How to Connect Power Supply Cables: Guide To Wiring A PSU To The Motherboard
Power supply units (PSU) are an important component in a computer system. They provide power to the motherboard, graphics card, and other PC components. If you're looking for a new PSU or trying to fix your old one, this article will help guide you through connecting power cables from the PSU to the motherboard and other components.
The power supply unit (PSU) is responsible for supplying electricity to the computer's components. It does this by converting alternating current from the wall outlet into direct current, which can then be used by the various PC components. In order to do this properly, you need to know how a PSU works and what cables are needed in order to connect it up correctly. This blog post will teach you how to wire a PSU for your PC!
What is a PSU and what does it do
The power supply unit (PSU) is a crucial part of your computer because it helps regulate the flow of electricity and powers all components inside. The PSU converts AC power from the wall into DC current to maintain steady voltage inside your computer, which prevents disruption in electric signals that can damage hardware like motherboards or graphics cards. It also runs the fans inside your computer to keep the components cool, and it regulates how much power is supplied to each device.
It has two connections: one that plugs into the wall outlet, which is usually brown or black, and another that connects directly with your motherboard. The cables come out of each connection at different angles because they have to be plugged in correctly when you assemble your computer.
A PSU is usually a cube or rectangle with black and orange wires coming out of it, and will be somewhere inside the case in an easy-to-reach location like on top to make for easier installation when building your own PC. The connectors are typically labeled so you know where they go before plugging them into each other.
Some PSUs also come with a switch that lets you control how much wattage is being supplied to your computer, which gives you more flexibility in case of fluctuations in power from the wall outlet. It's recommended for most people to set this at 400 watts or higher so it doesn't have problems powering all components inside and can prevent crashes.
It's important to make sure your PSU is of high quality and not cheap or counterfeit. Cheap PSUs can have lower wattage amps than their more expensive counterparts, which means they'll be unable to power all the components inside a computer even though it may say 400 watts on its label. And if you're using a graphics card that requires more wattage, a cheap PSU may not be able to provide enough power and can lead to the computer crashing or overheating.
Find PSU Connections On Motherboard
All computers require a power supply in order to function. If you're finding it difficult or impossible to determine which connection on the motherboard is for this particular component, there are some steps you can take that will make the process slightly easier. One of these methods involves using simple household items to test the various connections on the motherboard.
Step One - Take a paper clip and bend it so that you have two fairly even, flat arms sticking out from one side of the metal shaft. This will allow you to use this makeshift tool as an improvised probe in order to determine which connection is for your power supply without having to touch the socket and potentially damage it or yourself.
Step Two - Now, use one of these flat arms to firmly press down on each connection in succession until you find the right one that elicits a response from your power supply. The most common responses are either an audible 'click' sound when pressing down on a connector with pins (often found on the back of a motherboard) or an LED light coming on when pressing down on one with capacitors.
Step Three - Once you've found the right connection, insert your paper clip and gently pull it away from the socket to remove any excess that may have gotten in during this process. You're now ready to plug in your power supply.
How to connect power supply cables into the motherboard
- Connect one end of the 24 pin connector from the computer's power supply unit to a corresponding socket on top right side corner, it will have 12 pins with two rows of six each and should also have the same label. The other end of this cable should be plugged into a power supply cable that is not connected to any device in your computer case yet, you will have to find one on top left side corner with 24 pins and two rows of 12 each.
- Plug three black connectors from the ATX connector cables into corresponding sockets labeled VGA, COM (serial) and PS/M.
- Connect the ATX power connector to a corresponding socket with two rows of four pins each on the left side corner of your motherboard.
- Plug one end of SATA power connectors into lower right side corner labeled Serial ATA, while other ends should be plugged into any unused SATA ports on your hard drive and CD/DVD-ROM drives.
- Plug the two lower connectors from PATA power connector cables into corresponding sockets on top right side corner labeled IDE, while other ends should be plugged in to any unused IDE ports on your hard drive.
- Connect the ATX LED+ cable with a green connector to motherboard's ATX LED+ connector.
- Connect the ATX RST cable with a pink connector to motherboard's ATX RST connection and set your jumper according to instructions for either overclocking or standard settings from manufacturer manual.
Connect the CPU power cable to the CPU socket from the PSU
There are two CPU power cables coming out of the PSU. One is for the motherboard, and one goes to the socket that holds your processor. The four-pin connector on each cable has a specific shape with different types of metal connections on it - you'll see an "L" shaped plug if it's meant for your motherboard, and a "square" shaped plug if it's meant for your CPU.
The "L" shaped plug connects to the CPU socket on the motherboard, while the "square" shaped plug goes into a small hole (called a pin) at one end of your CPU. The connector has four pins - two are connected to ground and should be grounded with something like metal screws or washers that come in contact with both pins.
The CPU power cable has to connect to the motherboard and your processor, otherwise, it won't work - taking a photo of where each plug goes will help you in case you have trouble understanding what's going on when connecting these cables.
If you're installing a socket 115x processor, the square-shaped one goes to the left side of the motherboard closest to where all four corners meet (in other words, on the same corner as your RAM). If you have an LGA 2011 or 20xx chip, the square-shaped plug goes to the right side of your motherboard.
Wherever you put it, make sure that when you do so, no other cables are blocking its path and it can run all the way from there to where it plugs into a power connector on your CPU. When in doubt, refer back to the manual for guidance.
