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I'm not sure what it's called - the set of wires that connect the power button, LED, HDD activity indicator lights - to the motherboard. My question is, are they standard these days? Meaning, if I purchase a motherboard and a case, do I have to be careful to make sure that the plug from the case will fit my motherboard?

To add onto the question, I built one system where they did match up. I have another system, but it was a motherboard from HP and a case from Dell, where the adapter did not match. Perhaps OEMs differ?

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Generic systems are pretty much standard these days. The only thing you have to worry about is which polarity is correct, but that's just a matter of flipping it around.

OEMs have their own custom specifications, sometimes to add features, sometimes to remove interchangeability.

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Usually these lights/switches all have separate cables and connectors. The motherboard's manual will tell you where they go.

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Generally, buying any type of aftermarket mobo and case combo (assuming the rest works together) should cause no issues as far as getting the power cable to plug into one of the available slots? –  Ryan Peters Oct 14 '10 at 13:22
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@Ryan Peters - Correct. As long as it's not some big-box OEM stuff the connectors should all work. They might be labeled a little differently but you can figure it out. (The color coding is NOT standard - be aware.) –  Shinrai Oct 14 '10 at 14:12
    
Let me put it like this: I've built 100+ computers and only once came across a problem which turned out not to be a problem because the motherboard manufacturer had put an adapter in the box. –  BloodPhilia Oct 14 '10 at 14:33

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