New wiring harnesses from power supply manufacturer Seasonic underline speculations that Nvidia could at least partially rely on revised power connections for the upcoming GeForce RTX 3000 (codenamed Ampere) graphics cards. The accessory called “Nvidia 12 Pin PCIe Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 Connector” connects a 12-pin plug with two eight-pin (proprietary) connections on the power supply and therefore only works on Seasonics modular models.
The manufacturer has the corresponding cables on the website, among other things Hardware luxx sent and do not represent fakes.
Current specification outdated
The 8- and 6-pin connections used so far come from the times when graphics cards consumed significantly less power than today’s high-end cars with sometimes 300 watts and more. According to the PCI Express specification, such cables may transmit a maximum of 75 (6 pin) or 150 watt (8 pin). Since high-performance graphics cards have long since required two or three connections, power supply manufacturers are softening the specification and often rely on Y-cables, which channel more energy over the wires than actually intended.
A modern 12-pin connector would make such constructions superfluous and at the same time reduce the space required on circuit boards. The pin spacing is significantly smaller at 3 to 4.2 mm, so that the connector shown is only about as large as previous eight-pin connections. Meanwhile, six 12-volt wires should be able to transmit at least 6 amps, which would result in around 430 watts.
Consultations with manufacturers showed that Nvidia is unlikely to push a new standard from 0 to 100. The 12-pin connector is likely to be used, if at all, in their own Founders Edition, while third-party manufacturers continue to rely on 8- and 6-pin connectors for the time being. So that users do not have to buy a new power supply directly, Seasonic will offer the new cables as accessories.
In an emergency, simple adapters with two 8-pin and one 12-pin adapters that also fit on Y-strands would be conceivable – then of course without any benefit in terms of electrical properties. Caution is advised with cheap power supplies.