PSU Which Cable Goes Where

Which Cable Goes Where: Decoding PSU Cables

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wAre you building your own PC or upgrading your current one? Understanding the maze of cables inside your computer can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to figuring out which PSU (Power Supply Unit) cable goes where. But fear not, because in this comprehensive guide, we’ll demystify the cable chaos and provide you with a clear roadmap on where each cable should be connected.

The PSU Cable Puzzle

Building or maintaining a PC can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the most common sources of confusion is knowing which PSU cable connects to which component. Using the wrong cable in the wrong place can lead to performance issues or, in the worst-case scenario, damage your hardware.

So, let’s dive in and make sense of it all. We’ll break down the key components of your PC and explain which PSU cables you need for each. Let’s start with the basics:

1. Motherboard (ATX and EPS Cables)

The heart of your PC, the motherboard, requires two primary power connections: the ATX and EPS cables.

  • ATX Cable (24-Pin): This cable provides power to the motherboard and its various components, including the CPU, RAM, and PCIe slots. It’s typically the largest cable coming from your PSU.
  • EPS Cable (8-Pin or 4+4-Pin): The EPS cable is specifically for the CPU power. Many modern motherboards require an 8-pin EPS cable, but some older models may use a 4+4-pin connector. Make sure to check your motherboard’s requirements.

2. Graphics Card (PCIe Cable)

If you have a dedicated graphics card (GPU), it needs its own power supply.

  • PCIe Cable (6-Pin, 8-Pin, or 6+2-Pin): Graphics cards come with different power requirements. Your PSU should have PCIe cables with 6, 8, or 6+2-pin connectors to cater to various GPUs. Check your GPU’s manual or specifications for the correct cable type.

3. Storage Drives (SATA or Molex Cables)

Your storage drives, such as SSDs and HDDs, need power too.

  • SATA Cable: SATA power cables are used for SATA drives. They have flat connectors and are relatively easy to identify.
  • Molex Cable: Older drives or peripherals might use Molex connectors, which have four pins and a distinctive shape.

4. Peripherals (SATA, Molex, or 4-Pin Connectors)

Other peripherals like optical drives or fans may require their own power connections.

  • SATA and Molex Cables: These are the same cables used for storage drives.
  • 4-Pin Connectors: Some older peripherals or case fans might use 4-pin connectors that can be powered by 4-pin cables from your PSU.

5. Case (Case Fan Connectors)

If your case has additional fans, they usually come with connectors that can be powered by your PSU or motherboard.

  • Case Fan Connectors: These typically have 3 or 4 pins and can be connected to your PSU or motherboard for power.

Extra Tips and Considerations

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind while connecting PSU cables:

  • Modular and Semi-Modular PSUs: These power supplies allow you to connect only the cables you need, reducing cable clutter and improving airflow within your PC case.
  • Cable Management: Proper cable management not only improves airflow but also makes it easier to identify and troubleshoot any issues in the future.
  • Double-Check Connections: Before you power up your PC, double-check all connections to ensure everything is securely plugged in.


In conclusion, understanding the correct placement of PSU cables within a computer system is crucial for optimal performance and safety. Each cable serves a specific function, delivering power to various hardware components such as the motherboard, graphics card, storage drives, and peripherals. By properly routing and connecting cables according to manufacturer guidelines and industry standards, users can ensure efficient power distribution, minimize cable clutter, and maintain adequate airflow for cooling. This attention to detail not only enhances system reliability but also reduces the risk of electrical issues and hardware damage. Ultimately, knowing which PSU cable goes where is key to building a stable and functional computer setup.


Q1: Can I use cable extensions for PSU cables to reach components that are far away?

A: Yes, cable extensions can be used to reach components that are not within the reach of the standard PSU cables. However, ensure that the extensions are of good quality and compatible with your PSU and components.

Q2: What should I do if I accidentally use the wrong cable for a component?

A: If you mistakenly use the wrong cable, power down your PC immediately and disconnect the incorrect cable. Check for any damage to the component, and if it seems unaffected, use the correct cable before powering up again.

Q3: Can I mix and match cables from different PSU manufacturers if they have the same connectors?

A: It’s not recommended to mix and match cables from different PSU manufacturers, even if they have the same connectors. Each PSU may have different pinouts and voltages, which can lead to compatibility issues and potential damage.

Q4: What should I do if I can’t find the right cable for my component in my PSU’s accessories?

A: Contact the PSU manufacturer’s customer support or check their website for replacement cables that are specifically designed for your PSU model.

Q5: Are there any safety precautions I should take while handling PSU cables?

A: When working with PSU cables, ensure that the PC is powered off and unplugged from the electrical outlet. Handle the cables carefully to avoid bending or damaging them, and be mindful of static electricity, which can harm sensitive components.

Last Updated on 20 February 2024 by Ansa Imran


Ansa Imran, a writer, excels in creating insightful content about technology and gaming. Her articles, known for their clarity and depth, help demystify complex tech topics for a broad audience. Ansa’s work showcases her passion for the latest tech trends and her ability to engage readers with informative, well-researched pieces.

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