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How to Choose a Computer Power Supply

20 pin ATX Connector – The 20 pin ATX connector that inserts into an atx motherboard. If your motherboard has a slot for the 20 pin connector shown in the graphic they you can be almost 100% certain that an ATX power supply is required for your motherboard.

Be sure to pay close attention to the number of pins. On some computers we’ve found that this connector contains 24 pins instead of 20.

24 pin ATX Connector – Some computer motherboards require a 24 pin ATX Connector. Given our past experience we advise purchasing a power supply with a 24 pin connector built in rather than a converter that converts the 20 pin to a 24 pin. The converters tend to have poor power distribution while a power supply with the 24 pin connector built in will be powered directly from the power supplies.

P4 Connector – Most motherboards that have Intel Pentium 4 processors will have a slot on the board for this P4 connector. If your motherboard has this slot then make sure you get a power supply with a P4 connector on it. If your motherboard doesn’t have a slot for this connector it is still okay to purchase a power supply with this connector, and leave the P4 connector unconnected.

4 pin IDE Connector – This is the IDE connector that supplies power to your hard drives and cdroms. Most atx power supplies have 4 connectors of this type included. If you need more than 4 connectors it’s best to purchase y-splitters to increase the number of connectors. Purchasing power supplies with more than 4 connectors can often be much more costly than purchasing a y-splitter.

4 pin floppy connector Floppy Connector – The 4 pin floppy connector supplies power to any floppy drives that may be on your computer. Some of the card reader drives use this connection also. Most atx power supplies have two of these connectors included.

6 AUX connector – Look on your motherboard and see if there is a slot that accepts the 6 pin AUX connector. If there is a slot for it then chances are you’re going to need it.

Sata connector – Hard drives and other devices with sata connectors as shown here are becoming more and more popular. We aren’t sure exactly what the advantages are to this technology, but if you have any devices in your computer that use the sata connector you’re going to need a power supply with sata connectors.

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