The idea is to grab an Intel NUC and plug one of these SATA to M.2 adapters into the M.2 port to connect four 3.5" HDDs as part of a build-your-own NAS project.

The NUC however, cannot power the hard drives. I am looking for ideas on how to power these without a regular ATX/ITX power supply. I find that overkill for the simple job of providing 5/12V to hard drives. How would you do it? Any ideas are welcome.

Syba 4 Port SATA III to M.2 M+B Key NGFF NVMe and SATA Socket Adapter Converter Card SD-ADA40118

I did consider using a PicoPSU but have no experience with them and I don't know if it can provide power via it's HDD power connectors without the motherboard connector being plugged in. Why/not would you recommend this?

  • You can use something like this, which is normally included with those USB -> SATA/IDE adapters to power a drive externally. I wouldn't recommend it as an answer though because 4 of these bricks is almost the same physical size as an ATX PSU, would use 4 AC plugs, and they will probably be less efficient than using a single PSU for 4 drives.
    – Romen
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 15:39
  • While the HDDs use only low voltage, they might require quite a huge power, particularly on start. It is because not spinning the drive requires power, accelerating its spin requires a lot. I've seen machines which were unable to boot with >4 HDDs. But, if the HDDs were powered on consecutively, and not coincidentally, it worked. The typical power consumption of a hard drive is some tens of W. Anyways I would suggest to use an external sata house with its own power. Beware, don't plug the power of the external sata to a possibly different phased high-power voltage (for example, after the UPS,
    – peterh
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 15:43
  • while your main PC is before it). Although it should work, it is likely not that you would want n*220V sinus voltage on your low-voltage cables and house. Best if it is from the same power cord, as your PC is plugged into.
    – peterh
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 15:45


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