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Power Supply question please?

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Power Supply question please?
My Dell 2300 Power supply has a 20 PIN ATX Cable Plug and a 4 wire plug which is: 12V (P4) What’s the difference or name differences between a power supply that has both the 20 PIN ATV Cable Plug & 4 wire Cable Plug 12V (P4) ? Some similar power supply’s has the 20 PIN ATX Power Supply Cable and Plug but does not have the other 4 wire Cable Plug 12V (P4) ? What is both called by name or what’s their different style names please?

I wanted to test my buddy’s pc power supply out on my older pc but my pc didn’t have or didn’t have a power supply that has 2 cables. The one pc of my buddy’s didn't have the 2nd power supply cable of the 1 4 Hole Plug with two yellow and two black wires and it smoked my pc motherboard, the plug was the same but voltages musta been very different.

Note: didn't have any Power Supply manuals or nuttn.

Wanting to learn more is why asking.

Please reply?

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    Portlock - Oahu

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Hello EzTechGuy... back again, eh! :tazz:

Power supplies have evolved over the years.

The older power supplies (circa Windows 3.1 or around there) were simply called AT power supplies. These power supplies required you to actually turn off the power supply switch to fully shut down your system.

The next generation was ATX. This power supply was designed to "speak" to the motherboard thereby allowing you to shut down via windows Shut down menu. They also apply "constant" voltlage (around 2.5 volts) to the motherboard at all times for wake up events, thus the standing recommendation that you always disconnect the AC plug before connecting/disconnecting any ATX power connections to the motherboard or peripherals.

The next generation is still called ATX, but is additionally labeled P4/K8 compatible. This is the power supply that has the additional 4 pin connector. It complies with all the aforementioned ATX requirements. And... also requires the user to pull the AC plug before connecting/disconnecting power cables.

When choosing a power supply, it's a good idea to check reviews about them first before purchasing. Newegg.com has many users who give feedback about the hardware they buy. This is one of the best places to find out what users think about different products. I use it quite religiously myself before making any purchases of any kind.

Try to stay with top manufactures when buying power supplies and the saying "you get what you pay for" certainly applies here. Personally, I like Enermax power supplies.

Hope that helps.


Edited by makai, 17 July 2005 - 02:57 PM.

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    Retired Staff

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Dell psu are proprietary. They re-wired that 20 wire plug that goes on the mother board. So if you take a Dell power supply and install it in a non-dell mother board, it's toast. And if you install a ATX psu on a dell board, that board is toast....

I think you can buy a conversion conector from Tiger-Direct to get around that problem....

As far as the p4 conectors, I don't know what Dell has done. Anyone know?

Edit: on that motherboard that got smoked. Did you put a Dell psu in a non-dell pc or vice versa?

Edited by macten, 17 July 2005 - 03:35 PM.

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