In the process of building your own PC, installing the PSU is likely to be one of the later steps. While PSUs often get overlooked and sidelined next to fancy GPUs and CPUs, not a single component will even turn on without the PSU. As such, the PSU is arguably the most important part of your PC and thus deserves special care and attention paid to its installation. Below, we go over the general steps required for installing a PSU. Please note that there may be additional steps you need to take for your specific build.

How to Safely Install a PSU?

Step 1

During this entire process ensure that nothing is ever plugged into power and that the PSU is always switched off.

This step only applies to PSUs that feature modular cabling, where all the cables come unattached. If your PSU does not feature modular cabling and all the cables are already attached, you may go on ahead to step 2. If you are unsure, please check out the ELITE NEX White W500 as an example of a PSU with fixed cables.

Organize all the cables you received with your PSU and connect the 4 + 4-pin or 8-pin CPU power connector, the PCIe GPU power connector (check your GPU specifications to ensure you connect the correct number of PCIe connectors), and the 1 x 24-pin motherboard connector. Depending on your build you may also need to use a SATA power connector or a second CPU power connector. Be sure to check the manuals and specifications of all your components to ensure you connect every cable you need to the PSU, including the PCIe 6 + 2-pin cable if necessary and any peripheral cables.

If you are using a 12VHPWR cable, which is the power connector that must be used with PCIe Gen 5 GPUs such as Nvidia’s 40 series, then be careful to ensure that the cable is fully and securely connected to your GPU and apply only parallel force when plugging the cable into the GPU’s socket. Be sure not to bend or twist the cable when plugging or unplugging it. Additionally, make sure you do not use any non-standard cables that do not comply with the standard configuration of your components, that you do not use any unnecessary adapter cables, and that you do not use or store your cables near any heat sources. Check out Cooler Master’s own 90-degree 12VHPWR Adapter Cable that provides enhanced safety and durability by solving many of the potential issues seen with standard 12VHPWR cables.

Step 2

If you have not already done so, remove the side panels from your PC case and find the PSU enclosure, usually situated towards the bottom of the case. Insert your PSU with the fan facing downwards. Please note that the location of your PSU enclosure and how you access it may differ depending on your case.

Step 3

Organize each cable in your case so that it can reach its relevant component correctly. The 24-pin cable must reach to the motherboard, the 8-pin connector to the CPU, and the PCIe connectors to the GPU.

Please note that as long as you have an ATX PSU, such as the GX III Gold 850, in an ATX case or an SFX PSU in something smaller like an ITX case, you should be able to hook everything up without issue. ATX PSUs are too big for the PSU enclosures of smaller cases such as an ITX. SFX PSUs, on the other hand, may be used with ATX cases if the PSU comes with an SFX to ATX bracket, as see with units like Cooler Master’s V SFX Platinum 1100, and the included cables are long enough to reach the relevant components.


And there you have it! Installing a PSU isn’t too difficult. Just take everything slowly and ensure you have all the cables you need going to the correct places in your machine.

For a look at more selections of PSUs, please check out Cooler Master’s website. Happy building!

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