How to Connect Power Supply Cables: A Step-by-Step Guide

Installing a power supply can be a daunting task for new PC builders, but fear not! In this guide, we’ll break down each cable, what it does, and where it needs to go. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the fully modular gf1 power supply from Thermo Tech Australia. Keep in mind that your installation may differ slightly depending on your brand and whether it’s a fully modular PSU.

Before we begin, lay out all the cables and remove them from their wrapping. We’ve chosen to show you where your cables need to go without a case and focus on which port you need to plug each cable into. This is because every case and motherboard layout can be quite different. We’ll give you some quick cable management tips at the end, but for now, let’s get started.

Your 24-pin cable is your motherboard connector cable. If you’re using an older motherboard, you may only have 20 pins, but this isn’t too common anymore. Your CPU cable will give power to your CPU. These cables tend to look similar to standard PCIe cables, but they are not interchangeable. Make sure to triple-check that you’re plugging in the right cable here, and ensure it has the word “CPU” on it. Molex cables can be used to power accessories such as fan controllers, while PCIe cables are used to connect your graphics card. Lastly, SATA cables are commonly used to power hard drives and SSDs.

Now that you know what each cable does, it’s time to plug them into the power supply. There isn’t any set order to plug them in, but we’ve chosen to plug everything in from left to right. The 24-pin cable goes in the top left, with most of it fitting along the top row and then a smaller chunk of it splitting off to the bottom. The CPU cable goes across from that, and the PCIe cable goes in the slot beside it. Finally, the molex and SATA cables go in the last two slots beside each other.

Next, we’ll show you where everything plugs into the motherboard. Your 24-pin cable is located off to the right-hand side of your board. Your CPU cable will often need to be plugged in somewhere on the top left of your board, and if your board only takes four pins, it will need all eight pins inserted.

For the graphics card, the PCIe cable will need to plug into the port, which will be located somewhere along the front. If your cables look a little ugly after plugging them in, don’t worry! You can use cable extensions to give your build a more polished finish. Simply plug the ends of your original cables into them and then plug the cable extensions in instead.

Lastly, let’s go over some cable routing tips. For your PSU cables, take the quickest path to your port. Utilize the cable routing holes that are close to it and don’t forget cable ties. If your case doesn’t come with handy velcro ties, having a stack of cable or twist ties on hand can save your life when cable managing.

And that’s it! With this guide, you’ll be able to connect your power supply cables with ease. If you have any tips or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.