How To Connect a Graphics Card: GPU Power Connectors Explained

Graphics cards are a vital component in any computer system, especially for gamers. Whether you’re building your first gaming rig or upgrading an older one, it’s important to know how to connect the graphics card properly. This article will explain the different GPU power connectors and 8 pin power connector which is used by most of them.

PCI Express x16 Connector

GPU Compatibility

One of the first things to happen during PCI Express is that it replaced AGP or advanced graphics port. PCI Express devices are limited to a bus width (or lane) of up to 16 lanes or 16 gigabytes per second for data transfers.

If you have an older computer and want to upgrade your video card without replacing everything else with new hardware then the PCIe x16 connector provides compatibility between newer software interfaces and old PCs using AGP technology.

The PCI-E standard has allowed PC manufacturers such as Dell/HP/Lenovo etc., will now be able to produce laptops that use both powers from batteries while on the go but can also plug into AC when they get back home.

PCI Express x16 Connector is a better way to connect your PCI devices. It has two main design objectives: higher bandwidth and lower latency than its predecessor, PCI.

The maximum theoretical single-direction rate of the interface in the first generation was 250 MB/s per lane with each lane running at 500 MHz for a total of 50 Gbps or about 33 MiB/s per second (per direction).

The PCIe x16 connector is still widely used today and can be found on most motherboards as well as graphics cards such as NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT etc.

  • PCI Express is a serial bus standard for connecting a computer to peripherals
  • It superseded the older PCI and has since been replaced with PCI Express.
  • The PCI Express x16 connector allows devices supporting this interface to connect at 16 Giga transfers per second (GT/s) in each direction.
  • This type of connector should only be used on video cards or other high-performance PCIe devices that need it.
  • PCI Express x16 connectors are also known as PCIe x16 or PCIE 16.

6 Pin Connector

GPU Power Connectors

The 6 Pin has been around since 2002 when it was first introduced on Intel's Pentium III CPUs as part of ATX12V power supply specification revision which defines requirements for non-"Integrated" (onboard) video cards with CPU cooler with a vented bracket.

The 6 Pin Connector is the most common connector for graphics cards. PCI-E 16x electrical lanes are required to provide maximum bandwidth, allowing a single card to outperform older technologies by up to 300% or more in many cases.

PCI-e also offers improved reliability and support for increased data rates from future expansion products without requiring complex changes to their software drivers.

There's not much that can be said about this little guy because there isn't anything special about it--it's just an old fashioned Male Molex connector with a Female Barrel Jack on top of it.

I will add one thing: if you're using (powering) your computer off any kind of battery source like a laptop UPS then make sure you plug it into the Molex connector and not the barrel jack.

A 6-pin connector is a type of electrical power supply cable which supplies reliable, high-quality electricity to your PC or laptop when you need it most.

This will connect to any compatible computer's motherboard in order for them to turn on. It can also charge devices such as iPhones and iPads quickly enough if needed!

The 6 pin connectors have six pins arranged in two rows with three on each row (making 6 total). All these cables are designed specifically for computers and monitors that use either 115 VAC 60 Hz or 230 VAC 50 Hz input voltage range.

The 6 Pin Connectors come in various lengths ranging from one meter up to twenty meters so they're perfect for any room.

A 6 pin connector is used on desktop computers with large power supplies (PSU) providing a constant flow of energy to the computer's motherboard through this cord.

It also charges devices such as iPhones and iPads quickly enough if needed!

8 Pin Connector

GPU Power Connectors

An 8-pin connector is a type of electrical connector. It's used in many electronic devices that need power, such as computers and printers. The connectors are typically circular with eight pins around the outside edge.

There are two types of 8-pin connections: straight and angled. Straight ones connect to motherboard sockets on one side while angled ones connect to adapters or cards from both sides at 45 degrees angles.

Adapters can be found for any device made by various manufacturers, so there’s no need to worry about compatibility issues if you purchase an adapter with your original cord (though it should always be replaced when possible).

Aluminum is the most common material used for these cables because it conducts electricity well but isn't very flexible.

A single 8-pin connector can supply a device with up to 150 watts of power, which is more than enough for most devices on the market today. 8-pin connector pin connectors are used in devices that require a lot of power, such as graphics cards.

These days some graphic cards like RTX 3080 will run on 170 watts of power so you need more than one need this 8-pin connector.

