PCI-SIG now considering changes to problematic 12VHPWR connector

The organization behind PCI-Express is considering an engineering change to the 12VHPWR connector, used on NVIDIA's entire stack of GeForce RTX 40 GPUs.

PCI-SIG now considering changes to problematic 12VHPWR connector
Published Nov 9, 2022 5:23 AM CST
2 minutes & 48 seconds read time

NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card has been in the headlines for many reasons over the last few months, but one of the more controversial reasons is it uses the new 12VHPWR power connector... which has been melting and destroying products that should never have this issue.

But now, the organization behind the PCI-Express standard itself -- PCI-SIG -- is issued an engineering change notification for the 12VHPWR connector. This isn't exactly public yet, but the internet being the internet we have the latest leaks... with revision updates for the 12VHPWR connector posted by organization members including Amphenol.

PCI-SIG's proposed engineering changes to the 12VHPWR power connector

PCI-SIG's proposed engineering changes to the 12VHPWR power connector

PCI-SIG's proposed changes to the 12VHPWR connector would include more shroud, and a gripping feature for the additional 4 data pins (the 16-pin connector has 12 pins for power, and 4 pins for data). These proposed changes wouldn't be a solution to the issues surrounding NVIDIA's new flagship GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card seeing their 12VHPWR connector melting... because the additional 4 pins aren't carrying high amounts of electrical load.

Even as VideoCardz points out, even if the user installs the 12VHPWR connector incorrectly... the graphics card you're using -- whether it's NVIDIA's current flagship GeForce RTX 4090 or any other upcoming GeForce RTX 40 series GPU -- it will continue to run, but just with less power flowing into it. It's not going to explode... I repeat: it's not going to explode.

Corsair's in-house PSU expert, Jon "Johnguru" Gerow has said that the melting power connectors on NVIDIA's current GeForce RTX 4090 could just be users installing the 12VHPWR connector in correctly. But the issue is, really from the start of this, these issues shouldn't have existed.

The 12VHPWR power connector <strong>NOT</strong> inserted correctly

The 12VHPWR power connector NOT inserted correctly

They also shouldn't have existed by pumping 600W through a much smaller cable, if the user can simply not connect the 12VHPWR connector enough... even by the tiniest of gaps... and have their expensive piece of hardware they've worked hard to buy, sometimes even up in flames.

NVIDIA didn't single-handedly create the 12VHPWR connector so the fault can't be pointed at them exactly, but for a collection of intelligence inside of PCI-SIG... so much so that there's now reportedly an engineering change of a power connector that will be on millions of graphics cards in the future? And hey, I'm not an engineer but I don't think you need to be to see this isn't something that should've happened in the first place.

Not good, and because NVIDIA is exclusively using the 12VHPWR connector on their Ada Lovelace GPUs... this problem won't go away. What about existing GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card owners?

The 12VHPWR power connector inserted correctly

The 12VHPWR power connector inserted correctly

NVIDIA hasn't said a word about this, which is also not a good look whatsoever... launching a super high-end flagship GPU (that is just a f***ing powerhouse, there is NO taking away from that) but silence? NVIDIA's CEO has been out taking selfies with influencers and fans overseas, but no comment on an issue this big with the biggest generational GPU leap since the GeForce 256.

Sigh.

I guess NVIDIA's new slogan could shift from "Open a Can of Whoop Ass" to "Let Us Help You Put It In".

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NEWS SOURCE:videocardz.com

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. 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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