All The Cables You Need For Your PC

All The Cables You Need For Your PC

Computers need a lot of cables, and obviously, for first-time PC builders or buyers, it is not that easy to remember which part needs what cables and also do they come with that specific cable or he/she has to buy it externally.

That’s why in this post, I have listed all the cables that a computer need, so let’s discuss what are the cables you exactly need for building your PC or for some specific parts.

I have prepared this table below with PC parts and what cables they come within the box, let’s see:

PartsCable NeededCable NameCome With It
CPU (Processor)Yes4+4-pin CPU power cableNo, it comes with the PSU
GPU (Graphics Card)Yes6, 8, 2×8 (with latest ones), 12 pin power connectorYes
MotherboardYes24-pin ATX and 4-pin P4 power connector.No, they come with the PSU.
Power SupplyYesMain power cable 24-pin ATX, P4 EPs, PCIe 6/6+2, SATA power connectors.Yes
CPU CoolerYes4-pin power connector.Yes
Case FansYes3, 4 pin fan, *RGB connectorYes.
Hard DriveYesSATA cable, SATA power cable.They come with motherboard and PSU
SATA SSD/NVMeYes/NoSATA cable, SATA power cable.They come with motherboard and PSU
MonitorYesHDMI/DisplayPort, main power cable.Yes
Dual MonitorYesHDMI/DisplayPort, main power cable.Yes
PC caseYesFront Panel, USB, Audio, *RGB cables.Yes
* Denotes cables that aren’t always necessary

Now, one thing to remember in this table that, all the PCs are not the same and based on different PCs their cables requirements are also gonna be the difference.

For example, if you are building an ATX PC with fully RGB fans, cooler, strips, then you are going to need cables to connect with the RGB headers of the motherboard.

That’s why I have market * on those cables that are optional, in other words, a PC can be run easily without those cables.

Also, these extra cables I have talked about mostly come with the parts, for example, RGB fans do have cables to connect them with the motherboard, and so like other parts.

Now, let’s discuss in detail which parts need which cable and where you can find them:

Cables Needed For Building A PC:

Till now, I have just mentioned which parts need what cables, but the scenario changes when you build an actual PC. Depending on it, you might need more or fewer cables in your PC, so let’s five deeper which cables you actually do need for your PC.

Cables For Installing CPU:

For installing the CPU, you don’t need any kind of cable. You just have to open the hook on your motherboard, place the CPU properly by matching the corner signs, close it and that’s it. Rather the CPU will get power through the 4+4 CPU power cable that has to be installed on the motherboard.

So, the CPU consumes power from the motherboard that comes from the PSU through this cable.

Moreover, this cable comes with neither CPU nor motherboard, like all the power cords, you can find this 4+4 pin CPU cable with the power supply.

Which Cables Do You Need For GPU?

For running the GPU or graphics card, you just have to connect a cable through which it can get power from the PSU. Now, different GPUs support power cables with different pins.

Some need 6-pin, some 8-pin, while the latest GPUs from Nvidia and AMD either require two 8-pin power connectors or a single 16 pin power connector cable from the PSU.

Now you might be wondering, the GPU is also installed like CPU, meaning it is directly attached with the motherboard through PCIe slot, then why it can’t drain power from PCIe.

Well, it can, in fact some older GPUs that were not power-hungry didn’t even need any power cables, they just consume power through PCIe.

But the latest GPUs are power-hungry so they need an external power supply from the PSU directly.

Talking about the power cable of GPU, they usually don’t come with the GPU but don’t worry, in most of the cases, they come with the power supply.

However, if the GPU doesn’t have any traditional power input port like dual 12-pin, then more likely that GPU comes with that cable for convenience. But if it doesn’t, then you have to separately buy them, again that is very rare.

Overall, you will be able to power GPU through PSUs ready-made ports otherwise, the GPU comes with the cable or any sorts of converters.

Cables Needed For RAM:

Like the CPU, for installing the RAM also you don’t need any cables, you can directly install it on the motherboard and therefore it will consume power from it.

