Swordifyy
1 Copper

Area-51 R2, motherboard replacement, extensions

There have been many discussions over motherboard replacements, but they never seem to say what header extensions that I need to buy. I bought an MSI Z Pro 390A to replace my motherboard with, and a few cables don't reach. Can anyone help me and recommend cable extensions to buy so I can replace my motherboard successfully? Thank you in advance.

0 Kudos
6 Replies
redxps630
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

You need two 10 cm or 25” USB2.0 female to female 9 pin cables, one for front panel, the other for USB1. One cable connects the rainbow colored header on FIO to new motherboard front panel header (I believe MSI uses industry standard 9 pin FP header). You need to use a needle to punch a hole in the covered hole on both ends of this cable. The other cable goes directly between USB1 header of FIO and new motherboard USB 2.0 header. one example: https://www.amazon.com/USB-Internal-Motherboard-Header-Cable/dp/B01MQR5BL8/ref=asc_df_B01MQR5BL8/?ta...


0 Kudos
redxps630
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

In case it is confusing, the front panel 9 pin header has no #10 pin, and it has a #9 pin. Standard USB2.0 male header has no #9 pin and has a #10 pin. So the standard USB 2.0 female header has a covered #9 hole and an open #10 hole. You need to perforate the covered #9 hole at both ends of the female-female cable in order to connect front panel of FIO and new motherboard.


0 Kudos
Cass-Ole
5 Tungsten

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

While I finished typing this, I saw you got a pair of replies. Later below I talk about 'true' front panel cables which may or not be easy to find; however, as was stated in the other post, you can optionally not use a true front panel cable if you switch it instead (buy) a basic USB 2.0 cable, if so then poke a hole (using a needle) into the plastic blocked-off pin slot (so it will then fit over the front panel header connector, it won't fit without that quick mod)

Typically you're after three types 1) Front Panel cable (full length or short extension) 2) USB 2.0 cable (full length or short extension 3) USB 3.0 cable (full or extension) (few, if any, owners will need one of those)

s-l1600a.jpg

Full length USB 2.0 (above) would be female -to- female connector ends, about 20" inches or longer (length depends on the mthrbrd u buy & where the header is located) (20" may or may not be right for your mthrbrd but right for someone else's ... if u buy a 20" & it's too short, buy a longer one in the longer size u need)

s-600b.jpg

USB 2.0 Extension (above) would be male (prongs) -to- female ends, where you use your cable & apply the extension to it of whatever length is needed (measure your cable, then measure to the connector header you're trying to extend to & buy an extension of suitable length). A common search term is USB Internal Extension or usb male female 10pin

 

Front Panel cables (full length or extensions) look the same as a USB 2.0, but they don't interchange due to different slots for the missing /  blocked-off pin (their differing connector pinouts / blocked pins locale insure you cant connect to the wrong header). You can compare your USB2.0 & Front Panel cables to see the small difference. If u can't find a full length true front panel cable (~20" or longer) then it's best to get an extension set like below

s1600c.jpg

USB_3_0_20-Pin_Male_to_Female_Internal_Extension_Cable_(60cm)__19536_zoom.jpg

USB 3.0 full (above, male -to- male of suitable lnegth) or extension (below, female -to- male of suitable length)

s-l1600d.jpg

Multiple places to look for these items (eBay, Newegg, Amazon, PerformancePCs, FrozenCPU etc), try a google search. I cant say what cable or where to buy from is best, but good luck

Some tips: Tutorial HOW to Upgrade ALIENWARE Area 51 R2 with a E-ATX X99 Premium Mainboard

 

 
0 Kudos
redxps630
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

For rule of thumb cable length, use the Dell internal audio cable with yellow female connector as reference.  That cable goes from FIO all the way to the audio header on the far left side of motherboard.  A cable of that length is more than enough for front panel and USB header on your MSI board at lower right (JFP1 and JUSB1).

If you punch a hole in standard USB 2.0 cable and use it for front panel, it is redundant to say, make sure you connect the female connectors in the right orientation to match the header on FIO and motherboard.

Lastly, without need to punch a hole, you can buy a 10 pin female to female USB 2.0 cable.  https://www.moddiy.com/products/Premium-USB-10%252dPin-Internal-Header-Female-to-Female-Cable-%2850c...

 


0 Kudos
redxps630
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

actually I take back the statement of the 10 pin cable from moddiy.  It seems it has only 9 pins.


0 Kudos
redxps630
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware Area 51 R2, Motherboard Replacement EXTENSIONS

I find this custom 10 pin female to female cable on the internet.  It has 10 open holes on both ends (8/10 are wired).  If you want you can ask the company about the pitch of the holes to verify it matches the USB 2.0 spec.  When connecting a custom cable for front panel, make sure both pin 6 and 8 are wired because those two pins are for power switch.

https://classic.usdigital.com/products/cables-connectors/cables/10-pin/CA-C10-SH-C10#description


0 Kudos