Question Options for connecting a USB-C port when motherboard has none

Jul 27, 2021
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I'm assembling a build for a friend, which sadly already bought the parts without consulting someone first, and cannot return any parts (especially the motherboard which would be the easiest fix for this problem). The motherboard (ASUS ROG B550-F GAMING WIFI) has 2 USB2.0 headers and 1 USB3.0 header; the case (Phanteks Eclipse P500A) has 2 USB3.0 ports and 1 USB-C port. The motherboard has no connection for this USB-C port, and my friend was counting on it.

Returning any parts is out of the question; all he can do now is buy more things. What options are available? Here's what I've been investigating:

  • A PCI or M.2 card that can provide an internal USB-C connection; seems to me the most viable option right now
  • A USB3.0 header Y splitter; just found out about it, and were it possible, I can get a USB3.0 header to USB-C converter; however, isn't this complete bu****it? The header supports 2 USB3.0 devices AFAIK, this can be split without any issues? Sounds sketchy to me
  • Any way to use those 2 spare USB2.0 headers? Couldn't find any sort of adapter for that
Are there any other options available? Thank you for your time :giggle:
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm assembling a build for a friend, which sadly already bought the parts without consulting someone first, and cannot return any parts (especially the motherboard which would be the easiest fix for this problem). The motherboard (ASUS ROG B550-F GAMING WIFI) has 2 USB2.0 headers and 1 USB3.0 header; the case (Phanteks Eclipse P500A) has 2 USB3.0 ports and 1 USB-C port. The motherboard has no connection for this USB-C port, and my friend was counting on it.

Returning any parts is out of the question; all he can do now is buy more things. What options are available? Here's what I've been investigating:

  • A PCI or M.2 card that can provide an internal USB-C connection; seems to me the most viable option right now
  • A USB3.0 header Y splitter; just found out about it, and were it possible, I can get a USB3.0 header to USB-C converter; however, isn't this complete bu****it? The header supports 2 USB3.0 devices AFAIK, this can be split without any issues? Sounds sketchy to me
  • Any way to use those 2 spare USB2.0 headers? Couldn't find any sort of adapter for that
Are there any other options available? Thank you for your time :giggle:
The specs for that motherboard say that there is an internal USB 3.2 header -- https://rog.asus.com/us/motherboards/rog-strix/rog-strix-b550-f-gaming-wi-fi-model/spec
I can't find a manual for the case, so I can't see what kind of connector the case has to feed the type C port.
 
The specs for that motherboard say that there is an internal USB 3.2 header -- https://rog.asus.com/us/motherboards/rog-strix/rog-strix-b550-f-gaming-wi-fi-model/spec
I can't find a manual for the case, so I can't see what kind of connector the case has to feed the type C port.
That linked spec page states:

Front USB Port ( Total 6 )​
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s)(1 x Type-A +1 x USB Type-C®)​
Rear USB Port ( Total 8 )​
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)(4 x Type-A)​
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)​
2 x USB 2.0 port(s)​
4 x USB 2.0 port(s)​

That's exactly opposite what I see on the Newegg site images, that are pretty high res, and shows one Ty-C on back plate but nothing I can find of a Ty-C header on the board surface to connect a front panel connector to.

Are there two versions of that board?

Found PDF of the manual. Page 2-10 shows one connection point for a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (which would be Ty A ports) and USB 2.0.

I'm interested because I'd also like to know if there are any add-in cards that can service a front panel Ty-C port. Have been searching and only found ones with the port on the I/O plate.
 
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kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
That linked spec page states:

Front USB Port ( Total 6 )​
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s)(1 x Type-A +1 x USB Type-C®)​
Rear USB Port ( Total 8 )​
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)(4 x Type-A)​
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)​
2 x USB 2.0 port(s)​
4 x USB 2.0 port(s)​

That's exactly opposite what I see on the Newegg site images, that are pretty high res, and shows one Ty-C on back plate but nothing I can find of a Ty-C header on the board surface to connect a front panel connector to.

Are there two versions of that board?
Yeah there is some disagreement. I looked at the motherboard manual. It has a USB 3.2 header ( #8 ) at the front edge of the motherboard. I couldnt find a manual for the case.
Type C is just the form factor of the connector. The motherboard header is a standard USB3 header.
 
Yeah there is some disagreement. I looked at the motherboard manual. It has a USB 3.2 header ( #8 ) at the front edge of the motherboard. I couldnt find a manual for the case.
Type C is just the form factor of the connector. The motherboard header is a standard USB3 header.
All the ones I've seen are a different header...it would be something this can connect to.

