Power supply: proprietary vs non-proprietary

By Steve1776
Jan 18, 2011
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  1. Some manufacturers have used or are using proprietary wiring configurations to the motherboard for the power supply. Thus, if a standard generic power supply is plugged in, the motherboard is toasted.

    If you have a HP, or Dell, or other computer, and want to upgrade the power supply, how do you determine if the power supply wiring configuration is standard or proprietary?

    Is the color coding of the cables a reliable indicator?

    (Of course, some power supplies come with no color coding - just clear plastic over silver wires - not much help there.)
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    A lot of times there will be a whitepaper or technical guide on the website that shows the pins and what they correspond to. I've seen this a lot for Dell computers and servers. I'm not sure how common it is to use non-standard connections anymore, it used to be common but all of the systems I've seen recently have used standard power supplies and connections.
  3. Steve1776

    Steve1776 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Perhaps an example will help explain a typical situation.

    Want to upgrade the power supply and add components (hard drive and 2nd DVD-RW) for: HP Pavilion p6520y Desktop PC.

    On HP's site, there are manuals but no technical pinouts on the power supply.

    The Power Supply is a 250 watt Bestec ATX-250-12Z Rev D7R. Doing a Google search, so far cannot find any pinouts.

    Comparing a standard Okia ATX450, a standard Antec Earthwatt 500, and this Bestec power supply, these are the pinout differences observered:

    The pin 20 wire is white on the Okia, non-existant on an Antec Earthwatt 500, and non-existant on on the Bestec.

    The pin 22 wire is red on the Okia, red on the Antec, and there are two wires on the Bestec (red and pink).

    Pin 13 has two wires (orange & brown) on the Okia, one orange wire on the Antec, and two wires (orange & brown) on the Bestec.

    Pin 2 has one orange wire on the Okia, two orange wires on the Antec, and one orange wire on the Bestec

    Pin 3 has one black wire on the Okia, two black wires on the Antec, and one black wire on the Bestec

    So the questions is if the Antec is substituted for the Bestec, will it work fine or will the motherboard burn out?
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    This is not really an issue any longer... I have worked on a lot of older computers, and Dell was the only OEM that had used Proprietary power supplies to go along with their motherboards... The XPS series PC's do not use proprietary supplies. It's size that counts now ATX, Mini-ATX, ITX, etc

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