There are even some outlandish situations where the GPU will have two 8-pin connectors. So, by simply adding all the numbers together, we get a total of 375 watts, which is more than enough to power some of the most demanding graphics cards on the market today.

An 8-pin connector should be used in devices that require a lot of power, such as graphic video card, and provides up to 150 watts of energy (enough for most devices)

12 Pin Connector

GPU Power Connectors

This is an adapter that plugs into the graphics card and converts a digital 12 pin connector to standard analogue display output.

The 12-pin DVI interface was designed by Intel Corporation with IBM's input, as part of their efforts to create what would become known as "the Digital Display Working Group" (DDWG) in 1996.

It had been intended for use on flat-panel displays like plasma TVs but found its way back onto video cards because LCD monitors are also based on liquid crystal technology.

A common example is Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti which uses this type of connection.

Adapters Or Converters For Connectors

Adapters or converters are used to change a connector into another connector. Adapters and converters can be found for nearly every type of electrical plugs, including the US system, European Union power systems, and plugs from other countries around the world as well.

Adapters allow travelers with different types of outlets in their home country to use devices that require alternating plug shapes commonly available abroad.

Converters vary by voltage so it is important that you purchase one specifically suited for your needs if you plan on using electronics while traveling outside of North America.

For example, An adapter may also have more than just two pins on each side so it will fit any shape plug (e.g., a four-pin adaptor). They work as an extension between the plug and socket.

4-Pin Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E Adapter Cable

The 4-Pin Molex to PCI-E adapter cable is constructed with a rugged design and heavy-duty shielding. It has been tested and verified by UL, CE, FCC standards.

The 4-pin connector is compatible with all PCs or laptops that use the ATX form factor power supply standard.

This plug converts an old 4 pin Molex connection into the new 12V/24A PCIe x16 slot on your graphics card for easy installation of your high-end video card upgrade without any more soldering.

Buy one today to make sure you are not stuck waiting on someone else's time frame for what could be done right now.

In order to install a newer generation graphics card in place of the older ones like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 or AMD Radeon HD 6870, you need to first purchase a 4-pin Molex to PCI-E adapter cable.

The 4 pin connector is compatible with all PCs or laptops.

4-Pin Molex to 8-Pin PCI-E Power Adapter Cable

A 4-pin Molex to a PCI-E power adapter cable is used on graphic cards that need more than 75 watts from the PSU.

The graphics card then draws all its power through these cables and cuts off the use of the old 4 pin Molex connector.

This new technology was introduced by NVIDIA in 2008 with their GeForce 200 series, but now every major GPU manufacturer uses it as standard for providing extra wattage connections through two additional pins (pins 15 & 16).

Since there are only four wires connecting an older style 4-pin Molex plugs to a motherboard, this limits how much current can be supplied without adding another wire or using a larger plug like a six or eight-pin connection.

With 12V being supplied at 4A on a 4-pin Molex connector, this means the maximum power that can be provided is 48W.

This was not enough for NVIDIA's GeForce 200 series and other graphic cards with more than 75 watts required so they introduced two additional pins to provide an extra 12V supply at 4 amps in total which gives 112W (75+48).

The downside of using these cables is that only one card per cable can be used as both connectors use up all four wires from it.

If multiple graphics cards are needed then individual PCI Express connectors must be used instead or another PSU like the Yataoka 80Plus Gold 700w may need to be purchased.

Power Supply companies have begun including these adapters bundled with their products since most enthusiast builds require more than one graphics card to be used.

6-Pin to 8-Pin PCI-E Adapter Cable

This adapter is an easy way of going from 6 pins on the graphics card to a full eight-pin connector that provides all necessary connections for powering up your graphic card that requires more than just six pins.

These adapters make it possible for computers with low-end motherboards or graphics cards to receive a high-quality power supply.

The cable plugs directly in where you would normally have access to connecting a PCI Express power connector and simply converts one style of the plug into another without any extra work needed, cutting down installation time and increasing efficiency overall.

6 Pin PCI-E power connector can be converted with this simple adapter cable. The six wires on the left are what is required for your graphics card, these cables will then plug into this 6-pin to PCI-E Adapter Cable which has all of the necessary pins for powering up the card.

With this cable, you can connect your graphics card to a PSU that only has 6-pin PCI-E power connectors which will allow it to be powered and work properly without any more hassle.

2x 8-Pin To 12-Pin PCI-E Adapter Cable

2x 12V+ and GND wires, usually red and black or brown.

