What Is an 8-Pin ATX 12V Power Connector?

Written by c.a. rubino
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What Is an 8-Pin ATX 12V Power Connector?
ATX-compatible power supplies meet strict guidelines on how they supply power to the motherboard. (power supply image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

The ATX standard defines the types of connectors required on a power supply. The 8-pin connector installed on some ATX power supplies is not actually an ATX standard, but it is commonly used on some higher-end ATX computers.


The 8-pin power connector is technically defined under the EPS standard, which is a specification for higher-end computers and entry-level servers. EPS, being a derivative of ATX, is compatible with ATX but is sometimes hard to physically connect to older motherboards. The 8-pin connector is white and has its pins arranged in two rows, four pins per row.


The 8-pin connector is primarily intended to provide additional power for multi-core processors. Many power supply manufacturers build the 8-pin connector so it can be separated into two 4-pin halves, which allows it to be connected to older motherboards that only support the standard 4-pin ATX connector.


The 8-pin connector runs 12 volts and looks very similar to the PCI-E 8-pin connector. The PCI-E connector is defined separately and is not compatible with ATX and EPS connectors. Although it is designed not to fit into an incompatible slot, a user may force the connectors, causing severe damage to the computer's internal hardware.

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