Do Motherboards Come with Cables? SATA – PCIe – Video

Many questions can go through your mind when considering a new motherboard. They mostly have to do with whether or not the motherboard will be a good fit for you. You may also be stuck wondering what kind of parts can you expect to find packaged with a motherboard.

One of the most essential parts of any computer build are the cables. So you may ask do motherboards come with cables for connecting the rest of the PC components?

Simply put though, yes motherboards do come with cables but not all that are needed to run your PC. Particularly speaking, motherboards come with SATA cables for the storage drives.

In this article, we will try to clarify this answer further and also talk about all the different cables that you need for a typical PC build.

So Do Motherboards Come with Cables?

As mentioned earlier, yes they do. Motherboard come with SATA cables. However, they typically come with 2 SATA cables which are just sufficient to get you started by connecting your primary hard disk drives.

hard drive ports connections

You must note that you may not get the same amount of SATA cables as your motherboard can support.

For example, if your motherboard has 6 SATA slots, the package may come with only 2 or 3 SATA cables.

Again, this is just to make sure that you can connect to necessary components from the get go.

You do not get power cables, video output cables or USB cables with a motherboard.

Let us look at all the necessary cables required by a CPU and which components they come with.

Also Read:

What Kind Of Cables Do You Need for Your PC?

There are typically seven kind of cables that a typical PC needs.

1. SATA DATA Cables

These are required to connect to the SATA ports on your motherboard and are required to run SATA storage drives.

This includes:

  • 3.5″ Hard Disk Drives
  • 2.5″ Hard Disk Drives
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD Drives
  • Optical CD/DVD Drives


SATA cables can be easily identified by their appearance. They are flat and thin and have seven pins on either end.

Often, one of the ends may be bent at a 90-degree angle which helps in cable management.

You will plug one of the ends on this cable to its allocated slot on the motherboard and the other end will go into your selected SATA compatible storage device.

These come with a motherboard, but only a limited number.

Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do I Need?

2. SATA Power Cables

Sata Power Cables

SATA Power Cables are required to operate the SATA drives. SATA hard disks, SATA SSDs and SATA optical drives all require a SATA Power Cable.

These come with the Power Supply Unit.

Also Read: How Many SATA Ports Do You Need?

3. PCIe Power Cables

pcie power cable

PCIe Power Cables are required to power up the graphics card.

They come in 6, 8 and 12 pin connector configuration for demands of various graphics card.

These come with the Power Supply Unit.

Also Read:

4. Motherboard and CPU Power Cables

How to Test Motherboard Without CPU 3

These are specialized and dedicated cables that you need in order to run your motherboard and the CPU. They include the following:

  • 8 Pin cable for CPU
  • 24 Pin cable for motherboard

These come with the Power Supply Unit.

5. Main Power Cable

US Power Cord

The pain power supply cable that connects the power supply unit to the wall socket.

This comes with the Power Supply Unit.

6. Video Output Cables

HDMI cable
Typical HDMI cable

These are quite obvious. You need them to connect your PC to your monitor.

These include, HDMI, DVI-D, VGA, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3 cables.

These come with the monitor.

7. Front Panel Jumper Cables

These are needed in order to connect the jumper cables to the motherboard front panel header. This include the headers for power on, restart, led lights etc.

These come with the PC Case.

power switch motherboard front panel header
Front Panel header
power swtich connector front panel
Power On Jumper Cable

Also Read: How To Connect Power Button to Motherboard?

Summary of Which Components Comes with Which Cables Included

Component it Comes With
SATA Data Cables
Motherboard (Often 2 provided)
SATA Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
PCIe Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Motherboard and CPU Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Main Power Cable
Power Supply Unit
Video Output Cables
Front Panel Jumper Cables
PC Case
Front USB Cables
PC Case
Front Audio Cables
PC Case

Also Read: Do Graphics Cards Come with Cables?

Do You Need to Buy Extra Cables for Your Computer?

Yes, depending upon your build, you may need more cables for your PC.

More SATA Data Cables

As mentioned earlier, a typical motherboard comes with 2 SATA data cables even if it has 4 or 6 SATA ports.

Therefore, if you want to add more than 2 SATA drives to your PC, you will need to buy more SATA DATA cables separately.

Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do I Need?

More SATA Power Cables

Each extra SATA Drive would require a separate power connector.

Fortunately, SATA Power Cables do not have to be separate. You can find SATA Power Splitter cables that can turn a single SATA Power connector from your PSU into multiple power connectors.

sata power splitter
SATA power splitter cable

More PCIe Power Cables.

Depending upon what graphics card you have installed, you may need to procure more PCIe power cables.

This is especially true if you have multiple GPUs installed.

Most power supply units come with sufficient PCIe cables for a single graphics card. For multiple GPUs, you may have to invest in extra PCIe power cables.

Also Read:

What Do You Get with A Motherboard Package

A motherboard box contains more than just the board itself.

What you get with the motherboard depends upon which price category it is from.

Let us see what a typical motherboard package contains:

Also Read: Why is a motherboard important

1. The Board Itself

This is undisputedly the most important part of the package. Obviously.

It often comes with a static bag which you can use for bench testing – whereby you test the motherboard outside the case.

Also Read: How To Test Motherboard Without CPU?

2. The I/O Shield

atx io shields
Board Specific I/O Shields

This is a thin metallic plate found with all motherboard packages. It is used as the cover for the I/O ports of the motherboard when you install it in the PC case.

These components usually ship with the motherboard themselves because they are board-specific.

ALL Motherboards have this.

3. SATA Data Cables

As mentioned earlier, the motherboard does come with a couple of SATA Data cables.

ALL Motherboards have this.

4. An SLI or Corssfire Bridge

sli bridge
Source: MSI

To enable NVIDIA SLI or AMD Crossfire for Dual Graphics card build, you need to have bridge.

This is often bought separately, but with certain high end motherboards this come package with.

5. WiFi Antennas

Motherboard with WiFi modem built-in also offer dedicated antenas.

6. RGB Light Strips

Mid and High end motherboards for enthusiasts and gamers often offer RGB light strips.

Also Read: How to Connect Extra Fans to Motherboard?

Final Words

So do motherboards come with cables? The simplest answer is yes. However, they do NOT come with ALL the necessary cables for your PC.

You should not be expecting to find power cables, video output cables or USB cables in the package as they ONLY come with SATA cables.

However, the rest of the cables can be found with the other components that you will have to purchase for your build.

For example, a power supply unit comes with all the necessary power cables and power connectors. Similarly, a monitor comes with the necessary video output cable such as HDMI or VGA.

Also Read: What Cables Do I Need for SSD?

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Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101 and an expert in the computer peripheral industry with over two decades of experience. He has worked as a consultant for major companies and has a deep understanding of the inner workings of computer peripherals. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and has served as a product manager and technical consultant. He is passionate about testing and evaluating the latest products to provide readers with reliable information.

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