Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere Founders Edition graphics cards could require a new 12-pin power connector in a radical move which was previously rumored, but is now backed up by the existence of actual photos of a purported cable adaptor.
We say purported, because this is still from the rumor mill, and there’s no firm guarantee that this will be implemented with the RTX 3000 series (or whatever it ends up being called). Although the photos provided by two separate sources, German tech site Hardwareluxx, and the Bilibili forums (allegedly in a post from a Seasonic employee, highlighted by HXL on Twitter) look convincing.
SEASONIC：NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Power connector？😏https://t.co/YRJrVKzR2Q pic.twitter.com/fr1wAjdXgAAugust 23, 2020
According to Videocardz, however, the ‘Micro-Fit 3.0 connector’ is still only for testing according to the manufacturer Seasonic, yet Hardwareluxx claims it has received the connector ahead of a review (suggesting it will be a requirement with the finished Nvidia product).
So, we still have to tread with caution, but the upshot is this seems to be happening, and that leaves a fair few questions on exactly how the whole connector scheme will be implemented.
The Seasonic cable itself is 75cm long and has two 8-pin connectors on one end, and a 12-pin on the other which will plug into the new graphics card (to deliver up to 375W of power: 150W apiece per 8-pin connector, with 75W from the PCIe slot – again backing up rumors floating around that the top-end Ampere GPU will require a hefty 350W of juice).
Now, presumably this will be for the high-end cards only – we’re talking the alleged GeForce RTX 3090 (or 3080 Ti, depending on who you ask) – because the other eye-opener here is the power requirement Seasonic specifies: 850W.
So if this piece of the rumor puzzle is genuine, you’d hope that this is referring to only the flagship Ampere graphics card. Of course, even then, stipulating a PSU as having to be 850W is a dubious route to go anyway – pure wattage does not a good power supply make, and there are many other factors that matter in terms of the PSU’s quality and suitability for driving beefy components.
The other points to note here are that this Seasonic cable will only work with its own PSUs, and Videocardz reckons that Nvidia will bundle its own adaptor with next-gen Founders Edition graphics cards. Essentially, this will be a simple adaptor which will use existing 8-pin cables from your PSU and act as an extender to plug into the GPU.
Of course, this is all guesswork and speculation, so as ever, we’ll just have to see how things pan out – but the use of some kind of adaptor certainly seems a much stronger possibility in the light of all this, despite our doubts around this move in the past. The good news is that with Nvidia’s next-gen GPU launch happening on September 1, we haven’t got long to wait to find out the truth behind the matter.