With the arrival of the RTX 3000 in its three top-of-the-range models, a great controversy has arisen over a totally different and novel aspect that the company has introduced in these GPUs: its new 12-pin power connector. How is it possible that this connector of such amount of watts available for a GPU while currently, we have to resort to 2 x 8 or 3 x 8 pins to supply watts to our graphics card?
The first thing we must understand is that the quantity or number of pins is not decisive to achieve a higher expense or consumption of a component. Therefore, the fact that they are 12 pins instead of 4 or 10 is not decisive, which raises another series of doubts.
So what do you have to consider when evaluating a GPU connector?
Well, there are several factors to understanding why the NVIDIA 12-pin connector should be the way to go for all power supplies and GPUs in general. First of all, we have to bear in mind that said connector must comply with and comply with the specifications to have the corresponding certification and be accepted as a standard.
In this case, the connector pins are the ones that must pass and set the corresponding AWG for the maximum current they can withstand, since as we know, voltage per current results in the watts at which it will be able to work.
Considering that the 8-pin connector of a GPU has a maximum peak according to specifications of 235 watts (then it is widely exceeded when extreme overclock is performed), the new ATXVO connector gets 288 watts and the NVIDIA 650 watts (700 in peak ), What is the explanation for this?
The AWG wire used, that is, the gauge of the wire and the impedance that it and the connector support. NVIDIA has certified an AWG of 16 for its connector, but since GPUs do not consume that much, we will never need sources with cables of this caliber, which are on the market, but they are all elite range and some, not even that.
NVIDIA 12-pin cable uses a mixed configuration
What we do know about this new connector and cable is that it has 6 phases and 6 grounds or mixed, something that is surprising, but it is partly logical to reach the 650 watts that we have commented before, which by the way depending on the cable that is supplied, since at peak it could be 700 watts.
To this must be added the fact that there are sources that divide their maximum power into different rails, which if this connector finishes standardizing can make the number of 12v1 and 12v2 of the mid-range sources end up in a single rail for powers. less than 1200 watts, something that would be really curious.
If to this we add the new ATX12VO and its greater power, we may be facing a mandatory PSU change in a few years at this rate. The good news is that we are going to reduce the number of cables used in this case, improving the internal cabling of the PC, but at the cost of spending good money or using connectors that must be certified by the manufacturer of the GPU or PSU.
Is this change justified? From the point of view of security for the PC yes, of course, from the point of view of the flow of the internal air of the chassis as well, but it remains to be seen if it is worth changing to these new standards if the price shoots up, it is foreseeable that it will happen in the next few years.