When people are new to building a PC, they often get confused about the different CPU connector slots on the motherboard.
In this article, you will learn why several CPU connectors are on the motherboard and how many cables you need for these connectors.
Two CPU Connector Slots on Motherboard: Here’s Why?
Primarily, there are two main reasons why certain motherboards have two CPU connector slots.
- Provide More Power To the CPU: A single CPU connector can only deliver a certain amount of power. For high-end CPUs and overclocked CPUs, this may not be enough. Two CPU connectors can deliver more power; therefore, the CPU can run at higher speeds and perform better.
- Reduce The Load on One Connector: When two CPU connectors are used, the load is split between the two connectors. This reduces the stress on each connector and can help improve the system’s reliability.
Both of these CPU connectors can be in different configurations: either a 4+8 pin setup or two separate 8-pin configurations. I’ll explain these various CPU connector slots on motherboards below.
Different CPU Connectors On Motherboard
You will find different CPU connectors on the motherboard, which vary in design and capacity. Here, you will learn about these different CPU connectors on the motherboard-
One 4-pin CPU Connector
This connector is labeled as a “4-pin CPU connector” and is also renowned as the P4 connector. This connector consists of a 2×2 grid of pins and is used to supply additional power to the CPU.
This connector is usually found on older motherboards or on budget-oriented motherboards where the CPU power requirements are low. This connector usually delivers 12V power to the CPU.
One 8-pin CPU connector
This 8-pin connector is also known as an EPS connector or ATX12V connector, and usually, this connector provides more power compared to the 4-pin connector.
This connector consists of two 4-pin halves that can be joined together to form an 8-pin connector. It typically delivers both 12V and 5V power to the CPU.
The modern motherboards mostly come with this 8-pin connector socket, and this connector is crucial for powering high-performance CPUs.
One 4-pin & one 8-pin connector
Some motherboards come equipped with both a 4-pin and an 8-pin CPU power connectors. On modern motherboards, you will often find this connector type, and this configuration offers compatibility for a wide range of CPUs.
Based on your CPU power requirements, you will require either the 4-pin or 8-pin connector. However, if your CPU requires more power, then you need both the 4-pin and 8-pin connectors.
Two 8 Pin Connectors
Typically on high-end motherboards, you will find two 8-pin CPU connector slots, and these motherboards are designed for extreme performance & overclocking.
If you’re using such a high-end CPU, then you need to plug both 8-pin connectors on the motherboard. Using both these connectors will ensure that the CPU receives ample and stable power for demanding tasks.
Should You Connect Both CPU Connectors?
Whether you need to connect both the CPU connectors, or can you leave one connector that depends on the CPU power requirement?
Let’s understand this when you need to connect which connector-
The low-end affordable CPUs require less than 155 watts of power; therefore, the one 4-pin connector is sufficient for these CPUs.
The modern motherboards give us better performance, and therefore, you require one 8-pin connector. For example, the Gigabyte B660M Gaming X motherboard requires one 8-pin connector.
If you want to overclock your CPU, then you need one 4-pin & one 8-pin CPU cable. For instance, the Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master motherboard needs one 4-pin & one 8-pin cable.
However, for extreme performance & extreme overclocking, you need two 8-pin CPU cables. For instance, the Gigabyte X670E AORUS Xtreme motherboard needs two 8-pin CPU cables.
If you’re not sure how many CPU connectors to plug in, read this article- Do You Need Both CPU Power Connectors?
PSU Has One 8-pin CPU Connector, but Motherboard Has Two Slots For It
If your Power Supply has only one 8-pin CPU connector, but your motherboard has two CPU connector slots, then there are a couple of things that you can do.
- Use Only One Connector: If your motherboard has two CPU power connectors, one 8-pin and one 4-pin, you can use just the 8-pin connector. This is enough power for most CPUs, but you won’t be able to overclock your CPU if you do this.
- Use CPU Adapter Cable: Some CPU adapters have a single 8-pin connector on one end and two 4-pin connectors on the other. These adapters can be used in rare cases, but they are not recommended for high-end CPUs.
- Upgrade The PSU: If nothing else is working for you, the ultimate solution is to upgrade your power supply. You can buy a power supply unit (PSU) that has more than one CPU connector and use it.
Motherboard Has CPU 1 & CPU 2: Which One To Use?
Some motherboards have two CPU power connectors labeled as “CPU Power 1” and “CPU Power 2”. These motherboards are designed to provide extra power to support high-performance processors.
The high-end motherboards & CPUs require multiple CPU power connectors to ensure stable power delivery, and therefore, you should use both CPU power connectors: “CPU Power 1” & “CPU Power 2”.
You should always check your CPU’s specs to see if you need both CPU power connectors. For most standard CPUs, you only need one connector. If that’s the case, plug the cable into the CPU Power 1 slot.
However, if you’re using a high-end CPU or running multiple CPUs on the same motherboard, it’s advisable to use both connectors to ensure the system receives sufficient power.