A friend of mine has a Dell unit that needs a new ATX power supply. Can I install an Antec power supply in this case or is there something proprietary about Dell power supplies that won't let me do this? The Antec power supply has all the same connectors but the P7 connector for the MB has slightly different tabs that won't allow it to plug into the MB.
Last edited by surffisherman; January 9th, 2004 at 11:52 AM.
This is the info I found on my own for anyone who might read this thread.
Dell proprietary (non-standard) ATX design
If you currently own or are considering purchasing a desktop system from Dell you will definitely want to pay attention to this section. There is a potential booby-trap waiting to nail the unsuspecting Dell owner who decides to upgrade either the motherboard or power supply in their system. This hidden trap can cause the destruction of the motherboard, power supply or both! OK, now that I have your attention, read onů
It seems that starting after September of 1998 Dell defected from the cause of industry standardization and began using specially modified Intel supplied ATX motherboards with custom wired power connectors. Of course they also had custom power supplies made that duplicated the non-standard pinout of the motherboard power connectors.
An even bigger crime than simply using non-standard power connectors is that only the pinout is non-standard, the connectors look like and are keyed the same as is dictated by true ATX. There is nothing to prevent you from plugging the Dell non-standard power supply into a new industry standard ATX motherboard you installed in your Dell case as an upgrade, or even plugging a new upgraded industry standard ATX power supply into your existing Dell motherboard. But mixing either a new ATX board with the Dell supply or a new ATX supply with the existing Dell board is a recipe for silicon toast. How do you like your fried chips, medium or well done?
Yes, you have to be careful with replacing Dell PSU's. Essentially, they are the same PSU's, just in a different pin-out. You could either buy a Dell PSU, or buy a standard one, and buy an adaptor to re-align all the pins (this would be the cheaper option I'd imagine). You mustn't plug a standard PSU into a Dell mobo, or things will start to fry.
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