Graphics cards: New power plug for up to 600 watts is coming

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Modern graphics cards are getting faster and faster, but they also need more and more energy. The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti/Super, which is expected for the beginning of 2022, is said to have up to 450 watts – and that is probably just the beginning. In order to be able to implement this in a meaningful way, a new power plug is emerging.

This is not yet official, but several websites consistently report about it. Videocardz made the start after the new flagship graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, will appear in January next year and will consume up to 450 watts – 100 watts more than the current GeForce RTX 3090. With this, the power consumption will be up to three 8- Pin power plug implemented, which would be at the limit again at 450 watts. In view of possible, even faster custom designs and above all the next-gen GPUs Lovelace and RDNA 3, something new is simply necessary, because even more 8-pin connectors are difficult to implement sensibly from the on-board design alone.

Only one power plug for a maximum of 600 watts

According to the Videocardz report, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti should therefore be equipped with a new power connector that looks similar to the proprietary connector on Nvidia's Founders Edition of the GeForce RTX 3000 series, but is technically superior. As IgorsLab now reports, the new 16-pin Microfit connector is supposed to be a very official connector of the PCIe SIG for the PCIe 5.0 standard and will run there under the name “High Power Connector” or “12VHPWR”. The name is to be taken literally, because the plug should be able to deliver 600 watts.

This is made possible by a new design compared to the current connectors, which has a reduced distance between the contacts from 4.2 mm to 3 mm and thus a new visual appearance. The plug can continuously deliver a maximum of 55 amps in order to achieve 600 watts – theoretically even up to 662 watts are apparently possible.

Amphenol ICC is the first manufacturer to have confirmed the new power plug more or less unintentionally, because it can be seen on the website for the first time and the rumored specifications are also confirmed. There you can also read about “4 signal contacts” that are attached to the connector on the lower side. What exactly they do is currently unclear.

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12-pin power connector for up to 600 watts for graphics cards
12-pin power connector for up to 600 watts for graphics cards
12-pin power connector for up to 600 watts for graphics cards
12-pin power connector for up to 600 watts for graphics cards

There will probably not be another connector

At the moment it seems as if there will possibly only be one 12-pin power connector in the future, regardless of whether the graphics card will now need 600 watts or only 100 watts. Compared to the current situation, this makes the on-board design much easier, as significantly less space is required for the connector. Especially when the rumored energy values ​​of the next-gen graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are correct, even with 450 watts and thus four 8-pin power plugs, you wouldn't get very far.

As already mentioned, the 12-pin power connector is to appear on the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti for the first time, but this would also require new power supplies or new adapters. As with the current Founders Edition models with Nvidia 12-pin plugs, it can be assumed that at the beginning perhaps only the manufacturer himself will use the plug and the custom designs are waiting for the corresponding power supply units to become available.