Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to add a PCI(e) card to a nettop PC that is so small that the card won't fit there (and there is no external alternative like we're used to with external TV tuners). The only ports available are USB and eSATA, is it possible to somehow "dock" the PCI card into some device that would then connect to the PC via USB or eSATA? Or am I out of luck?

(I don't mind the solution being visually ugly, I wouldn't even mind opening up the case and soldering some wires in, anything that would work would be great.)

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

All the USB->PCI or eSATA->PCI adapters are of the other direction: a PCI card that adds USB ports or eSATA ports.

PCI / PCIe expect fast transfers and in the case of PCI, a lot of data pins, it would be inefficient at best if the adapters existed.

ExpressCard is essentially PCIe in the old PC-Card form factor. If your nettop doesn't expose any sort of PCI/PCIe bus you won't be able to add one.

share|improve this answer
That's unfortunate in my situation but thanks for the answer. – Borek Feb 3 '11 at 0:49

There are external enclosures for PCI-e slots. I beleive there are usb to PCI slots, but I don't know of any specific ones.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the info, however, still needs ExpressCard/34 which my nettop doesn't have. – Borek Feb 2 '11 at 15:02
The only other thing I can think of, is I know some laptop docking stations have PCIe slots. Sorry I can't be of more help. =( – Duall Feb 2 '11 at 15:32

Magma sell some products that may be useful to you.

Magma PCI Express Expansion Systems provide a high-performance and low latency solution for expanding PCI Express connectivity outside the laptop, desktop / server.

Expand one PCI Express slot to single or multiple PCI Express slots in a separate enclosure with dedicated power and cooling.

Attach any type of PCI Express card to your desktop or laptop computer though our ExpressCard or a PCI Express host card.

share|improve this answer
Naked links don't help anyone. Can you summarise the page you've linked to please. It also repeats the second "enclosures" link of @Duall's answer. – ChrisF Feb 2 '11 at 15:04
@ChrisF: Answer updated with a summary as requested. I started my answer before @Duall's answer became visible to me - we must have both answered within a few minutes of each other. – RedGrittyBrick Feb 2 '11 at 22:46
These won't work - you need at least one PCI/PCIe bus in any form (which includes ExpressCard) and the OP said they did not have that in their nettop. – Broam Feb 3 '11 at 15:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.