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NVIDIA Plans New

NVIDIA Plans New "12V-2x6" PCIe Power Connector, Improved Safety
Jul 04, 2023

NVIDIA is working on a new power connector dubbed "12V-2x6" that is still compatible with existing power supplies, after its problematic 16-pin "12VHPWR" power connector... with melting cables due to an incorrect connection between the PSU or GPU, overheating things in between.

The revised power connector is called the "12V-2x6" power connector and will have more standardized testing in order to make sure that each variant of the cable is designed according to specifications. But it's not just that... the new "12V-2x6" power connector design is part of the new PCIe Base 6 specifications, while also part of the CEM 5.1 specifications that PCI-SIG has for the ATX 3.1 specification. So far, so good... it's ticking all the boxes.

However, the new PCIe Base 6 connector is also compatible with some of the existing 12VHPWR power connectors, but the new version has different specifications that have adjusted sustained power metrics that might require firmware updates to PSUs or GPUs. I guess we'll see about that in the weeks and months to come. We'll have the new 12V-2x6 power connector inside of our next-gen Gaming PC configurations once it's available.

The good news: there are no changes or modifications to the headers of the 12VHPWR and 12V-2x6 headers, which means cables should be compatible, as well as both connectors using the same 12 power rails and 4 sense pins, which seems to be the main focus of the updated spec. The length of the pins is now pushed backwards a bit more, meaning they'll only work when the 12V-2x6 power connector is fully connected. On top of that, encoding will need to be updated according to the new standards.

Right now, both NVIDIA and PCI-SIG are looking at two options for the cable connector design, which hasn't been finalized just yet. What we do know is that the current draft is at an "advanced stage" and that the new 12V-2x6 power connector might make its debut in 2024, right in time for the GeForce RTX 40 series refresh GPUs, which might include the more powerful GeForce RTX 4090 Ti graphics card that we've been hearing about.

Spoiler alert: the new 12V-2x6 power connector has already been spotted on some PSUs, with MSI showing off the new connector (in yellow, making it easier to know what you're plugging in) at Computex 2023 just over a month ago now.