Ever since the first rumors in July 2020 about NVIDIA adopting a new power connector for its GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards, many have had questions about it. It was immediately recognized by some that the connector resembled an as-of-yet officially unannounced PCIe Gen 5 12-pin Molex Micro-Fit series. Then in November 2021, early images of the forthcoming ASUS ROG THOR Platinum II PSU showed it including an adapter with 2x 8-pin connectors on one side and a 12-pin on the other. It has now been confirmed that the PCIe Gen 5 power connector is indeed compatible with the ones found on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition graphics cards.
NVIDIA had already been including adapters with its Founders Edition cards, and other PSU manufacturers such as Corsair and Seasonic have been making them available as well, but until now it was not known if these and PCI Gen 5 were actually the same. Many had hoped they would be, as opposed to some new proprietary design, but it now appears NVIDIA was simply was ahead of the game in adopting the new standard.
Andreas Schilling (Hardwareluxx) has said the connector is actually compatible with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition 12-pin cable, which was previously suspected of being a Molex Micro-Fit 3.0. He went on to say that the “cable is not only physically identical but also supplies the same amount of power. This basically means that NVIDIA implemented the next-gen connector nearly more than a year before the standard has even been shown.”
Andreas showed the ASUS THOR being connected to the GeForce RTX 3070, the first card NVIDIA had launched featuring the new design.
From 8 to 12 and Now 12+4
AIB partners have mostly stuck to using either 2x or 3x 8-pin connectors for power delivery with the GeForce RTX 30 Series. Recently, though, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Kingpin was said to be one of the first AIB cards to adopt the new design. It even went so far as to have dual 12-pin connectors and claimed up to 1,275 watts of power delivery. A single 12-pin is officially rated at 600 watts.
As if things might not be confusing enough, ASUS has since followed up with another PSU, the ROG Loki, which has a 16-pin connector. It too is rated for up to 600 watts, but there has been some speculation what the extra four pins are for. Igor Wallosek (Igor’s Lab) has said he believes these to be sideband signal carriers. These would allow the PSU to sense how much power should be supplied to the GPU, and he said that they are officially called “12VHPWR High Power Connector (H+).”
In the end, the bottom line is that the PCIe Gen 5 and NVIDIA’s 12-pin connectors are compatible and meet the same standards for power delivery. It also appears the new standard is evolving to include additional features down the road.
Source: Hardwareluxx (via VideoCardz)