[SOLVED] Use U.2 header for front USB 3.0 ports?

crowellster

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Apr 26, 2012
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Hi all,
I have an Asus WS Z390 Pro MB paired with a Cooler Master H500M case. There are 4 USB 3.0 ports on the front, but I only have one USB 3.0 header. I was thinking of adapting one of my U.2 headers to connect to the USB 3.0 ports. Does that make sense? Does that type of cable exist?
 

Joakim Agren

Proper
Sep 5, 2019
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https://smile.amazon.com/Silverstone-Internal-19-Pin-Adapter-G11303050-RT/dp/B00B1RM5YU

The cables exist. I think it's worth having 4 front USB ports. Just know which 2 are USB 2.
That is not the ideal solution since it means 2 of his front ports will then be operating at USB 2.0 speeds. Instead I would make use of this: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/bitfenix-external-usb-3.0-to-internal-usb-3.0-header-cable-ca-049-bx.html This converter cable creates a internal USB 3 header he can connect 2 of the front USB 3 ports to and then he can hook up 2X USB Type A female to USB Type A male cables (https://www.amazon.com/AINOPE-Extension-Connector-Transfer-Compatible/dp/B07RQRMGKB/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1567667788&refinements=p_n_feature_eight_browse-bin:15562491011&s=pc&sr=1-1 ) that he then have to route inside the case as discrete as possible so that the male part can reach the back at the motherboard and be connected to 2 of the rear motherboard ports. Downside of this is of course that if you are short on USB 3 ports at the back then you also have to get a USB 3 HUB and connect the cables to that instead. As for routing such cables inside the case that can be tricky since you want it to be seen as little as possible. Another issue is then getting those USB Type A connectors to the outside of the case so that you can hook them up to the rear IO panel of the motherboard or a USB HUB. Only hole I can see on the H500M case to pull out the cables to reach outside the case is trough the large hole above the PCI brackets used for vertical mounted GPU's. Another more sophisticated solution is to route the cables on the back up to the hole used for the 8 pin power motherboard connector at the top. Once there if you remove the top panel of the case you will have access to a hole towards the back that is large enough to pull the 2 USB cables trough as can be seen in this picture:



See that large square hole towards the left back side of the top part of the top radiator cooling bracket? This hole can be used to pull the cables trough(or if it is not large enough to fit 2 cables then one has to go trough the middle hole instead). Once you have them there on the top next step is to do a case mod by drilling out a hole large enough to fit a rubber grommet such as this one:


https://modmymods.com/phobya-cable-rubber-grommet-round-black-75144.html

The hole must be placed at the back of the top cover panel as can be seen in this picture:



I marked the spot with red. I do not know the exact size of the hole that needs to be drilled out but it must be smaller then the rubber grommet but larger then the inner diameter so I guess maybe 26-27 mm or so in size. Once you have routed the cables out that hole you can just hook them up directly to the back of your motherboard or a USB 3 HUB. This second option obviously requires more work then the first option to just pull the cables trough that PCI bracket hole. After all this work he will be able to enjoy all 4 of his front 3 USB ports at full speed! :D
 
Last edited:

Joakim Agren

Proper
Sep 5, 2019
142
20
115
17
https://smile.amazon.com/Silverstone-Internal-19-Pin-Adapter-G11303050-RT/dp/B00B1RM5YU

The cables exist. I think it's worth having 4 front USB ports. Just know which 2 are USB 2.
That is not the ideal solution since it means 2 of his front ports will then be operating at USB 2.0 speeds. Instead I would make use of this: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/bitfenix-external-usb-3.0-to-internal-usb-3.0-header-cable-ca-049-bx.html This converter cable creates a internal USB 3 header he can connect 2 of the front USB 3 ports to and then he can hook up 2X USB Type A female to USB Type A male cables (https://www.amazon.com/AINOPE-Extension-Connector-Transfer-Compatible/dp/B07RQRMGKB/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1567667788&refinements=p_n_feature_eight_browse-bin:15562491011&s=pc&sr=1-1 ) that he then have to route inside the case as discrete as possible so that the male part can reach the back at the motherboard and be connected to 2 of the rear motherboard ports. Downside of this is of course that if you are short on USB 3 ports at the back then you also have to get a USB 3 HUB and connect the cables to that instead. As for routing such cables inside the case that can be tricky since you want it to be seen as little as possible. Another issue is then getting those USB Type A connectors to the outside of the case so that you can hook them up to the rear IO panel of the motherboard or a USB HUB. Only hole I can see on the H500M case to pull out the cables to reach outside the case is trough the large hole above the PCI brackets used for vertical mounted GPU's. Another more sophisticated solution is to route the cables on the back up to the hole used for the 8 pin power motherboard connector at the top. Once there if you remove the top panel of the case you will have access to a hole towards the back that is large enough to pull the 2 USB cables trough as can be seen in this picture:



See that large square hole towards the left back side of the top part of the top radiator cooling bracket? This hole can be used to pull the cables trough(or if it is not large enough to fit 2 cables then one has to go trough the middle hole instead). Once you have them there on the top next step is to do a case mod by drilling out a hole large enough to fit a rubber grommet such as this one:


https://modmymods.com/phobya-cable-rubber-grommet-round-black-75144.html

The hole must be placed at the back of the top cover panel as can be seen in this picture:



I marked the spot with red. I do not know the exact size of the hole that needs to be drilled out but it must be smaller then the rubber grommet but larger then the inner diameter so I guess maybe 26-27 mm or so in size. Once you have routed the cables out that hole you can just hook them up directly to the back of your motherboard or a USB 3 HUB. This second option obviously requires more work then the first option to just pull the cables trough that PCI bracket hole. After all this work he will be able to enjoy all 4 of his front 3 USB ports at full speed! :D
 
Last edited:

Joakim Agren

Proper
Sep 5, 2019
142
20
115
17
Hi all,
I have an Asus WS Z390 Pro MB paired with a Cooler Master H500M case. There are 4 USB 3.0 ports on the front, but I only have one USB 3.0 header. I was thinking of adapting one of my U.2 headers to connect to the USB 3.0 ports. Does that make sense? Does that type of cable exist?
I just realized I forgot to quote you in my post above! So I do not know if you read my post or not! But I gave you an idea on how to make it work! :D
 

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