video card as well.


If you look at how this riser 90 degree's right off the top of the slot and does not come out vertical.  You probably need about a 6 mm or 1/4 inch above the pci slot to fit it.  

Take a look at the clearance on the video card,  and if it is too tight look at the housing on the card,  might be able to mod it slightly to get the fit.  

It all starts adding up for parts plus a USB card (if you dont have it now).   A new motherboard with onboard USB 3 looks pretty good to me as well.

At least the case has the room for any option.
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
Sorry but long PCI-E risers don't cause issues,

The ones I linked are used by this build

The key is 'good risers',  the $10 riser vs the $80-90 riser.  There is a difference.

In the article it actually mentions crosstalk issues with the cheap risers that were tried first.

The 4 inch riser I linked at Logic Supply also recommends not running more than 15 watts through it and that operating at high temperatures may cause problems.
citrineAuthor Commented:
I got a new mobo.
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