PCI Express power cable to connect 2 x PCIe connectors for a graphic card with 2 x Molex plugs. You can use it in any PSU that has a standard ATX 24 pin connector.

The adapter is compatible with all modern graphic cards (e.g., AMD Radeon RX 470/570) but not old ones with only one PCIe plug on the board such as ATI Rage 128 Pro Turbo AGP Graphics Card from 1996).

The cables are typically connected using a 16AWG wire gauge - this should be adequate however thicker gauges have been known to be used; the most important thing is that you get enough amperage for the graphics card to work properly.

Just because a PSU has 2 x PCIe connectors doesn't mean it can power two graphic cards at any given time - for that you would need to buy an appropriate Power Supply Unit with enough wattage.

SATA to 6-Pin PCI-E Adapter Cable

A SATA to PCI-E adapter is required for a graphics card with only one power input.

The SATA connector typically available on most motherboards will need an adapter that converts the male 15 pin SATA power cable into two PCIe cables, one of which provides six pins or 12V current and ground connections while the other supplies just +12VDC and ground.

SATA to 8-Pin PCI-E Adapter Cable

In order to use a SATA power connector on an older PCI-E card, you can use this adapter cable. The adapter is made of flexible silicone material which provides added stability and protection for the connectors compared with traditional SATA cables that are hard plastic without any flex.

This product features two SATA data connections (SATA female) and one proprietary connection type used in newer graphic cards like PCI-E x16 or PCI-e x16 via USB A Female (Type B).

A high-quality interface ensures reliable communication between devices when transferring large files such as uncompressed video output from DSLR cameras and post-production workflows requiring multiple streams of uncompressed HD footage at once.

It also enables stable transfers during simultaneous operation with other peripherals connected to the SATA controller on your motherboards, such as SSDs and hard drives.

Frequently Asked Question

Question: What is a graphics card power connector?

Answer: Graphics cards come in different shapes and sizes. The graphics card power connectors are the connection between the motherboard, CPU, or power supply and your video adapter (GPU). There are two types of GPU power connectors on modern GPUs - PCI Express versions one and two which both offer a six-pin PCI-Express connector plus an additional four pins for extra stability.

Question: How do I know what type of graphics card power connector my motherboard requires?

Answer: For the most part, there's no need to worry about which PCI Express version your PC is compatible with. The best thing you should be looking out for on the back panel of a computer case are two six-pin connectors, one will always be labeled as a "PCI-E 16x" and then next to it will either say "PCIe x16" or just simply "PCI".

Question: How can I tell if my video adapter (GPU) has enough power supply from its own cable?

Answer: Graphics cards come with a variety of different PCIe versions ranging from x16 to x56. Most graphics cards come with two six-pin connectors, so if you're using a PCIe 16x card the best thing you can do is make sure that your video card has at least one connector of its own and then look for either an additional four pins or plus an additional four pins for extra stability.

Question: My motherboard power supply doesn't seem like it'll work? What should I do?

Answer: If your PC's PCI Express version isn't compatible with the version on your GPU, this will result in instability issues such as crashing and rebooting. The simplest solution would be to upgrade parts of your computer (the most likely culprit being the power supply) that are just going to end up bottlenecking your GPU.

Question: What's the best way to upgrade my graphics card?

Answer: The most popular route would be to update your computer with a new power supply, motherboard, and RAM. This will provide you with all the stability needed for any GPU of choice.

Question: My computer is crashing when I'm playing games or browsing the internet. Is there anything wrong with it?

Answer: If this happens often enough then yes, we're sorry but something is probably really wrong here! Crashing could mean that either your PC isn't compatible with running certain applications (such as gaming in particular) or that one component like an overworked PSU just can't keep up anymore.


GPU power connectors are essential for a powerful gaming machine. They provide the video graphics with enough power to achieve optimum performance.

Graphics cards can be connected in many ways but there is one universal rule: always connect it to an available PCIE slot that does not already have a graphic card installed, this will make sure you do not overheat your motherboard and prevent any damages from happening by accidentally connecting two graphics cards at once.

If you find yourself lost while trying to figure out which connector type goes where lookup youtube tutorials for help on how to install graphics cards as they are quite complicated pieces of equipment and require some skill when installing them into PCs. Make sure all connections between the GPU and CPU are tightly fitted and that the pins are not bent.

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