Power supply connectors guide

Power supply connectors guide

PC power supply cables contain vital connectors for your computer. There are many connectors, and identifying them can be difficult, especially for a novice. Here is a quick guide that will help you to identify the different types of connectors of your PC's power supply.

How to identify the power supply connectors in a PC?

The reference on the side, unique to each manufacturer, will allow you to identify the model.

For example, the reference SP-ATX-650WTN-PFC refers to the brand (Spire, or SP), the standard for the power supply (ATX), the output (in watts) of the power supply (650WTN), and the Power Factor Correction (active or passive):

power supply connectors
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20/24 ATX

The 20/24 ATX pin allows you turn on the motherboard. Early models had a 20-pin configuration, whereas the current standard is now 24.

N.B. It still comes as a block of 20 pins, to which you can add a block of 4 pins. This is to ensure compatibility with older motherboards and their 20-pin connectors:

power supply connectors 20/24 atx
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ATX P4

The ATX P4 was introduced by Intel for Pentium 4. It plugs into the motherboard and exclusively powers the processor.

Today, most motherboards possess 4 to 8 pins dedicated to powering up the CPU. The latest standards for power supply make use of an 8-pin connector (sometimes called EPS 12V), made up of 2 x 4-pin blocks, again to ensure compatibility with old motherboards and the classic ATX P4:

atx p4 power supply connectors
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MOLEX

Still very present in every PC, it is sometimes used directly on the motherboard (MSI) and is used to connect the hard disk and other drives. Some graphics cards may require this connector, too:

molex power supply connector
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SATA Connector

Modern power supply systems must have at least 4 of these to power up drives at the SATA standard:

sata power supply connector
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PCI Express

Modern graphics cards need more power, so they need to power themselves directly from the power block. This is the role of this connector.

If you plan to buy a powerful graphics card, make sure that your power supply contains at least two PCI Express slots, including one that is convertible:

pci express
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If your power supply doesn't have an 8-pin connector, there are 6-to-8 adapters:

pci express
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