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Thread: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?




  1. #1
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    Default Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    Hi, I have recently purchased a GA-MA790X-UD4P motherboard for use with a Phenom II X3 720 CPU. After assembly I could not get the monitor to come out of standby. The fans came on and the GPU LEDs were lite.

    I did some looking and found the MB has an eight pin ATX 12v 2X4 socket besides the 24 pin ATX plug. My power supply, Thermaltake 600 watt has only a 4 pin 12v plug that matches one half of the 2x4 socket.

    The pins and outputs matched the socket so I tried testing the board outside of the case with min connections. It came on and the monitor showed it attempting to boot.

    So, my question is this, can the board be operated safely with only one 2x4 12v plug or, do I need to purchase a different power supply, one with the 8 pin plug?

    FYI the setup will be:
    4 GB G.skill DDR2-1066 RAM
    ATI 4870 GPU
    150 GB Raptor Drive for OS and programs
    (2) 1 TB WD drives in RAID for data storage
    CD DVD read-write drive

    John

  2. #2
    kick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    The short answer is.Yes
    The 8 pin power supply is the same as the 4 its just some v high power draw cpus may need the 8 pin power supply.
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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    The 8-pin ATX_12v setup is recommended, but the 4-pin connector should work when it is properly installed in the correct 2x2 section of the mobo's 2x4 ATX_12v connector. There are adapters to provide a 2x4 connection, but I don't think this will help unless the adapter plugs in to a spare molex connector.

    Does your video card require a 6-pin power connector?
    Does your psu have this connector?

    600 watts is powerful enough for your system, but you will be better off buying a new, 80+ psu. Don't cut corners and buy a cheap unit. Your psu is the foundation of your system. The best psu brands come with a five year warranty and can be bought for under $90 (USD) with rebates and/or free shipping. Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling make some of the most solid units on the market. Read the psu user reviews at Newegg to get a feel for prices and quality.

    Note: this is a filtered list, sorted by "best rating". You can use the "Power Search" feature to modify the search criteria. I like Rosewill products for their price and quality, but I'm leary when it comes to their power supplies. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    Thank you kick and profJim for your replies.

    The PSU is a Purepower 2 Thermaltake unit. I have used Thermaltake PSUs in the past and have had no problems. It does have the six pin plugs for the graphics card.

    This computer is destined to be used as a server and as such, I think the PSU will be plenty good. This is the first time I run into the 12v plug issue.

    I have built a dozen or so computers and upgraded several more. However, I do not consider myself an expert. Thank you again for your advice.

    John

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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    I can confirm both Kick and profJims postings. Your board should be perfectly happy with a P-4 connector. Please note though, that it could possibly reduce over clock-ability using just 4 pins.

    If you wish to buy an adapter, you will indeed need to go for one that alows you to input both the existing P-4 and two Molex (preferably connect the two molex from two different rails of the PSU, though not vital). I own one made by Hyper and was using it with my UD3P and a Hyper Type R 580.

    This link shows the type of adapter you need: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Hiper...E-TRAVEL-CASE)
    Last edited by Psycho101; 05-17-2009 at 10:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    I agree with all of the above info, and would just like to suggest that if you do plan to use an adapter please do not overclock as that may cause to much heat/voltage to go into the 4Pin molex and cause it to melt/burn

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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    Always good to eer on the side of caution. Although as long as the power supply is good, the molex plugs should be fine. Any more than 12V going through them should be prevented by the active PFC circutry. If the PSU is however particularly old and maybe doesn't have active PFC (Power Factor Correction), things like capacitor aging come in to play and you may have issues.

    My Hyper PSU was perfectly content with running an overclock on my current hardware. I used a DMM (Digital Multi Meter) to verify voltages were in spec and paid close attention to 12V rail design when deciding which molex plugs to connect to the adapter. It's advisable to use one molex connector from each set of molex wires if your PSU has multiple "sets" of molex connectors.

    I can't say if the 8 pin plug was necessary though as I did not connect the 4 pin only connector, I used the adapter right away.

    A native P-8 connector is always preferable.
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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    I always err on the side of caution with Power supplies and my boards, but then again I always overclock too

    You can plug a 4 pin 12 volt power cable into an 8 pin EPS motherboard connector but there's no guarantee that it will work. If the motherboard expects only one 12 volt rail then a 4 pin 12 volt cable may work. If the motherboard expects two 12 volt rails (many dual CPU motherboards require one 12 volt rail per CPU) then it won't work. Even if the motherboard works with a 4 pin 12 volt cable, you are still only providing half of the current carrying capacity which would be provided by an 8 pin EPS cable. That can overheat both the motherboard connector and 4 pin cable. Scorched or melted connectors can be a result. A motherboard which has the 8 pin EPS connector expects a lot of current and you are taking a serious risk by plugging in a 4 pin cable.
    All about the various PC power supply cables and connectors

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    Default Re: Can a 4 pin 12v header be use in a 8 pin socket?

    Caution is always best.

    Taken from the web site you linked to it has this to say on P8 adapters:

    If you don't have an 8 pin 12 volt cable then you can use the adapter shown above. It converts a couple of 4 pin peripheral power cables into an 8 pin 12 volt cable. If you use one of these adapters then be sure to plug the 4 pin peripheral connectors into separate cables coming from the power supply. If you plug them both into the same power supply cable then you are drawing all the power of the 8 pin 12 volt connector through a single 18 gauge wire. You can often get away with that but there's no reason to do it.
    If I understand this correctly, then the use of an adapter as outlined on the site will not cause issues such as over heating etc.

    The piece you quoted above refers to over heating happening if the board were to try drawing more power than possible from the P4 connector, with no adapter or supplementary power fed to the last 4 pins of the EPS 12V socket. this is due to the wire inside the connector from the PSU exceeding its rated current carrying ability. Suplementing with an adapter preferably fed from seperate molex connector groups seems no problem according to the author of the information.

    It's actually an interesting read. Glad you linked it.
    Last edited by Psycho101; 05-18-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
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    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
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