Do You Need Both 8 Pin & 4 Pin Cables For CPU? (Explained!)

Many times it has been seen that some motherboards have a 4-pin connector for CPUs, and some motherboards have an 8-pin connector for CPUs. So which cable do you need?

Depending on your motherboard’s specifications, it will either accept a single 4-pin, a single 8-pin, both 8-pin & 4-pin, or dual 8-pins. The low-end & old motherboards need a single 4-pin connector, but the modern motherboards accept a single 8-pin connector. 

What CPU connector you need primarily depends on a couple of factors, like the number of connectors the motherboard has, the CPU’s power consumption, and whether you are overclocking or not.

By the conclusion of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which CPU connector is necessary and how many CPU connectors are required.

Difference Between A 4-Pin & 8-Pin CPU Cable

The old power supplies mostly come with a 4-pin CPU connector because old CPUs doesnt require a lot of power. But modern CPUs are overclockable and require lots of power to function smoothly.

That’s why modern Power Supplies mostly come with multiple 8-pin CPU connectors, which can be split into 4+4 pins. So you won’t face any issues while installing newer or older CPUs.

4 Pin Cable For CPU8 Pin Cable For CPU
The 4 Pin connector for the CPU is known as the P4 connectorThe 8-pin connector for the CPU is known as the EPS connector.
The 4 Pin connector can supply a maximum power of up to 155 wattsThe 8 Pin CPU connector can supply power up to 235 Watts.
The low-end CPUs with a TDP under 155W need the 4-pin P4 connector.The high-end CPUs with a TDP higher than 155W need the 8-pin EPS connector.

This table explains the difference between the 4-pin and 8-pin CPU cables; now, we will understand when we need which cables.

When Do You Need 4-Pin & 8-Pin CPU Connector?

As explained, the low-end affordable CPUs require less than 155 watts of power; therefore, the 4-pin connector is sufficient for these CPUs.

On the other hand, the high-end overclockable CPUs require more than 155 watts of power, and you need the 8-pin EPS connector for these CPUs.

It is recommended to check your CPU’s power requirement before using the CPU connector because you may need both 4-pin and 8-pin connectors in some instances.

Consider the example of the Intel Core i9 13900K processor, which has a maximum power consumption of up to 253 watts. Therefore, a single 4-pin or 8-pin connector alone cannot provide the required power for this CPU.

Using the Intel Core i9 13900K processor in conjunction with the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI motherboard requires two 8-pin EPS connectors from your Power Supply to supply the necessary power.

Stay clear between the 8-pin CPU and 8-pin GPU cables; both cables are different. This article helps you to figure out the differences between CPU and GPU cables.

The CPU pin connector requirements vary among different motherboards, and based on this variation, you can determine the number of necessary CPU connectors.

How To Check Whether You Need A 4-Pin or 8-Pin CPU Cable?

You can easily identify whether you need a 4-pin, 8-pin, or both cables by checking the specifications of your motherboard. To figure out this, follow the given steps-

Check your motherboard model or chipset- Search about that model on Google- Go to the manufacturer’s website- Click on the detail or specification tab- Scroll the page to the internal connector section and check what type and how many connectors your CPU requires.

Let’s understand this entire process by checking an example-

My system has the A320M-A PRO MAX motherboard, and I searched about this model on Google and visited MSI’s official website.

After that, I go to the specifications tab-


Then I scrolled the page, checked the internal connector section, and found that my CPU will need one 4 Pin P4 connector.

This is how we can easily figure out how many CPU connectors are needed by checking the motherboard specifications.

PSU Doesn’t Have 8 Pin For The CPU: What To Do?

The modern Power Supplies comes with 8 Pin EPS cable for the CPU, which can be split into 4+4 pin connectors. But, some old and cheap Power Supplies doesnt come with 8-pin EPS cables for CPUs.

If your Power Supply doesnt have the 8-pin connector, then upgrading the PSU will be the best.

But, if you don’t want to upgrade the cables, then you can use different adapters available on the market, like the CPU 4-pin to the 8-pin connector or one 8-pin to CPU 8-pin & 4-pin connectors.

Using these adapters can be dangerous for your system, so you must check whether these adapters can send the necessary power to your CPU.

However, if you are using these adapters and your system is running perfectly, then don’t try to overclock your CPU because it will cause system instability issues.

If you want to overclock the CPU, you need to buy a good Power Supply with sufficient CPU cables.

Can You Plug An 8 Pin Into A 4 Pin?

Modern Power Supplies mostly come with the 8 Pin EPS cable for the CPU slot, and this connector can be split into two 4-pin+ 4-pin connectors.

So, it is definitely possible to use the 8 Pin EPS cable on 4 pin CPU slot by splitting the cables.

