Just like any standard cable that carry’s power, SATA to MOLEX power adapters can and will catch fire if left in an inappropriate situation. However, cheaply made(often from china) versions have been known to ignite, due to an internal ark(improper connection between 2 wires). Here’s what you can do to be safe.
“Are SATA power adapters safe for my mining rig?”, a question I see commonly being asked on Reddit, YouTube, and Cryptocurrency themed Discord servers.
Some people say to avoid them at all costs, and some believe there’s no reason to be scared of them.
Based off what I’ve seen and read, SATA power adapters can be either good, or bad depending on weather or not you use one that’s well built, or cheaply made.
Good being, they work and get the job done. Bad being, they catch on fire and burn your entire house down.
What Causes Them To Catch Fire?
Just like any standard cable that carry’s power, SATAs can and will catch fire if left in an inappropriate situation. However, cheaply made(often from china) versions have been known to ignite, due to an internal ark(improper connection between 2 wires).
Here’s the leading causes of their combustion:
- An exposed internal/external wire touching one another.
- An exposed wire touching something conductive(the case of the the rig, or even GPU).
- Moisture/humidity in the room, causing water to be a conductive material between another wire/conductive object.
- Too much power being pushed through one cable.
Yes, you read that correctly… Internal/External. The wires inside the molding of the adapter could potentially make contact, causing them to melt or ignite. This is more common when purchasing cheaper, or lower quality adapters.
How Can I Avoid A House Fire?
I think it’d be in everyone’s best interest to feel reassured regarding the text above…
You could always avoid the Molex to SATA adapters all-in-all and connect your PCIE risers directly, using Molex or 6pin… But, if you enjoy the convenience of the adapter, here’s what you can do to be safe.
- Ensure the build quality of the adapter is up to par(look and feel for loose/exposed wire).
- DO NOT power more than 2 PCIE risers via the same cable coming from the PSU.
- Ensure the environment of your machine is humidity free(to your best ability).
- Have common sense.
Here are some risers that I’d recommend you use, as they’re manufactured nicely, and don’t have any issues with internal arking.
- EXPLOMOS Latest PCI-E Express Cable 1X TO 16X Graphics Extension
- Ubit 6 Pack Latest PCI-E Riser Express Cable 16X TO 1X
- MintCell 6-Pack PCIe 4-Pin MOLEX PCI-E 16x to 1x Powered Riser
SATA power adapters are safe, and unsafe. Exactly what you wanted to hear, right?
The adapters are unsafe, if it’s cheaply built, and there’s a chance of the wires touching. However, they are perfectly fine, if they’re well constructed, and you’re using them properly.
Obviously the safest bet would be to avoid them, all-in-all.
If you’re still concerned about mining rigs and fires… Read into safe mining temperatures, and how to achieve them.