PC TINKERERS should power extra components only with the cables that came with the power adapter, according to those in the know.
“One can’t say for certain how the individual contacts in these cables are aligned,” says Alexandros Bikoulis of the tech magazine PC Games Hardware.
In some cases, the pin assignment for cables from third-party manufacturers or other product lines could be so different that you may accidentally catch the 12-volt power rail while grounding the hard drive. “And that’s going to fry your hardware.”
If you need a cable for other SATA devices such as hard drives or other drives, ask the manufacturer which cables are compatible.
The alternative, “With a multimeter, you’ll be able to find out whether it’s a 12-volt line or something else,” says Bikoulis. But not everyone has such a device at their disposal.
All in all, though, Bikoulis is observing a positive trend among manufacturers, “It used to be a lot more chaotic than it is today. Now we are getting to the point where everything related to pins is being standardised.” – Text & Photo by dpa