Can You Use A 4 pin in an 8-Pin Slot?

NO! Using a 4-pin connector in 8 pin CPU slot on the motherboard is not recommended because both cables carry different wattages. The 4-pin connector can supply up to 155W, and the 8-pin connector can supply up to 235W.

If your motherboard has an 8-pin CPU connector, that indicates the CPU requires more than 155W to run. In such a scenario, if we use only 4 pin connector, then the CPU will not get the necessary power. 

In most cases, the computer will not start, and if it starts, then you will face system instability issues.


The entire article explains that the low-end CPUs require 4-pin cables, high-end CPUs require 8-pin cables, and the overclockable CPUs require both cables. You must check the motherboard’s specifications to determine exactly which type and how many connectors your CPU needs.

I expect this article to clear up all your doubts regarding the 4-pin CPU connector and 8-pin CPU connector; if you have any questions then ask me in the comment box.

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Hi, I'm Pallab Mitra, the founder of this blog. I'm a computer enthusiast, and I'll be sharing my knowledge and expertise about PCs on this blog. Read More- About Me 

12 thoughts on “Do You Need Both 8 Pin & 4 Pin Cables For CPU? (Explained!)”

  1. So could you use two 4 pin connectors to fit into one 8 pin slot ? I have both 4 and 8 on my motherboard and it says to have either the 8 or both. So in theory I could plug both 4 pin connectors into the 8 pin slot and it function properly ??

    • If your motherboard has both 4 pin and 8 pin slot then you need to plug both the 4 pin and 8 pin connectors. You can’t combine two single 4 pin connectors and connect them on 8 pin slot. Most PSUs come with the 8 pin connectors that can be split into 4+4 pin and this 4+4 pin connectors can be plugged into one 8 pin slot.

  2. I bought a motherboard that has two 8 pin slots, my 750Watt PSU has only one 8pin cable, will it work with only one at stock clocks? I have the GIGABYTE Z790 GAMING X AX motherboard, and a I7 13700K cpu.

    • As you mentioned that you have the i7 13700k CPU, which requires 253W of power to run smoothly, it is important to note that the one 8-pin CPU (EPS) cable can only supply power up to 235W.

      Therefore, I strongly advise against using just one 8-pin cable. It would be best if you consider purchasing a brand new PSU with two 8-pin CPU cables.

      However, if investing in a new PSU is not feasible for you at the moment, there are alternative options available in the market, such as SATA to 8-pin EPS cables or 4-pin CPU cable to 8-pin EPS cable adapters, which you can purchase instead.

  3. I have a Asus Crosshair VI Hero MB with both 4 & 8 pin connectors. I have the 8 pin connected with a Ryzen 7 1700X cpu running stable for 6 years. I just swapped to a new Ryzen 7 5700X cpu plus added 2 M.2 SSD’s in a PCIE x8 slot. On boot-up I have frequent MB errors including 04 (or D4), 08, 45. The new cpu only has a Max TDP of 65 W but the error code 08 is worrisome. I have a Corsair HX750 power supply & No Overclocking. It usually takes 3 to 4 times of rebooting on power up to finally make it into Windows. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Here are some tips that you can do-

      Firstly, you can check whether all connections are secure or not specially the 8-pin connectors to the Ryzen 7 5700x CPU.

      Secondly, Check your BIOS whether it is updated to support the new CPU.

      Thirdly, verify the compatibility of the M.2 SSDs with the PCIe x8 slot.

      Fourthly, check the monitor temparature to ensure the CPU is not overheating because the 08 error code could relate to thermal issues.

      If these issues won’t work and the problem persists then contact with the ASUS support system.

  4. Hello I have a Gigabyte GA-F2A55M-DS2 (FM2 motherboard) and it comes with an 8pin CPU connection, my 600w PSU only have 4pin CPU connector and im currently using an AMD A4-5300 series APU (65w) paired with Geforce Gt 730 Ddr5 2Gb Vram 300w GV-N730D5-2GI. should I buy a new PSU with an 8pin EPS or can I still use my current PSU with 4pin to connect to my 8pin Mobo.

    • If you’re using the A4-5300 series APU and it uses 65W of power, you don’t need to change your power supply. Just take the 4-pin P4 connector from your power supply and plug it into the CPU port on your motherboard. But if you’re upgrading from an APU to a CPU, especially one that can be overclocked, then it’s a good idea to get a better power supply with 8-pin EPS connectors.

    • The motherboard you mentioned “H470M H” requires one 8-Pin EPS cable from the Power Supply and most Power Supplies come with a 4+4 pin cable for this purpose. All you have to do is connect these two 4+4 Pin cables together and plug them into your motherboards EPS slot.


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