ATX - Power Supply - Issues With Dell Power Supplies

Issues With Dell Power Supplies

Older Dell computers, particularly those from the Pentium II and III lines, are notable for using proprietary power wiring on their power supplies and motherboards. While the motherboard connectors appear to be standard ATX, and will actually fit a standard power supply, they are not compatible. Not only have wires been switched from one location to another, but the number of wires for a given voltage have been changed. Thus, the pins cannot simply be rearranged.

The change affects not only 20-pin ATX connectors, but also auxiliary 6-pin connectors. Modern Dell systems might use standard ATX connectors. Dell PC owners should be careful when attempting to change Dell motherboards and power supplies from the original setup, as it can cause damage to the power supply or other components. If the power supply color coding on the wiring does not match ATX standards, then it is probably proprietary. Wiring diagrams for Dell systems are usually available on Dell's support page.

To determine if a Dell PC has this proprietary ATX (non industrial standard), view the power pin layout in the on-line Dell 'SERVICE' manual (not user manual) and compare it with the ATX pin diagram above. A more reliable method is to measure the voltages on the connector.

DELL motherboard ATX type power supply connector pinout
(This non-standard wiring is used in DELL Pentium II and Pentium III systems)
Color Signal Pin Pin Signal Color
red; color:black">Red +5 V 1 11 PS_On Grey
Black Ground 2 12 Ground Black
Red +5 V 3 13 Ground Black
Black Ground 4 14 Ground Black
Orange Power good 5 15 −5 V White
Purple +5 standby 6 16 +5 V Red
Yellow +12 V 7 17 +5 V Red
Blue −12 V 8 18 +5 V Red
Black Ground 9 19 - KEY (blank)
Black Ground 10 20 +5 V Red

  • 18 AWG is recommended for all wires except pin 11, which should be 22 AWG. For 300 W configurations 16 AWG is recommended.
  • Note: some Dell power supplies do not have the −5 V (white wire), (2002 v1.2 made optional, 2004 v2.01 removed from specification)

Read more about this topic:  ATX, Power Supply

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