The best/ worst kept secret in 2.5" to 3.5" converters

TangoWhiskey9

Active Member
Jun 28, 2013
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For anyone filling one of those 24-bay chassis, I'm betting that at some point a 2.5" SSD is going to find its way into the machine. Not to worry. There is a cheap and reasonably fast option out there.

It is little secret that you pretty much cannot have a connector side edge to any converter or the 2.5" drive will not line up its connectors with the backplane. So you need a PCB converter.

The Icy Docks are only $14 on Amazon which is great. They are easy to use and nice for the money. But, with 24 that's $336 in just converters for a big case like that.

The solution is the HP microserver converters. Commonly these can be bought from ebay for $7 or so but are shipped from China. My experience has been 12 business days with a 2 day variance. Long enough that I forgot I had ordered them at some point.


I found an ebay seller out of New York: Brand New HP 2 5" to 3 5" SATA SSD HDD Adapter 4 Microserver Gen8 N54L N40L N36 | eBay and those make it in a few days. There is another auction he has with higher shipping and lower unit prices. Do not that one because you get ebay bucks for the item price not the shipping and they are basically the same cost.

While writing this I've found the converters on amazon too. $3 shipping each!!!!
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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I use those cheap HP style ones and the Icy Dock ones. I prefer the Icy Dock enclosures but the HP ones are half the price so I do use both.

The one thing you need to worry about is the SAS drives. These both work well with SATA but they do not have the full SAS pinouts.
 

andrewbedia

Active Member
Jan 11, 2013
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There are Icy Dock SAS versions, but they are quite expensive. Search MB382IP-3B or MB982IP-1S-1.
 

Mike

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May 29, 2012
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The WD raptor coolpack(?) is way cooler than all of those. I think they are regular Sata, within 3.5" spec and fairly cheap on Ebay too.
 

Patrick

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I tried for the WD version two weeks ago. Icy Docks were cheaper at that point.
 

Stanza

Active Member
Jan 11, 2014
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I have about 10 of the hp ones.

Find them really good, but you do have to be aware of one thing.

As they end up not being the same physical size (height wise) as a 3.5 inch drive.... When you use them in hit swap bays.... You have to be careful with airflow and cooling.

Eg airflow tends to take the easiest path. So the bulk of your airflow tends to end up going over your 2.5 inch drives.... And not over the remaining 3.5 inch drives.

There are other more expensive 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapters (eg dell and Supermicro) that seem to have thought of this problem. And your hot swap tray ends up looking (sized) like a 3.5 inch drive. And as such airflow is similar in all slots.

Eg this one
Tray Caddy Dell 9W8C4 3 5" TO 2 5" Adapter FOR F238F G302D X968D SAS Sata Gift | eBay

Can't find good pick or link to the supermicro ones.

.
 
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HellDiverUK

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Jul 16, 2014
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The WD Ice Pack also don't pass 3.3V from the SATA power connector to the drive. OK for most things, but if you're using a mSATA SDD in a converter, you'll find it'll not work unless the converter has a 5v to 3.3v converter built in (which seems rare).

Also agree about the airflow thing, I nearly cooked two 3.5" drives in a Synology 414j, because I was using two 2.5" drives in the lower bays. The sub-optimal cooling in the 414j was sucking all it's air though the gaps around the 2.5" drives and leaving the 3.5" drives in stagnant air. Wouldn't be an issue if it was running all-2.5" drives, or running two 3.5" drives in the lower bays. Even with the cooling on fast, the top drives were hitting 50C.
 

Mrlie

Member
Jan 1, 2011
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Oslo, Norway
Quick question:
Would those Dell converters work with the caddies for a C6100 or a (early gen) Norco? Or are they limited to only work with the Dell caddies mentioned in the eBay auction (0F238F, F238F, 0X968D, X968D, 0G302D, G302D)?

I've bought both Icy Dock (MB882SP-1S-1B) and Kingston (SNA-DC/35) and have problems recognizing some Intel 335 ssd's. Only with a sata-usb converter I can see the ssd's using these 3.5"-2.5" converters. In the Norco the motherboard (Supermicro X8ST3-F) sees the ssd only if I connect it directly to the ICH10R chipset.
 

HellDiverUK

Active Member
Jul 16, 2014
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Might be the adapters not passing 3.3V though? This is certainly the case with the WD IcePack which prevented me using a mSATA drive in a passive adapter. Once I fitted the mSATA to a better adapter that has a 5v->3.3v supply, the SSD worked.
 

Mrlie

Member
Jan 1, 2011
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Oslo, Norway
Might be the adapters not passing 3.3V though? This is certainly the case with the WD IcePack which prevented me using a mSATA drive in a passive adapter. Once I fitted the mSATA to a better adapter that has a 5v->3.3v supply, the SSD worked.
The adapters (Icy Dock and Kingston) works if I connect them by sata-usb converter.

Dell ones work great in C2100 and C6100, no issues.
Great, gonna buy a few of these then :)
 

Cheddoleum

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Feb 19, 2014
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It's worth pointing out that the Dell contraption has the advantage of presenting the SSD's own connector to the backplane, eliminating concerns like what voltage rail it passes through.
 

kroem

Active Member
Aug 16, 2014
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Bump. Seems all of these options have gone up in price, anyone got the goods on a cheap, universal, 2.5" > 3.5" adapter?

Or know where to get the HP brackets for cheap? :)