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4-pin vs 8-pin 12V connector

Last response: in Components
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June 2, 2010 6:04:51 PM

Hi all,
So, I'm thinking of building a new computer from some new parts and a few I have lying around.

These are the parts specific to this question:
Gigabyte AM3 Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
My older Thermaltake PSU

Now, the mobo has an 8-pin 12V for the CPU, but the power supply only has a 4-pin. I understand that the 8-pin provides more current, but would a converter like this one actually provide more current? (I'd assume so, but I'd like to check.)
More importantly, would it be necessary for me to get the converter?

More about : pin pin 12v connector

a b ) Power supply
June 2, 2010 6:54:06 PM

The 8 pin doesn't provide more current. Just more wire capacity. An adaptor would make not difference unless the board needed all 8 pins populated. I have not seen one that does.

The bigger problem is the PSU. A 4 pin PSU suggest an old PSU. That is an issue of far greater concern that the pins.
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a c 243 ) Power supply
June 2, 2010 7:07:12 PM

FALC0N said:
An adaptor would make not difference unless the board needed all 8 pins populated. I have not seen one that does.

Intel 955XCS does ( did ? ), and came with the adapter.
Haven't seen a more modern board that does.
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a c 144 ) Power supply
June 2, 2010 8:21:35 PM

My Gigabyte manuals (Intel boards) say that CPU's needing 130 watts (Intel EE's, for example) require all eight pins. With most desktop CPU's in the 65 - 90 watt range, a 4 pin plug is all you need.

OTOH, I tend to deliberately overspec PSU's. I prefer to run mine at around 50 - 60% of rated capacity.
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June 2, 2010 9:34:27 PM

Thanks for all of your responses. I'll just play it safe and get a converter.
With the other components that are going in, I think I'll be OK on power (no uber graphics card or anything, yet).
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a b ) Power supply
June 2, 2010 9:56:49 PM

jsc said:
My Gigabyte manuals (Intel boards) say that CPU's needing 130 watts (Intel EE's, for example) require all eight pins. With most desktop CPU's in the 65 - 90 watt range, a 4 pin plug is all you need.

OTOH, I tend to deliberately overspec PSU's. I prefer to run mine at around 50 - 60% of rated capacity.


They don't need 8 pins at 130 watts.

4 pins can draw a ton of power. Many 140 watt AMD boards ONLY come with 4 pins. ANY stock CPU out there right now, intel or AMD, would be fine with 4 pins. However an OC can take cpu power draw up to 200 watts and beyond. Thats where 8 pins is a good idea.
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a b ) Power supply
June 2, 2010 10:08:19 PM

kornfan71 said:
Thanks for all of your responses. I'll just play it safe and get a converter.
With the other components that are going in, I think I'll be OK on power (no uber graphics card or anything, yet).


NO! Thats not the problem. The converter does NOTHING but change from 4 to 8 pins. That doesn't even increase capacity because you will still have 4 wire coming out of the PSU. No Gigabyte AM3 board needs 8 pins to run. This is a waste of money if you do it.

PSU's havent had 4 pins in a long time. If you have a PSU with 4 pin cpu power, your PSU is old. Old psu likely means less juice on the 12v rail. It will go boom LONG BEFORE the 4 pin power would ever become an issue.

Bottom line, don't worry about it. Worry about whether your PSU is up to the task. If your PSU could pump out enough juice to need 8 pins, it would have 8 pins. It doesn't and it can't. If your going to OC that chip you WILL want to replace that PSU.

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EDIT: I didn't notice before that you had a link to your actual PSU model. That one is actually OK quality.

This DOES change one thing and one thing only. You could likely OC the CPU with that guy BUT you would still be drawing a lot of wattage through the 4 pins which I have seen done. I would not feel comfortable doing it myselt, but it IS doable.

The adapter is STILL worthless. The wires are the weak point, not the connector. The only reason to use an adaptor is if the MB REQUIRES all 8 pins to be populated. That board does not.



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June 3, 2010 4:33:17 AM

I agree with FALCON. The adapter is worthless and will not do nothing. Either stick with the standard 4 pin or get a new PSU.
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