whats the difference between 4-pin and 8-pin ATX power connector? I've seen 8-pin ones on most mobos and 4-pin ones on some mobos such as Gigabyte D3H series.
They are essentially the same thing, 12v+ and ground connection points to the power supply. Motherboards designed for high powered CPUs or for heavy overclocking need to ensure that they are not demanding too much power from the wiring (and 12v rails on the PSU) and will break down the load over multiple connections. Most higher-powered PSUs now offer a connector that can be used as an 8-pin or split to work as a 4-pin, to accomodate most situations.
If you have a motherboard with an 8-pin socket, and a PSU with a 4-pin plug, it is not recommended to plug in just 4 pins (though it will connect) as many motherboards are not engineered to properly power the processor without complete connections, or you may see systems that boot but crash under load. A splitter cable (which is available just about everywhere) is a possible solution, assuming your PSU uses heavy gauge wiring and is delivering over a steady and well-powered 12v rail, but ideally you should replace your PSU to one that has the proper plugs.
so does a 4-pin connector carry less power? well i probably will oc my 2500k to 4.5 ghz, is a 4-pin connector good for that?
Power is power is power. The power supply manufacturer dictates how much amperage is sent over each wire, so there is no way for me to say "it is okay to cheat the standard." If you have an 8-pin power header on your mobo, get a PSU with a power plug.
I have seen systems clocked like you are looking on 4-pin boards, but I CANNOT SAY that your motherboard and PSU will be able to do this. Safety sake says not to take the risk, and build it to specifications.
thanks for the reply, i will be getting mobo with 8-pin connector and my psu has 8-pin too
So what you are saying is that I could put a 125 Watt CPU and power it with the 4pin power connector?
In most cases, no, a 125W wouldn't be enough to drive a modern multi-core CPU. Follow the standard. They didn't create a new socket just to confuse us.
Newer CPU's are using 8-pins over 4-pins because they demand more power and also need more ground. If the motherboard has 8-pin then you need 8-pin PSU. If the motherboard has 4-pins you can normally find a new modular PSU with 8-pin & 4-pin support.
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