When is it Ok to use Sata to Power Risers

Updated: Apr 20

A lot of experienced miners are staying away from using Sata to power their GPU Risers now. This is due to trial and error when hooking up rigs. It is very easy to overload a Sata cable, as each cable usually has 4 Sata female ends and only a max output of 54 watts. Due to this most miners have moved over to powering the Riser by using the Pcie cable along with a splitter. GPU Risers

Sata Power Limitations:

Each sata cable as mentioned above is only able to provide a max power output of 54 watts. Following along with the 80% load rule for a sustained power draw, that leaves us with 43.2 watts max. This is not a lot of power in the grand scheme of GPU Mining rigs and is understandable why most people would try to avoid powering a GPU this way. However the PCIE riser only provides the board power to the GPU and does not account for the full power provided. 6 pin to Sata

PCIE Power Limitations:

PCIE power cables off an 8 pin are able to provide 75watts max, per 8 pin, and with the 80% rule leaves us with 60 watts max. This is roughly 38.9% more power than the standard Sata cable and only allows that power to be available to the riser it is plugged into instead of 4 available slots. PCIE 8 pin Splitter

When is it Safe to use Sata:

Board Readings I have personally recorded:

Gigabyte 3070 non LHR - 16w

MSI 2060 Super - 57w

Asus ROG Strix 3060ti pre nerf -14w

Asus ROG Strix 2060 Super - 36w

Asus KO 3070 non LHR - 19w

Asus KO 3070 LHR - 16w

3070 Asus Dual non LHR - 27w

3070 MIS Gaming x Trio Non LHR - 14W

MIS 3090 - 70w

MSI 1060 6GB - 42w

EVAG 1060 6GB - 52w

Asus 1060 6GB -57w

Generally I like to use GPUZ to get a rough reading of the power draw from the board. With the photo above we can see this 3070 is pulling 17.5 Watts from the PCIe Slot Power and 70.4 Watts from the first 8 pin connector on the GPU. This means we are left with an overhead of 25.7 watts on that Sata cable, which in my opinion is completely safe even when accounting for overhead. I have heard miners say the newer GPUs take more power from the board and it is safer to use older gen cards on Sata. However this is not true, we can see above from the cards I have tested that it really just depends on the brand and how the cards were designed to draw power. It is never a safe bet just to throw an older card on Sata, as we can see the 1060's, in some cases, take more power from the board than newer cards like 3070s. Always get a rough reading of how much power your card is drawing from the PCIe slot before making the decision to run on Sata. All of these readings were taken after a proper overclock / undervolt was set which can massively impact the power draw of the card. Here is an article on how to overclock and another one on why you should use T-Rex Miner.

Should I use Sata or PCIe:

It is always recommended to use PCIe over Sata for a few reasons. The most obvious reason being it is safer. 75 Watts is the max power that is allowed to be pulled from the PCIe slot, and all cards currently are designed this way. So if you use a cable that can output 75 Watts max then you don't have to worry about power spikes overloading the cable. As these PCIe cables are designed for this. Using PCIe splitters will also make your rigs more stable in the same way.