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What Is a Q-Connector®?

Solomon Lander
Solomon Lander

The Q-Connector® is a multi-device plug used in computer cases and motherboards. It combines a number of plugs for case-based devices into a single connector. Its key benefit of the over traditional connections is that it is much simpler to plug a single connector into the motherboard than five or six of them.

Computer cases typically offer a large number of different connections to support their front-panel devices. Most computers feature both power and drive activity indicators as well as front panel reset and power buttons. In addition, many cases have front panel audio ports along with connectors for universal serial bus (USB) devices. Some even have FireWire® connectors and ports for drives that use the external serial advanced technology attachment (eSATA) standard.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

In a traditional system build, every connector on the case will have its own plug. These small, typically two-pin, connectors, must be fit onto corresponding small pins which stick out from blocks of multiple pins on the computer's main motherboard The small size and the close spacing of the motherboard pins, however, can make them extremely hard to correctly connect, and many system builders end up bending the pins on their motherboard.

To simplify this process, ASUS, which is a major motherboard manufacturer, developed and released the Q-Connector®. This device serves as an intermediary between the small case connector plugs and the pin banks on the motherboard. Computer builders connect all of their case plugs to the appropriate ports on the Q-Connector®. Once all of the plugs are connected to it, the Q-Connector® then connects directly to the pin block on the motherboard. Having a single large and easy to handle plug, not only increases the likelihood that all of the connections will be made properly, it reduces the risk that motherboard pins will be bent in the process.

Q-Connectors also have clear labeling. Many motherboards have small, cryptic notes, that require the user to keep a manual handy to clearly identify which pin corresponds to which connector. The Q-Connector® directly indicates which pin corresponds to which device and which polarity wire needs to be connected to it.

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