How to select a good cable for your computer:
Because the ever changing environment of the computer systems, you may need to upgrade your computer or integrate it with another system. And you bought the component and found out it wouldn't fit. For instance, you may have bought a motherboard but then the power supply that came with case is not compatible. Or you have a power supply that only has one hard disk connector but you have more than one drive. Or you bought an older version power supply for quite a few dollars and you still want to use it with the new system. Then you don't have to throw away your old components or buy a new one, you can just buy a cable to make it work. But there are so many different types of cables and some are expensive, some are dirty cheap, how do you know if the cable has good quality or not?
Don't Save A few dollars and damage your computer or make it not work but difficult to troubleshoot because of a cable's malfunction.
Here are some tips for you when selecting a cable, these are the qualities you need to know:
A good cable should have thick cable, approx. 16 - 18 AWG. According to AWG (American Wire Gauge) standard, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire.
Thicker wire carries more current because it has less electrical resistance over a given length, thicker wire is better. A lower AWG equates to larger wires. Larger wires have lower impedance (hence, less power loss, less heat). Most high end power supplies use 16-18 AWG wires. A wrong size conversion or extension cable will degrade your system performance and cause intermittent problems leading to downtime. A poor wire uses a thinner wire usually 20 - 22AWG
A good cable should be made of virgin copper with Lower impedance, feel soft and easy to bend. A poor cable usually use recycled copper that has high impedance and it feels brittle. Recycled copper is recovered from burnt wires and metal debris with a high percentage of impurities. The impedance is high and the wires are stiff and fragile. Most wires used in power supplies are stranded with 10-20 very thin wires. Stiff and thin wires are fragile and vulnerable. Even normal handling may break quite a few, leaving even less already thin working wires. That’s why inferior conversion or extension cables create more trouble than they solve.
A good jacket should be made of high grade PVC, it's elastic and should be fire retardant, the jacket feels firm. While a poor jacket is recycled and made of low grade PVC and it feels hard. The high temperature environment inside a computer’s chassis is harsh on PVC material. A recycled or low grade plastic jacket will harden quickly then crack and cause a potential short circuit or leakage problem.
Pin and receptacle material
A good pin and receptacle should be made of phosphor copper with good contact. A poor cable is made of plain copper or malleable alloy, with poor contact. Phosphor copper pin and mating receptacles provide elasticity and better connections than plain copper or alloy materials-- which lose grabbing force after repeated use. Poor contact will increase impedance and loss at the connector. Problems which are very difficult to identify and resolve.