2x2 12V - how to connect for i7 860....


Jan 14, 2010
I'm building a system with an i7 860 and have a simple question on power connections that for some reason I can't find an answer to on my own. I'm clear on the 20+4 mobo connector, but ...

1. My PSU (a 500W Silverstone) has the *pair* of 2x2 ATX 12V connectors.

2. My mobo (GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4) has the single 2x4 header.

3. I understand the circles/squares, and have also double-checked the voltage/grounds on the mobo and PSU - i know they will both fit. A little troubled by the Gigabyte manual talking about non-existent "protective covers", but evidently from my looking around online, I'm not alone there.

4. I'm not going to be doing any overclocking (ok maybe I'll play around a *little*, but I'm a musician not a gamer).

5. My questions: do I connect one 2x2 or both? Is there any downside to connecting both? (i.e. I can't fry anything by doing that, can I?- electrically, it's kind of a no harm-no foul?) And if I should connect just one, it's to pins 1-4 (not 5-8), I imagine?

thanks in advance - don't want to blow anything up at this point!
Look at the two ATX connectors. They clip together somehow. If you have all eight pins available on both the PSU and motherboard, you should use all eight.

Many of the older Gigabyte motherboards had a 4 pin cover for one half of the motherboard plug. This was so, if your PSU had only a 4 pin connector, you knew where to plug it in.
Connect both 2x2 (4 pin) atx 12 volt connectors to the single 2x4 (8 pin) connector on your motherboard. It's okay.

The reason psu manufacturers use two 4 pin connectors is that some motherboards have a 4 pin connection and some motherboards have an 8 pin connection. The manufacturers have it covered both ways.

A small handful of motherboards have an 8 pin connection but 4 of the pins are covered with "protective covers". Those motherboards will usually operate with either a 4 pin or an 8 pin connection. It's okay to remove the protective cover and use all 8 pins to get full use of the motherboard. Nothing bad will happen.
I know what you mean. I have been upgrading and building pc's since 1985. Most motherboard manuals are poorly written. For my new build I used an Asus Sabertooth 55i motherboard. It came with the first manual that i have seen that was actually well written. It has lots of charts, diagrams, and explanations.

The worst portion of a manual is always the BIOS section. Asus did a good job this time.