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Wire a SATA connector to Molex for power?


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#1 cpumelter

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:05 AM

I'm confused;

I did some googling about this with conflicting information, so thought I would ask you guys. PSU went south on a pc I need to use right now. The pc has a 24 pin mobo connector & (2) SATA drives. All I have avail. right now are a few older 20 pin PSU's with only Molex power connectors.

From what I understand, I can use a 20 pin power supply to run the mobo, no prob. My issue is with the Molex to SATA power connectors. Can I wire "like color to like color" splicing the SATA connectors from my fried PSU onto the replacement PSU?

I see discussion on the 'net about the missing wire from a Molex tap which need to provide 3 volts for the SATA, but then others say that is not an issue...

What say you guys? Will this work?

Thanks!

Edited by cpumelter, 09 June 2011 - 11:06 AM.


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#2 RVE

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:18 AM

technically sata and molex are not the same..although for 99% of drive requirements they are. You can buy adapters pretty cheap or splice. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812170003&cm_re=molex_to_sata-_-12-170-003-_-Product

make sure ur mobo will run on 20 pin thoguh...I've never heard of a 24 pin mobo running on 20. I have heard of mobos with the special cpu connector running without that hooked up.

#3 cpumelter

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:22 AM

On the SATA - I did some more searching. looks like I need to look at my HD(s) to be sure they will run on the 5 volts that the Molex connectors provide.


On the 20/24 pin - IIRC, I believe I read that the extra 4 pins were for use with a high powered video card, if needed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this...

#4 Andrew

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:46 AM

A 20-pin power supply cannot be used on a 24 pin motherboard. You will need either a 24 pin or a 20+4 pin power supply.

#5 cpumelter

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:50 AM

A 20-pin power supply cannot be used on a 24 pin motherboard. You will need either a 24 pin or a 20+4 pin power supply.


I had to do some searching through my bookmarks - I have several pages marked that says it will work...I hate all this conflicting information, lol...

http://store.compute-aid.com/spec/atxps24.html

#6 Andrew

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:56 AM

I've never heard of anyone trying that. To be honest, it MAY work. But I won't be testing it anytime soon (because I'm afraid of frying something!)

#7 cpumelter

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:03 PM

I've never heard of anyone trying that. To be honest, it MAY work. But I won't be testing it anytime soon (because I'm afraid of frying something!)


lol - I know, I am very hesitant to try it too. My local pc shop will have a 24 pin unit on Monday, I may have to wait until then to get it going again.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:13 PM

FWIW: I've used 20-pin PSUs with 24-pin motherboards :), a few years ago.

I think it depends on the motherboard.

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#9 Andrew

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:13 PM

FWIW: I've used 20-pin PSUs with 24-pin motherboards :), a few years ago.

You, sir, are a braver man than I.

#10 killerx525

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:41 AM

I have also recently used a 20pin PSUs with 24pin motherboards :thumbup2:

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#11 hamluis

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:19 AM

LOL...not braver, AA...just didn't want to spend for a new PSU unless absolutely necessary :). That was back in the days of transition to the 24-pin boards, quite a few years in computer-time.

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#12 whoabuddy

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:30 AM

On the SATA - I did some more searching. looks like I need to look at my HD(s) to be sure they will run on the 5 volts that the Molex connectors provide.


On the 20/24 pin - IIRC, I believe I read that the extra 4 pins were for use with a high powered video card, if needed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this...


I just set up a PC and had to use a molex to sata power cable for one of the drives, and I frequently use the same cable with a USB kit I have to read hard drives. There has not been a drive yet that didn't spin up unless it was broken! I wouldn't have expected the 20-pin PS to 24-pin MOBO would work, but based on what everyone says best of luck!!

Also I looked into those 4 pins, and the ATX Wikipeida article says they're for the CPU if needed:

Originally the motherboard was powered by one 20-pin connector. An ATX power supply provides a number of peripheral power connectors, and (in modern systems) two connectors for the motherboard: a 4-pin auxiliary connector providing additional power to the CPU, and a main 24-pin power supply connector, an extension of the original 20-pin version.


I think there is another 4-pin connector that comes off the power supply for PCI-E video cards that need extra power, but I haven't come across anything like this yet.
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#13 cpumelter

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:04 PM

I just set up a PC and had to use a molex to sata power cable for one of the drives, and I frequently use the same cable with a USB kit I have to read hard drives


Hmmm...I wonder about the 3 Volt issue then. Is this only a problem for a very small handful of drives? Because, on the "con" replies that I read on the web, the fifth wire (3 volts) seems to be the point that everyone is conflicted on.

#14 whoabuddy

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:39 PM

Hmmm...I wonder about the 3 Volt issue then. Is this only a problem for a very small handful of drives? Because, on the "con" replies that I read on the web, the fifth wire (3 volts) seems to be the point that everyone is conflicted on.


I did some additional searching, and I found some good information on PlayTool.com regarding the pin-outs and voltages of the cables.

Molex Power Pinout
Pin number / Wire color / Description
1 / yellow / +12 volts
2 / black / ground
3 / black / ground
4 / red / +5 volts

SATA Power Pinout
Pin number / Wire number / Wire color / Description
1 / 5 / orange / +3.3 volts
2 / 5 / orange / +3.3 volts
3 / 5 / orange / +3.3 volts
4 / 4 / black / ground
5 / 4 / black / ground
6 / 4 / black / ground
7 / 3 / red / +5 volts
8 / 3 / red / +5 volts
9 / 3 / red / +5 volts
10 / 2 / black / ground
11 / 2 / black / ground
12 / 2 / black / ground
13 / 1 / yellow / +12 volts
14 / 1 / yellow / +12 volts
15 / 1 / yellow / +12 volts


There still isn't much on how to tell if a hard drive has a 3.3v included though, I have never researched it until now but it's always good to learn something new! Wikipedia mentions a molex to sata connector that has the 3.3v wire as well in their Serial ATA article, but I don't see anything related to this on-line for purchase. The general consensus from what I've read is that drive manufacturer's have not embraced the standard yet, but the rail and voltage should be listed directly on the hard drive or in the manufacturer specifications. I have an old PATA drive in front of me that says +5v 0.72A and +12v 0.52A on the front, I'll check a SATA drive next time I see one, this is a good bit of info to watch out for!!

Also found some good info regarding the 20/24 pin motherboard connector from PlayTool:

The extra 4 pins are not separate rails. They're just extra lines to provide more current to the same rails. ... When you plug a 20 pin cable into a 24 pin connector you're not providing the extra current carrying capacity which may be needed by the motherboard. ... PCI Express cards can draw up to 75 watts through the motherboard connector so adding an expansion card can substantially increase power draw through the main power cable.


It sounds like the main concern is the connector will overheat without the extra wires, but I couldn't find an easy way to tell if it works with a specific motherboard. The PCI-E note is very interesting as well, I didn't know it drew that much power through the motherboard connector.
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