Guide To Build a PC from Scratch - Step 10: How To Connect Power Cables



Motherboard Power Connectors:

ATX Cable

The motherboard will have either 20 or 24 pins ATX connector. The power supply may also have a 4-pin, 6-pin or 8-pin Auxiliary (AUX) power connector that connects to the motherboard to provide power for processor. A 20-pin connector will work in a motherboard with a 24-pin socket.

When attaching cables, never force a connection.

Follow these steps for motherboard power cable installation:

  • Align the 20-pin ATX power connector to the socket on the motherboard.
  • Gently press down on the connector until the clip clicks into place.
  • Align the 4-pin AUX power connector to the socket on the motherboard.
  • Gently press down on the connector until the clip clicks into place.


SATA Power Cable:

SATA Power cable

Newer SATA drives have a different connection type than IDE. A 15-pin connector powers up Hard drive and optical drive with SATA interface.











Molex Power Cable:

MOLEX Cable

Molex power cable connects hard disk drives and optical drives that have IDE interface.

Do NOT use both Molex connector and SATA power connector together on the same drive at the same time.

Follow these steps for power connector installation:

  • Plug the SATA power connector into the drive with SATA interface.
  • Plug the Molex power connector into the drive with IDE interface.
  • Plug the additional cables such as LED cables from the case into the appropriate connectors according to the motherboard manual.


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