What Power Supply Cables Do I Need?

When building a computer, choosing the right power supply cables can sometimes be overlooked. However, choosing the wrong cables can lead to potential damage or malfunction in your system. Therefore, it is vital to know which cables are needed for your specific power supply.

Power supply cables are responsible for transmitting power from the power supply unit (PSU) to the different components of your computer. These cables must be compatible with each component’s specifications to ensure that power is distributed evenly and safely. Understanding which cables are necessary for your build will not only help ensure your computer’s stability but also prolong its lifespan. In this article, we will discuss the different types of power supply cables, how to identify them, and which cables are needed for common setups.

What Power Supply Cables Do I Need?

Power supply cables are an essential component in any electronic setup. They are responsible for carrying power from the wall outlet to your electrical devices. Depending on the specific devices you own, different types of power supply cables may be required. Some common examples of power supply cables and their uses include:

• AC power cord: This is the most basic type of power cord, used to connect the electronic device to a wall outlet.

• PC power cable: This type of power cable is commonly used with desktop computers. It includes a standard plug for connecting to the wall outlet and a modular connector that can be plugged into the computer.

• SATA power cable: SATA power cables are used to connect hard drives and other storage devices to a computer’s power supply.

• Molex power cable: Molex power cables are used to connect fans, lights, and other accessories to a computer’s power supply.

• USB power cable: USB power cables are used to connect a variety of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to a computer or wall outlet for charging and data transfer.

• HDMI power cable: These types of cables are used for transmitting audio and video signals from one device to another.

It is important to use the appropriate power supply cables for your specific devices to ensure safe and effective operation. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional technician if you are unsure about which cables to use.


1. What types of power supply cables are commonly used?
Answer: The most common types of power supply cables used are the 24-pin ATX cable, 8-pin EPS cable, SATA power cable, and PCIe power cable.

2. Can I mix and match different types of power supply cables?
Answer: No, you should not mix and match different types of power supply cables. Each cable is designed to deliver specific voltage to the corresponding components and using the wrong cable could potentially damage your equipment.

3. How many power supply cables do I need for my computer build?
Answer: The number of power supply cables you need for your computer build depends on the components you are using. At a minimum, most computers require the ATX cable, EPS cable, and SATA power cable. Additional cables may be required for graphics cards or other high-performance components.

4. What is the maximum length for power supply cables?
Answer: The maximum length for power supply cables varies, but most cables are between 12 and 24 inches in length. Longer cables are available for specific applications, but it is important to avoid excessive cable lengths to minimize cable clutter and improve airflow.

5. Do all power supply cables have the same gauge?
Answer: No, power supply cables do not all have the same gauge. Thicker cables with lower gauge numbers can carry more current without overheating, so components that require higher power draw typically require thicker cables with lower gauge numbers.


In summary, determining which power supply cables you need depends on the specific components in your computer build. Make sure to do your research and double-check the compatibility of your power supply unit and motherboard to avoid any issues. With the right cables connected correctly, you can power your computer and enjoy an optimal computing experience.

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