In the face of mounting issues with the previously used 12VHPWR connector, leading graphics card manufacturer Nvidia is swiftly addressing the GPU power connector’s melting problem. The new solution comes in the form of a new power connector, the 12V-2×6, spotted on the Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition cards. This connector aims to enhance safety mechanisms, making improper connections and consequent overheating less likely.
New Connector Vs. Old Connector
The problematic 12VHPWR connector, which was initially accused of having issues due to incorrect cable plug-ins by gamers, has now been superseded by the 12V-2×6 connector. In terms of physical appearance, the new connector resembles its predecessor but has crucial changes that include repositioned sense pins to establish a more secure connection. Moreover, an improved latching system contributes to a safer user experience.
What Sets the 12V-2×6 Connector Apart?
The new 12V-2×6 connector was developed as part of the new PCIe Base 6 and CEM 5.1 specifications proposed by PCI SIG for the ATX 3.1 specs. The headers of the 12VHPWR and 12V-2×6 connectors remain the same, ensuring broad compatibility with existing cables. However, unlike the 12VHPWR connector, the 12V-2×6 has updated the position and length of its pins for a more secure and full insertion of the cable, lessening the chances of overheating and melting. The connector also supports two new power modes of 150W and 300W, in addition to the existing 450W and 600W modes, thus providing more flexibility. Despite these enhancements, it is worth noting that this connector is not the final design. It’s part of an unreleased draft, and changes to its specs that might require firmware adjustments in power supplies or graphic cards could still occur.
Status of the Connector
While there’s evidence that Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition cards are shipping with this new 12V-2×6 connector, there remains some uncertainty about whether these connectors fully conform to the new spec or if they represent an interim version. Nvidia and PCI-SIG are currently evaluating two options for the cable connector design. Suppose the connector found on the Nvidia RTX 4070 FE cards is indeed the finalized 12V-2×6 connector. In that case, it is expected to offer both the mechanical benefits and the broad compatibility that users have been clamoring for.
Rollout of the New Connector
As per the current draft, the new connector may begin to appear in graphics cards as early as next year, potentially as part of a mid-series refresh from Nvidia. Further evidence of this upcoming change was observed at Computex last month, where MSI showcased its new yellow connector, seemingly designed to meet the new standard, as indicated by the new label on the supply.
- The 12V-2×6 power connector replaces the problematic 12VHPWR connector on Nvidia graphics cards.
- The new connector design aims to prevent cable melting caused by overheating from improper connections.
- 12V-2×6 introduces changes such as repositioned pins and an improved latching system for a more secure connection.
- Despite the implementation, the final design and specs of the 12V-2×6 connector are still under evaluation.
- Expect to see more graphics cards featuring the new 12V-2×6 connector as early as next year, marking a significant step in the evolution of GPU design and manufacturing.
- The connector was part of an advanced draft and was recently showcased at Computex by MSI, further hinting at its imminent industry-wide adoption.
Implications and Next Steps
Nvidia’s swift move towards integrating the 12V-2×6 connector on its graphics cards could signify a larger industry trend towards enhanced power safety. As GPUs continue to evolve and demand more power, the need for safer, more efficient power connectors will only become more critical. This is especially crucial as gaming, cryptocurrency mining, and other GPU-intensive tasks continue to grow in popularity. Both Nvidia and the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) are actively working on improving the power connector design. The ongoing evaluations and design considerations are expected to bring a final connector design that combines mechanical benefits and broad compatibility. As we await the final specifications, users and manufacturers alike anticipate the 12V-2×6 connector’s full potential and its implications for the future of GPU safety and performance. For more information on the transition to the new 12V-2×6 power connector, follow updates on Nvidia’s official website.
In conclusion, the new 12V-2×6 power connector introduced by Nvidia represents a promising step towards resolving the issues of GPU power connector melting. While the final specifications and design of this connector are yet to be finalized, the inclusion of this new connector in the Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition cards showcases the commitment to improving safety and functionality in GPU power supply systems. As we look forward to more graphics cards equipped with the new connector, the industry awaits the impact of these changes on GPU safety, compatibility, and overall performance.