NVIDIA confirms 12-pin PCIe connector, at strange 45-degree angle

NVIDIA confirms new, and super-thin 12-pin PCIe power connector on Ampere GeForce RTX 30 series Founders Edition graphics cards.

@anthony256
Published Wed, Aug 26 2020 8:15 AM CDT

NVIDIA has provided more details on its next-gen Ampere GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards with its new "Remarkable Art & Science of Graphics Card Design" video has some of the smartest engineers and designers working at NVIDIA detailing the art and science behind graphics card designs.

They touch on some of what to expect from the future GeForce RTX 30 series card -- specifically, the new 12-pin PCIe power connector. But more importantly, during the video (at the 6:10 mark or so) you can see NVIDIA and the big shift to the new 12-pin PCIe power connector.

Strangely, and yet-unexplained -- it is at a 45-degree angle which is very interesting. Check it out:

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VIEW GALLERY - 24 IMAGES
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NVIDIA explains: "Over the past 20 years, computer graphics have made huge advancements in performance. It takes a combination of expertise in architecture development, thermal, mechanical, electrical, and product design to make it all happen. We offer a first glimpse at some of the strides we have made in designing graphics cards, so that they can reach their maximum potential and remain cool and quiet". They include:

  • Thermal: An airflow-optimized cooling solution, redesigned to overcome existing constraints and move more air through the system for maximum cooling efficiency.
  • Mechanical: A stronger mechanical structure, including a new low profile leaf spring that leaves room for a back cover.
  • Electrical: A compact electrical design, with a new 12-pin power connector that allows more space for components and cooling, and is compatible with 8-pin connectors in existing power supplies with an included adapter.
  • Product Design: A no-compromise, cohesive design that embraces the revolutionary thermal solution while beautifully harmonizing each element of the graphics card.
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We can see that NVIDIA is definitely playing with a different fan design here, something that looks like the previous leaked designs that you can see below:

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It seems like those dual-fan designs are real -- where one fan sucks in cool air from the case, and the other is blowing it out of the back of the card and into the back of the case. An interesting, and gigantic change -- something I'm very, very interested to check out.

As for the 12-pin PCIe power connector, here's some more details:

  • Give me the skinny on the 12-pin PCIe power connector: The new 12-pin PCIe power connector, according to my sources will be exclusive to NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 30 series Founders Edition graphics cards. The custom AIB cards will have 2-3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
  • NVIDIA confirms 12-pin PCIe connector, at strange 45-degree angle 28 | TweakTown.com
  • It is heaps thinner: The new 12-pin PCIe power connector is super-thin, taking up radically less space compared to dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors. This will make gaming PCs look even better, with a thinner cable running to your graphics card.
  • It'll chew through power: We had a tease from Seasonic and their upcoming 12-pin PCIe power connector adapter, which converts the 12-pin connector from your PSU and its dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors. On the packaging, it recommends an 850W PSU -- so the GeForce RTX 3090 requires 200W more system power than the RTX 2080 Ti which NVIDIA recommends a 650W PSU.
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Here's an easier break down for you:

  • GeForce RTX 3090: $1399
  • GeForce RTX 3080: $799
  • GeForce RTX 3070: $599
  • GeForce RTX 3060: $399
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The very latest: RTX 3090 PCB + GDDR6X @ 21Gbps

  • The PCB of the RTX 3090: A juicy leak of the purported PCB of a custom variant of the GeForce RTX 3090 leaked out a few days ago. It is reportedly the COLORFUL iGame GeForce RTX 3090 Vulcan-X. You can see this model has 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors, unlike the RTX 3090 Founders Edition that should pack just a single 12-pin PCIe power connector.
  • Micron reveals RTX 3090 name, 24GB GDDR6X memory @ 21Gbps: I'm sure this is part of the marketing or else all of us tech media websites would be receiving calls from lawyers, but Micron revealed its next-gen GDDR6X memory that the GeForce RTX 3090 (it admits the card by name) will be clocked at a bonkers-high 21Gbps.
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Wait, a 12-pin PCIe power connector?

More reading:

NVIDIA confirms 12-pin PCIe connector, at strange 45-degree angle 444 | TweakTown.com
  • Traversal coprocessor: We have had more leaks on NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce RTX 3000 series than any family of graphics cards before it, with an interesting "traversal coprocessor" on the new GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards. You can read more on that here.
  • NVCache: Ampere is meant to have something called NVCache, which would be NVIDIA's own form of AMD's HBCC (High Bandwidth Cache Controller, more on that here). NVCache would use your system RAM and SSD to super-speed game load times, as well as optimizing VRAM usage. You can read more on NVCache here.
  • Tensor Memory Compression: NVCache is interesting, but Tensor Memory Compression will be on Ampere, and will reportedly use Tensor Cores to both compress and decompress items that are stored in VRAM. This could see a 20-40% reduction in VRAM usage, or more VRAM usage with higher textures in next-gen games and Tensor Memory Compression decreasing that VRAM footprint by 20-40%.
  • NVIDIA confirms 12-pin PCIe connector, at strange 45-degree angle 17 | TweakTown.com
  • How fast is the GeForce RTX 3090? Freaking fast according to rumors, with 60-90% more performance than the current Turing-based flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. We could see this huge performance leap in ray tracing titles, but we'll have to wait a little while longer to see how much graphical power NVIDIA crams into these new cards. You can read more on those rumors here.
  • Power hungry: As for power consumption, GA102 reportedly uses 230W -- while 24GB of GDDR6X (which we should see on the new Ampere-based TITAN RTX) consumes 60W of power. You can read more on that here.
  • Production begins soon: NVIDIA is reportedly in the DVT (or Design Validation Test) range of its new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards. Mass production reportedly kicks off in August 2020, with a media event, benchmarks, and more in September 2020 as I predicted many months ago. More on that here.
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I've already written about rumors that NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere GPU architecture would be up to 75% faster than current-gen GPUs such as the Turing architecture, right after rumors that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing. This is pretty crazy stuff right there.

Not only that, but we've got some rumored specs on the purported GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards, which will both be powered by NVIDIA's new Ampere GPU architecture.

We've already heard that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing, which sent the hairs on my neck standing up. Better yet, you can read about the leaked specs on the purported Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 right here.

NVIDIA confirms 12-pin PCIe connector, at strange 45-degree angle 666 | TweakTown.com

Even more reading:

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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