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How To: Make a PCI Express Power Connector
Written by Spode (16/Oct/04)
Page 1 of 2

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If you have read much about PCI Express graphics cards, you may have noticed how they now use a 6-pin socket for supplying external power to the board. When we did our testing, only one of the cards came with an appropriate adaptor. As these were not retail cards, we cannot be sure if this will be the case when retail cards are released. Many new power supplies come with the 6-pin connector as standard, so some companies may opt to not include the cable, and of course many OEM cards have no cables included at all. Buying an adaptor may be hard to do and you may end up paying an extortionate price for it.

However, if you have a soldering iron and a dead ATX power supply to hand, you can make your own.

As you can see from this picture of our 6800GT, it is a very similar format to a standard ATX 20-pin connector. You will also notice the connector is keyed. Luckily for us, there is part of the ATX connector that has a similar enough key to fit without any problems.

As highlighted above, this top section is perfect. Hacking a PSU apart is not the best solution for everyone, but if you are like us you will probably have a dead PSU lying around somewhere. We found the best way to separate the top three pins is to use a hack saw. If you cut from the pin side and angle away from the top three, you have less chance of cutting into the pins you need. A quick clean up with a file or sharp knife will give us an appropriate plug.

You can make your adaptor as long or short as you like by cutting the PSU wires wherever you like. You may just want to solder these wires straight onto your PSU, or you can do as we did and make an adaptor cable.

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