Also Read:

Gaming Vs Normal PC: Which One You Really Need?
Upgrading A Prebuilt PC: Is It Really Possible?

What Cables Motherboard Need?

As the motherboard is the main board that also shares power with other parts, so for the power it needs a 24-pin power connector cable from the power supply. In some motherboards also use 20-pin power cables.

But, the motherboards do come with SATA cables, which you have to use on the hard drives or in the SATA SSDs for reading and writing data.

Otherwise, different parts that are installed on the motherboard use different cables (going to discuss gradually) but the motherboard only needs the 24 or 20-pin power connector from the PSU, which by the way comes with the power supply.

What Cables Do You Need For Power Supply (PSU)?

Although PSU comes with tons of cables like 24-pin, 4/8-pin, 6/8-pin, SATA power connectors, other power cords, it only needs a single power source from wall socket.

Basically, the PSU output cable is the main power cord that you have to connect with your main socket through which the whole PC is gonna get power supply.

What PSU Cables It Comes With?

Now, as PSUs do come with several power cables, let’s see some of its major cables and where you have to connect them:

  • 24-Pin ATX Power Cable: Install on the motherboard (sometimes as 20-pin).
  • 4+4 (8 pin power cable): Install on the motherboard and provide power to CPU.
  • PCIe power (6+8, 8+8): Has to be installed the perfect variant according to the GPU for power.
  • SATA Power Cables: Provides power to SATA HDD and SSDs.

What Cables Do You Need For Coolers And Fans:

After installing the RGB fans, first you have to connect the 3/4-pin headers in the motherboard. Note that, if your fans have a 3-pin header while the motherboard has 4-pin headers, then you can also connect both 3-pin (DC) and 4-pin headers in that.

But the powerful fans that come with RGB lighting mostly use 4-pin USB headers. Now the second step which you have to do is connecting the RGB headers. Now, you don’t have to do this if you bought a non-RGB fan.

But if you do, then you have to either connect the 4-pin RGB connector of the fans in the motherboard’s RGB header (if it does) or through the RGB controller if your motherboard doesn’t have RGB headers for fans.

So, you must have to check the motherboard contains the RGB headers if you are planning to install RGB fans in the future. If it doesn’t you have to buy the controller additionally.

Overall, RGB fans do come with a 4-pin connector and an RGB connector cable.

Now, for CPU coolers, there are also a lot of different variants of them. In general, there are two types of  CPU coolers, CPU cooler, and liquid coolers.

Liquid coolers: Liquid coolers usually have a radiator and each fan is interlinked and so connected with the RGB hub (if they have RGB) and they also get power from the motherboard. All the cables come with them.

Air CPU coolers: They are simple to install, you just have to connect it with CPU fan connector in the motherboard and that’s it. Also, this cable too come with the cooler.

Cables Needed For SSD:

There are mainly three types of SSDs, the SATA SSD: They need a SATA cable that comes with the motherboard and a SATA power cable from the PSU. M.2 SATA SSD: this SSD variant can directly be installed on the motherboard and so as the last variant, i.e. NVMe SSD. They don’t need any cables.

Cables Needed For HDD:

HDDs also need a SATA cable and SATA power cable to work. Both of these cables come with the motherboard and the power supply respectively.

Cables Needed For Monitors And Dual Monitors:

Usually, good monitors do come with a DisplayPort cable and an HDMI cable. Which are the main output slots of a monitor through which they can be connected with the GPU or with the motherboard. 

But, with some budget monitors, these cables are not included, in this case, you have to buy them separately.

Now, for dual monitors, you will get two main power cables with two DP or HDMI port cables, just connect them and you are good to go.

Also Read:

Do You Need Case Fans For PC?
Do PC Cases Come With Fans?

Wrapping up:

Overall, almost all the cables which are required for building a PC do come with the parts themselves. But, in some exceptional cases, like if the motherboard doesn’t have an RGB header, you have to buy 1-2 cables or devices on your own.

I hope after reading this post, you got an elaborated idea about what cables needed while building a PC or for replacing a specific part. If you have any more queries in mind, feel free to reach me.

See you in the next one, be techy:)

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