If you are building your PC for the first time and you do not know where to connect all the cables in the PC box, or if you are in doubt and you want to make sure, or if you want to know Who is everyone for? Then we will tell you where to connect all these cables and what each of them has done, so that you can be sure that you are connecting your PC properly.
Depending on the box, there are many cables that you can have, and sometimes it can be a bit confusing to know where each one should be connected. All of these are known as “front panel connectors”, and in all cases – except for a few special case models that work again – they are always directly connected to the motherboard.
We are going to look at all of them and explain their functions or functions so that you can use this article as a starting guide if this is the first time you are building your PC.
How to connect the cables on the front panel of the box.
First, we need to locate the area of the motherboard where the connection panel of the inbox cables is located. As a general rule, it is almost always located in the lower right part of the motherboard, which is attached to the edge. You will recognize it because it has the name of each connector silkscreen which indicates positive and negative, and in some cases, the word “PANEL” is also printed on it.
In terms of positives and negatives, you should know that if it does not print itself on the cable connectors, then the white cable is always negative, and second, whatever its color, positive. If both cables are black (which is often the case), the trick is that the area where the connector name is printed should always be away from the motherboard.
Logically, every cable is connected where its name is on the motherboard, there is not much secret in it, although to clarify, chances are you will find a connector whose name is (e.g.) “POWER SW” and “PWR SW” on the board. “It’s the place where it’s connected, they’ve written the name so that everything fits in a little bit on the motherboard.
Cables coming out of PC cases
Let’s start with the front panel, of course.
- H.D.D LED: This connector goes to the hard drive activity LED. That little light, usually red, is in front of almost all the cells and that tells us that the hard drive is working.
- P LED (+ and -) or Power LED: These two connectors, which go separately, are the ones that power the device’s power light, which will indicate that it is on despite being redundant.
- Reset SW: This is the connector that enables the box reset button to work.
- Power SW: This connector, as the name implies, is what works the power button on the box. In fact, if we plug two of its connectors on the board with a screwdriver, we can turn on the devices without the need for a button (of course if it’s plugged in and connected).
It is not a connector in itself, but most boxes include a piezoelectric speaker and the speaker also connects directly to the motherboard in the connector, which interestingly has 4 pins although the speaker only has two. Typically, this depends on the motherboard to the right of the motherboard connection panel, or sometimes above it.
The function of this speaker or speakers, as you can already guess, is to remove the beeps that are used to diagnose the motherboard (popular motherboard beeps, come on). This is optional but is always recommended.
USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables
USB 2.0 cables (or cables, sometimes two depending on the number of USB ports on the front of the box) are also connected to the motherboard, and it is OK for the USB in front of the box to work. This connector is rectangular in shape, has 9 pins (the tenth has been emptied so we can connect it in one direction only), and always has “USB” printed on the connector. This is the one on the left in the picture above.
The connector on the motherboard where we need to connect has a similar shape but masculine, it is usually screen printed as USB910 or just USB, and it is usually located in the lower center of the motherboard. happens. Typically, any ATX board has at least two of these connectors, and each of them can offer two USB ports on the front of the box.
On the other hand, cables with USB 3.0 connectors are very wide and long, with 20 pins, the connector is blue and as a rule they have a thick and double cable (this one is on the right side of the picture). Which we put first).
Finally, we come to the HD audio connector, which works to make a 3.5mm mini jack for headphones and microphones to work in almost all boxes. Apparently it’s the same as USB 2.0, but it changes the pin layout, because the tenth pin is blinded instead of the seventh, so it can be easily identified by serograph. ” HD AUDIO “or” AC’97 “.
The connector, as a general rule, will be found on the right side of USB 2.0, usually on the left. On some older boards, this connector was located on top of the main PCI-Express, but fortunately the manufacturers noticed that routing and moving the cable there was a hassle. We’ll recognize it because it’s named “AAFP” or “HD AUDIO”. Unlike USB 2.0 connectors, pins are “in the air”, with no plastic cover around them.
In addition, we already have all the common connectors that all PC cases have. It is clear that some models are different, for example they may lack USB 2.0 connectors and may have two USB 3.0 connectors, or they may have USB-C connectors, fan connectors or RGB. Connectors can also be. So it will depend on the case and the motherboard, but the ones we have listed here are all normal and you will rarely find them.