Types of Monitor Power Cords

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Computer monitors have changed significantly over the years, moving from old television-style CRTs to newer, slimmer LCD panels. However, most of them still use the same power cords -- even the oldest styles. There are exceptions, though. Learning to identify the shape and size of monitor power sockets can help owners choose the right cable for their needs, even if their computers require an unusual cord.

Universal C13 Power Cord

  • Most modern monitors use a power cord with a C13 connector on one end and a plug that fits an outlet on the other. C13 connectors are shaped like an uneven hexagon in cross-section and feature holes for three bar-shaped pins, including one ground. These are the same power cords normally used to power desktop PCs and other major computer components and can usually be swapped freely between devices. Extension cables, with a C13 connector on one end and a C14 connector on the other, are also available.

C5 Power Cord

  • The less-common C5 power connector consists of three round ports which accept pins on the monitor. These three conductor power cables are sometimes referred to as Mickey Mouse or Clover Leaf plugs, due to the shape of their cross-section. While C5 power cords are most common in portable projectors and laptop power supplies, they were also used in the Apple iMac G4, an all-in-one computer and monitor combination. Owners of these older computers may need to purchase a C5 cable to remove old files from their machines.

C14 Socket Cord

  • According to Pacific Cable, some old AT form factor computers had a C13 outlet on the computer itself to provide power to the monitor. On these computers, a switch next to the outlet turned the power on and off. Owners of these older machines may need to use a specialized C14 socket cord to provide power. However, these are difficult to find, and many people simply substitute a conventional C13 universal cord attached to an extension cable.

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