AT Power Supply Connectors

Industry standard PC, XT, AT, Baby-AT, and LPX motherboards all use the same type of main power supply connectors. AT power supplies feature two main power connectors (P8 and P9), each with six pins that attach the power supply to the motherboard. These are rated at 5 amps per pin, at up to 250V. These two connectors are shown in Figure below.

AT/LPX main P8/P9 power connectors

All standard PC power supplies that use the P8 and P9 connectors have them installed end to end so that the two black wires (ground connections) on both power cables are next to each other. Note the designations "P8" and "P9" are not fully standardized, although most use those designations because that is what IBM stamped on the originals.

Some power supplies have them labeled as P1/P2 instead. Because these connectors usually have a clasp that prevents them from being inserted backward on the motherboard's pins, the major concern is getting the two connectors in the correct orientation side by side and also not missing a pin offset on either side.

Following the black-to-black rule keeps you safe. You must take care, however, to ensure that no remaining unconnected motherboard pins exist between or on either side of the two connectors after you install them. A properly installed connector connects to and covers every motherboard power pin.

If any power pins are showing on either side of or between the connectors, the entire connector assembly is installed incorrectly, which can result in catastrophic failure for the motherboard and everything plugged into it at the time of power-up. Figure below shows the P8 and P9 connectors (sometimes also called P1/P2) in their proper orientation when connecting.

ATX Main Power Connector The industry-standard ATX power supply–to–motherboard main connector is the Molex Mini-Fit, Jr. connector number 39-29-9202 (or equivalent), which is more commonly known as the 20-pin ATX-style connector. Molex rates each pin to handle 6 amps of current (at up to 600V).

First used in the ATX form factor power supply, it also is used in the SFX form factor or any other ATX-based variations. The colors for the wires listed are those the ATX standard recommends; however, to enable them to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they are not required for compliance to the specification.

I like to show these connector pinouts in a wire side view, which shows how the pins are arranged looking at the back of the connector (from the wire and not terminal side). This is because it shows how they would be oriented if you were back-probing the connector with the connector plugged in.