Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I need to install this hard drive "WD800JD-60JRC0". It is Serial ATA. But what really confuses me is that it has molex connector. I think I can plug what I want: SATA power cable or Molex. But which one is better?

share|improve this question
7  
Just don't plug in both. –  MSalters Jan 13 '12 at 15:02
    
@MSalters I found that out the hard way on my first WD sata drive when they first came out, ouch! –  Moab Jan 13 '12 at 16:42
    
@Moab What happened? I wouldn't've thought anything would since you'd have the same voltages coming in over both cables. –  Dan Neely Jan 14 '12 at 22:03
    
@Dan Neely, I had to rma the drive, it killed it. After reading the instructions is clearly stated not to do this :-> –  Moab Jan 14 '12 at 23:14
    
@Moab: Another risk is that your PSU has two separate 12V output rails, which you might cross-connect via the harddisk. It's not designed to handle those currents. –  MSalters Jan 16 '12 at 9:13
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Older drives, especially during the transition between SATA and PATA had both connectors - that meant you could use a non sata PSU with a sata motherboard (or a non sata motherboard with a sata card). Use either one - the 3.5 v connector in sata is the only major difference electrically, and this isn't used in that drive.

share|improve this answer
    
AFAIK even on current generation SATA drives the 3.3V line is normally unused since the retail boxed versions of the drives typically still come with a molex-sata power adapter cable. –  Dan Neely Jan 13 '12 at 15:53
    
Thats true - though i admit that most drives i buy are simply wrapped in anti static bags, and never come with one of those. I assumed that by now, that sata capable PSUs would be common enough that that connector would be used. –  Journeyman Geek Jan 13 '12 at 22:52
    
The Samsung 830 SSD I bought a week ago came with the adapter cable; and if any drive category was going to be the first to drop it... I suspect it comes down to drive electronics running on lower voltages anyway, and it just being simpler to run the +5/12v line into the DC Power converter. –  Dan Neely Jan 14 '12 at 22:02
add comment

Either cable will work. It will simply depend what you have available.

Both Molex and SATA power cables will work. The basic difference between the two is the Connector Type - Molex is more generic and found on lower end PSU's, it is also a bulkier connector type.

Molex vs SATA connectors

share|improve this answer
add comment

They both supply the power the drive needs; neither will do anything more than the other.

share|improve this answer
    
The SATA power cable is hot-pluggable, however. Molex is not. –  ultrasawblade Jul 24 '12 at 0:00
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.