I'm looking at building a computer and I have already done a whole bunch of research the topic and I think I know what I'm doing.

My question is where do all the cables required for connecting everything come from? I'm pretty sure that the cables required come from their respective components (power connectors from the power supply, assorted cables from the motherboard, ect). However nowhere have I seen it explicitly stated that the cables come with the component I am buying.

Just to confirm, if I buy all the components needed for a basic computer (CPU, motherboard, power supply, case, ram, video card, hard drive, optical drive) from a website, say newegg, will I have all the screws, cables,connectors, and components to put together a working computer or will I need to buy some cables somewhere?

closed as too broad by Journeyman Geek May 27 at 1:55

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  • Summer time is the right time for assembling a PC ie. avoid dry winter months (static electricity). – Aki Apr 25 '11 at 16:03

Retail motherboard box will typically come with an IDE cable, Floppy cable, 2 Sata cables, and possibly 1-2 molex to sata power adapters. They also may provide a serial port cable/bracket, as well as possibly a USB cable/bracket.

The computer case will come with the needed cables to activate its features, such as audio, speaker, front usb, etc. The case will also come with screws you will need for mounting, as well as extra screws. Typically there are enough extra to handle hard drive/dvd mounting, but not always.

OEM versions of hard drives and dvd drives will NOT come with screws. Depending on how many came with the case, and the type of case, you may need more screws here. Retail versions of these may come with the needed mounting screws, but not guaranteed.

A basic power supply will have enough connectors for a basic setup. 1 DVD drive, 1 HDD, one Floppy. Case fans usually have splitters so this tends to not be an issue. Make sure you get a power supply to match your components, vid cards in particular have special power requirements, and will need a supply that has the necessary connections.

In general I have never had to purchase extra adapters/screws with the systems I have built. I have kept the screws/adapters left over from previous basic builds to handle more involved ones. If you are piecing together a basic system, you should probably be ok without worrying about anything extra. Stick to retail on the drives if you aren't 100% sure.


Although many manufacturers do supply the cables with their components, it is not a rule. Therefore, be pepared to buy some separately. Also, some screws for screwing things in place. Actually, your best bet would be to buy one of those mini toolboxes for computer components, which usually come with some screws (as well as tools) inside.

  • Any idea how to tell if a company will supply cables or not? Say, maybe sticking with more well known brand names such as Asus? – Faken May 18 '10 at 0:52
  • Sorry, no strict rules there. I've received and not received cables from well known, and unknown manufacturers. Go with, if it doesn't say they box them, they probably don't. – Rook May 18 '10 at 0:57
  • 1
    Also, if you go and buy them before, you'll probably get another pair in the box. – Rook May 18 '10 at 0:59
  • ;-) that's right, the only way to guarantee you will get a cable with a component is to go buy the right cable beforehand. That's Murphy's Law for you! – AdamV May 18 '10 at 8:33

It depends on where and how you buy the components. Usually if you get the retail box version of motherboards, HDDs, etc they come with the appropriate cables. If you buy the OEM version, you get the identical hardware, but usually the cables and manuals are left out.

The easiest way to find out is to ask if you are purchasing in person, or look at the package contents if you are buying online.


In the simplest, basic requirements for a computer are hard drives, disc drives, power supply, ram, processor, motherboard, case, keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

The monitor will either need a VGA or DVI cable (maybe HDMI or DisplayPort but DVI will work in most cases). The exact cable may depend on your graphics situation.

Mouses and keyboard wires are built into the device.

The power supply usually comes with all the cables attached or with it if you bought it retail. Its usually just a power cable to connect to an outlet and power connectors to individual components.

Modern hard dives and disc connect to the motherboard using SATA cables. Older hard drives and disc drives may require and IDE cables instead. SATA drives connect to the power supply using a SATA power connector. If your power supply only has Molex connectors, you may need an adapter (depends on drive).

The RAM connects to the motherboard directly and doesn't need a cable.

Connecting the motherboard to the case usually uses cables included with the case. These are needed for the power/reset buttons, led lights, and possible audio and USB ports.

If you get these parts retail, they usually almost always include these cables. OEM parts sometimes skimp out all these cables.

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