Connecting the 24-pin ATX connector from the PSU
The ATX connector on the PSU is a 24-pin connector and it can be found at the top. This usually has two cables going to separate devices such as graphics cards, hard drives or CD/DVD ROMs. The cable that goes towards your motherboard should have a white wire running through its middle with four connectors for SATA power supply. The other cable is usually used for the graphics card or hard drive. If you have another device plugged in, then it will use up that one connector and leave only three connectors left to power SATA devices.
The 24-pin ATX connector on your motherboard should also be at the top of this socket with four pins next to each side. If you look at the pins on the PC motherboard, there is a yellow wire and red one. The wires on your PSU should have these same colors.
The first thing to do when connecting your power connector cable from your ATX connector onto the board is that make sure it has all of its four connectors in place before you push down. The connectors on the ATX connector should go in smoothly and then be locked into place.
If you are using an older power supply with a 20-pin ATX, this will have two cables that are much thicker than those found on newer supplies because they also need to provide more voltage for HDDs and optical drives which use up more power.
The 20-pin power supply has a connector which is the same as that found on your motherboard, but it will be towards the middle of this socket with four pins next to each side. The wires in these cables are also yellow and red just like those on your PSU cable – so you can now connect them up without any trouble.
Connecting the 8-pin EPS12V connector from the PSU
The EPS12V connector is located next to the 24-pin ATX power plug which gives a clue as to what it does. The EPS12V connector supplies extra power that's needed for the video card and CPU overclocking, high-performance graphics cards or servers with quad processors all of which need more than 230 watts of power at peak load.
To connect the EPS12V connector, find it on the PSU and use a ratchet or screwdriver to remove one of its two plastic locks. This will release tension in the power cable which can then be routed through an opening next to the 24-pin ATX power plug so that you have room to attach it inside your case.
Once the cable is connected, press down on it to secure it in place. You will need to disengage both locks this time which requires a bit more force than before but still not too much. Once you've done that, connect your power cord and turn on your PC. If everything works properly then there should be no need for further troubleshooting.
Connecting the 4/8 pin CPU fan connector from the PSU
The power supply’s CPU fan connector is a four-pin connector that can be used to control an additional, auxiliary cooling device such as a liquid cooler or air conditioner. The PSU itself will not cool the computer any better than before but it may allow for quieter operation and lower temperatures if configured properly. This configuration should only be used if you are confident with the setup and have an understanding of what to do in case something goes wrong.
The CPU fan connector on your power supply has four pins that connect like a standard Molex plug, but typically uses eight-pin plugs (or very short cables) that can be difficult to find. A typical auxiliary cooling device will have a four-pin connector to plug into the CPU fan header, so you will need an adapter.
The first step is connecting the power supply’s CPU fan connector to your auxiliary cooling device's motherboard/CPU fan header. You can use a standard Molex cable with two plugs or purchase an eight-to-four-pin converter.
Next, you will need to connect the CPU fan from your auxiliary cooling device’s motherboard/CPU header to the connector on your power supply. This can be done by either simply plugging it in or using a converter cable as well. The end result should resemble something like this: SYS_FAN --> PS_FAN --> CPU_FAN
The final step is to plug in the auxiliary cooling device’s power cable into your motherboard. This should provide sufficient power for both components and won't cause any damage or instability if done correctly. You can use a standard Molex connector with two plugs (or purchase an eight-pin adapter).
Connect PCIe Power Cable to Graphics Card from the PSU
-Start with a power cable that has an end plug of four metal pins. This is called ‘PCIe’ for short, and you will find it on your graphics card or motherboard connecting cables. You may need to search for this in order to identify which cable it is.
-Next, take the connector on your power cable and plug one of the pins into a free PCI slot in the graphics card and press them down firmly until they click to lock them together. Repeat this process for each pin that was originally attached to your motherboard or graphics card before removing any plugs from those devices.
-Once the power cable is plugged in, you can plug your graphics card into a monitor and your computer to turn it on. If all goes well, this will start up successfully for you!
Connecting SATA connectors from your HDD and SSDs to your motherboard's SATA ports (You will need at least one SATA cable for each drive)
The SATA connectors are located at the back of your motherboard. You will need to connect these cables from your HDD and SSDs, which should be lying on either side of your computer chassis. Make sure that you have a SATA cable for each drive . If not, you can buy them separately in any hardware store or online for a reasonable price.
Once the cables are connected, you must then plug them into your motherboard's SATA ports. The connection can be made from either end of the cable to fit in most cases; however, it is recommended that you connect both ends because they often come with a locking mechanism.
Make sure not to bend or stress these connectors as this could damage your drive and render it useless. You should also make sure that the screws are tight when they're connected to your motherboard's SATA ports, as this is what will hold them in place.
When connecting a SSD or HDD with more than one connector on each end of the cable (such as an AHCI connection), you may want to connect the connectors in a certain order.
We recommend connecting them from left to right, so that you're wiring your motherboard up accordingly (AHCI is on the other end of your motherboard and will be connected last). This way, when it's time to plug in your SSD or HDD with an AHCI connection, you'll know what order to follow.
When you're done with the wiring, make sure to plug in your peripherals so that they don't get caught and potentially damaged by any of the cables or connectors (such as a keyboard, mouse, monitor).
You’ll be about to connect the power supply cables yourself. If you are unsure of which cable goes where, refer back to our guide on what a PSU is and how it works or contact us for personalised assistance in setting up your PC. The only thing left now is connecting all of those cables into their respective ports on your motherboard, graphics card, hard drives etcetera – this will depend entirely on the components that were chosen during the component selection phase. We have provided an overview of what connections need to take place from the PSU at each stage.