Which Power Connector?

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Which Power Connector?

Ask the Doctor LogoI have what I thought was a simple question, but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer. I have an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard and a Core i7-930 CPU. Should I use my PSU’s 8-pin or 4-pin connector for the CPU?

—Craig

Craig, in general you should use whichever 12V power connector from your PSU that corresponds with the pinout on your motherboard. In your P6T Deluxe, for example, use the 8-pin 12V plug.

The original, 4-pin ATX12V power connector was added to the PSU spec to handle the increased power requirements of the Pentium 4 (thus, many still call these the P4 connectors). An 8-pin 12V version (known as the Processor Power Connector or the EPS12V connector) was adopted from the Server System Infrastructure spec. The added power was for high-wattage processors in use in workstations and servers. For desktop PCs, these were added to enhance overclocking.


Not sure whether to use the 4-pin or 8-pin 12-volt connector from your PSU? You should probably use the one that matches your motherboard's pinout.

Many enthusiast motherboards now ship with 8-pin EPS12V connectors, but with half of the slot covered up. This lets you connect a standard ATX12V connector to the board for CPU power. Which is better? Frankly, the vast majority of consumers will be fine running the 4-pin ATX12V connectors because today’s CPUs are far more power-efficient than those Pentium 4s of yesterday. For power users who are overclocking or running very high-wattage CPUs, though, the EPS12V connector is preferred.

 

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at doctor@maximumpc.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

 

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