Question External PCI-e for general usage (Not Graphics)

Nov 8, 2019

So i'm looking for a way to create an external PCI-e slot to my ASUS TUF Gaming PLUS desktop. The reason i need this is not related to graphics, what i want is to connect an audio interface to it, and i want it external and easily plugable so i can, in the future, use it in other PC systems i would adapt to the same system. What i want is to mount the PCI-e and the sound card to an external case and create this boxed device i can move here and there.

So far i have considered a few different approaches to it. First i was looking into those "Beast V8.5 EGPU" devices that plug into NGFF mini PCI-e interfaces of notebooks. The ASUS TUF has 2 M.2 interfaces that they claim can be used as SATA or Mini PCI-e so that could be the solution, since the HDMI cable seems a pretty decent and usable way to make things mobile. The problem here is that as though the ASUS website claims those M.2 are mini PCI-e, looking at pictures it doesn't seem that a NGFF will plug in right, take a look at it:

This is the egpu device i'm talking about, they're pretty popular, several videos on Youtube. Those are the options for mini PCI-e interfaces on the side:

This is the MOBO M.2 slot. Now, the dent seem a little off right? Well that's because theiy are M.2 NVMe as i found out :

Well the connectivity problem here seems to point to a hard NO on this one, but if anyone knows of an NVMe x HDMI cable that will link those two guys together, please say so!

I went forward looking for a different solution after that, and i found these PCI-e Riser systems that people use in crypto mining or something. They are a kind of PCI-e extensions over USB cables. Since USB also seems like a decent connection, i went on looking about it.

This is the piece, that extends the PCI-ex over USB:

It seems a good solution overall, although the first system will look more robust and reliable. But it actually interfaces through the PCI-e and i have plenty of those in the MOBO. However, i stumbled upon this post that made me a little scared:

Can the PCIE riser cards used for mining also work for other PCIE cards such as sound card?

Mr. @fang2015 says he tried this system for other appliances other than Graphic Cards and had lo luck. I wonder why is that since it seems counter intuitive to think a GPU, that gennerally requires a lot more, would work where the sound car wont. I did posted a reply to the thread, but it is 2 years old and i doubt the guy will remember what happened then.

Also tricky here is the matter of the Power Supply. Both systems provides PSU connection and it is easy to understand that, since they are primarily for GPU appliance, and those require dedicated power supply. But when we are talking about a sound card, for instance, many of them do not require dedicated power. In that case, should i provide the power or should i leave it unconnected? Will i burn stuff if i connect the PSU?

Any info you guys may have, and any comment whatsoever will be helpful so i can crack this puzzle, so please feel free, and thank you!
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