I think USB 3.2 gen2 Ty-C should be capable of carrying much higher power...upwards of 100W, enough to blow up Gen 1 ports if you naively plug in such a hungry device. That may be why the different motherboard interface.

Gordon just put up an interesting article on USB Ty A to Ty C cables and why some just don't charge at the high rate you want on tablets and bigger devices.

And I found the manual, see link above.
 
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kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
All the ones I've seen are a different header. And I found the manual, see link above.
The motherboard manual is easily accessible. The case does not have a manual on the Phanteks website.
USB 3.2 and type c form factor connector are independent. 3.2 can be connected to a type C connector -- https://www.onlogic.com/company/io-hub/usb-type-c-and-usb-3-1-explained/
It won't be the highest possible USB speed but it should provide connectivity. It will depend on the connector the case supplies compared to the USB 3.2 header on the motherboard. It will depend on what features of type C was being "counted on" ...
 
The motherboard manual is easily accessible. The case does not have a manual on the Phanteks website.
USB 3.2 and type c form factor connector are independent. 3.2 can be connected to a type C connector -- https://www.onlogic.com/company/io-hub/usb-type-c-and-usb-3-1-explained/
It won't be the highest possible USB speed but it should provide connectivity. It will depend on the connector the case supplies compared to the USB 3.2 header on the motherboard. It will depend on what features of type C was being "counted on" ...
Read Gordon's article. You might be able to, but I wouldn't want such a potentially dangerous kludge to exist in my system. Don't want to blow out the Type A headers in my motherboard should I plug up my wife's tablet with full functioning, high capacity cable.

It's not the data transfer that's worrisome, it's the power draw. Like anything else, do it the right way and put aside all doubt.

OK...I may see the confusion...from the onlogic article:
  • USB Type-C is NOT the same thing as USB 3.2.
    • USB Type-C ONLY describes the physical connector.
    • USB 3.2 ONLY describes the actual capabilities of the port.
What I read from that is if you want the awesome looking oval port in the front of the case you can simply say USB TyC...it doesn't need to work at all. If you want the full data capacity and full power handling you need to say USB 3.2 Gen2 Ty-C. Specsmanship 101.

So back to OP: does it need to work at speed and handle high speed charging of high draw devices? Personally, as I said above, I'd not kludge it with cheap adapters as you really don't know what they do. I'd do it right or just use the port built in on the back panel.
 
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Jul 27, 2021
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So back to OP: does it need to work at speed and handle high speed charging of high draw devices? Personally, as I said above, I'd not kludge it with cheap adapters as you really don't know what they do. I'd do it right or just use the port built in on the back panel.
I believe high speed and current are not a requirement; I don't know what devices he will use on the port though.

I spoke with him and he doesn't mind much using the back port, and maybe one day later we look for a solution to this problem. I also prefer to do it right or not at all; putting something in that could be risky due to high-speed charging is not an option, I'll be building his PC and I don't want to be responsible for using faulty parts or solutions.

I just noticed that the mobo does have a Thunderbolt header, would that be another solution?

Also the case has a manual, it's just conveniently well hidden: https://www.phanteks.com/assets/manuals/PH-EC500ATG.pdf. The manual shows the front cables being HD Audio, USB3 cable and USB-C cable.
 
I believe high speed and current are not a requirement; I don't know what devices he will use on the port though.

I spoke with him and he doesn't mind much using the back port, and maybe one day later we look for a solution to this problem. I also prefer to do it right or not at all; putting something in that could be risky due to high-speed charging is not an option, I'll be building his PC and I don't want to be responsible for using faulty parts or solutions.

I just noticed that the mobo does have a Thunderbolt header, would that be another solution?

Also the case has a manual, it's just conveniently well hidden: https://www.phanteks.com/assets/manuals/PH-EC500ATG.pdf. The manual shows the front cables being HD Audio, USB3 cable and USB-C cable.
DARN...change your search terms and guess what pops up...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084S7QKL1?pf_rd_r=NG968V1T6NP4NH03GWWK&pf_rd_p=5ae2c7f8-e0c6-4f35-9071-dc3240e894a8&pd_rd_r=bd6b2798-9d14-4a6a-b84c-4e931d3d8089&pd_rd_w=SIS7C&pd_rd_wg=M6Ayi&ref_=pd_gw_unk

That might do it. It properly adapts to USB 3.0 so it will be the lower bandwidth and power.

But I'd rather go with this as it provides full bandwidth from a PCIe x1 4 port and, one would assume, properly supports power draw on-spec:

 
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