Graphics cards receive new 600W power connector

Graphics cards have become increasingly power hungry, to the point that a single 8-pin Molex power connector no longer cuts it, and in some cases three are required. But it looks like we’re getting a replacement with four times the wattage in a more compact 12-pin design.

As TechSpot reports, a new high-density power connector has been designed as part of the PCIe 5.0 standard. Unlike the existing 8 pin Molex connector, this new one is called 12VHPWR and can deliver up to 600W of power through its 12 pin connector. This is good news for Nvidia and AMD, as Nvidia chose to provide its own proprietary 12-pin connector on the Founders edition of its RTX 3080 last year.

The new connector will be used for the “High Power Connector” (H +) standard defined by the PCI SIG for the PCIe 5.0 standard. 12VHPWR uses a more compact design with only 3mm spacing (as opposed to the current 4.2mm spacing) between pins, which means it is only slightly larger than the 8-pin connector existing. Igor’s Lab points out that the move to this new connector “will dramatically simplify the board layout and mechanical design” while reducing the cable management nightmare inside your PC case.

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Although not confirmed, the mainstream graphics card most likely to ship with 12VHPWR is the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, which is also a card that has yet to be confirmed. It could consume up to 450W of power, which the new connector can easily handle. Anyone expecting graphics cards to replace the 30 series should also expect to replace their motherboard with one that supports PCIe 5.0 and its power supply to a more powerful unit with 12VHPWR as standard. As a bonus, you’ll also unlock access to DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 SSDs.

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Alan A. Seibert