Sunday, August 23rd 2020

NVIDIA 12-pin Connector Pictured Next to 8-pin PCIe - It's Tiny

Over the weekend, we got some of the first pictures of a production-grade NVIDIA 12-pin graphics card power connector that debuts with the company's GeForce "Ampere" Founders Edition graphics cards. HardwareLuxx.de received a set of modular cables by Seasonic that can be plugged into the company's modular PSUs, directly putting out a 12-pin connector. The publication's editor Andreas Schilling posted this striking picture that is sure to change our perspective about the 12-pin connector - it is tiny!

Called the Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 12-pin connector, the NVIDIA 12-pin connector looks visibly smaller than a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and only slightly broader. It yet uses high gauge wires and pins, so it can push up to 600 W of power - more power than two 8-pin connectors. The space-saving connector shouldn't just be easier to plug in, but also cable-manage, since you're only having to wrestle with one cable, even for a high-end graphics card. Not only is the connector NVIDIA-exclusive, but there are also indications that only the Founders Edition (reference design) GeForce "Ampere" cards feature it, while custom-design cards based on the GPUs make do with a bunch of 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
Source: Andreas Schilling (Twitter)
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51 Comments on NVIDIA 12-pin Connector Pictured Next to 8-pin PCIe - It's Tiny

#2
Fluffmeister
That looks like a good idea, but AMD fans want lots of connectors so they can be upset.
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#3
PowerPC
Should have mentioned it in the other thread. People thought it literally had no difference other than being proprietary.

Personally, I'm digging this smaller size much more. Should just be a new standard thought, if you ask me.
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#4
XL-R8R
The connection - while being "annoying" in some regards - just reminds me of the switch from molex to 6 pin connectors a longggg time ago (there was a fuss then, too!) that now everyone sees as the 'norm'.






Fluffmeister
That looks like a good idea, but AMD fans want lots of connectors so they can be upset.
Are you stupid or just a troll?


This kinda post is what makes the silly 'X vs Y' argument continue.... just shut up eh and carry yourself with a bit more dignity online lol
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#5
xkm1948
I can see next gen cards needing 2x12 pin now
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#6
biffzinker
xkm1948
I can see next gen cards needing 2x12 pin now
That would be too much power then.
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#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
PowerPC
Should have mentioned it in the other thread. People thought it literally had no difference other than being proprietary.

Personally, I'm digging this smaller size much more. Should just be a new standard thought, if you ask me.
1. It's not proprietary.
2. It is a "new" standard.

This is a standard Molex connector: www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_housings/0430251200

It's been a standard since at least 2018.
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#8
watzupken
This in my opinion is just very Nvidia. They would like to introduce all things that are proprietary where there is little benefit. Sure it looks smaller and certainly easier to manage than have 2x 8 pins power connectors, but functionally, it is just to supply power to the GPU. They have to make people go through hoops and loops just to use a next gen graphic card?
newtekie1
1. It's not proprietary.
2. It is a "new" standard.

This is a standard Molex connector: www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_housings/0430251200

It's been a standard since at least 2018.
If this has been the standard starting 2018, I don't see this new connector when you purchase a new PSU over the last 2 years. I can take back the "proprietary" word that I mentioned earlier, but still it does not change the fact that its still making their consumers jump through hoops and loops just to be able to use their GPU.
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#9
Darksword
watzupken
This in my opinion is just very Nvidia. They would like to introduce all things that are proprietary where there is little benefit. Sure it looks smaller and certainly easier to manage than have 2x 8 pins power connectors, but functionally, it is just to supply power to the GPU. They have to make people go through hoops and loops just to use a next gen graphic card?



If this has been the standard starting 2018, I don't see this new connector when you purchase a new PSU over the last 2 years. I can take back the "proprietary" word that I mentioned earlier, but still it does not change the fact that its still making their consumers jump through hoops and loops just to be able to use their GPU.
Then just buy an AIB model that uses traditional 8-pins.
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#10
arbiter
watzupken
If this has been the standard starting 2018, I don't see this new connector when you purchase a new PSU over the last 2 years. I can take back the "proprietary" word that I mentioned earlier, but still it does not change the fact that its still making their consumers jump through hoops and loops just to be able to use their GPU.
If it doesn't get used then PSU makers have no incentive to include it in their power supplies. This makes need for 2 massive 8pin's a think of past in favor of 1 smaller a lot more power option. 2x 8pin is 300 watts(not counting the board). 1x 12pin which is same size as 1 8pin can give 500 watts. So this idea takes place of up to 3x8pin. As for the hoop's, i would bet Nvidia will include a 2x8pin to 12 pin with gpu's like how they did 2x molex 4 pin to 6 pin back in the day. So really no hoops if they do that.
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#11
JustAnEngineer
The 12-pin micro connector itself looks fine. All but two of the power supplies that I've purchased in the past decade have been SeaSonic modular units, so I'm ready to plug and play with the cable in the photo.

The idea that the new Ampere graphics card consumes more than 375 watts (necessitating three 8-pin 150-watt PCIe connectors or this new plug) is a bit concerning.
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#12
Searing
JustAnEngineer
The 12-pin micro connector itself looks fine. All but two of the power supplies that I've purchased in the past decade have been SeaSonic modular units, so I'm ready to plug and play with the cable in the photo.

The idea that the new Ampere graphics card consumes more than 375 watts (necessitating three 8-pin 150-watt PCIe connectors or this new plug) is a bit concerning.
At the end of the day, the power consumption of the cards isn't the point of the connector. As long as I can easily use the 12 pin without buying a new PSU (for example, can I use a 8+8 on one cable and convert that to the 12 pin?) I'm fine with it.
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#13
JustAnEngineer
If the options are three 150-watt 8-pin PCIe connectors or one of the new 600-watt 12-pin micro connectors, we can deduce that the graphics card needs between 376 and 525 watts of power and 301 to 450 watts of it is coming through the external power connector. Therefore, it isn't safe to power the new 600-watt micro connector with adapters from a single 150-watt 8-pin PCIe connector. Running two or three times the rated current through the single cable would risk melting the insulation and starting a fire. We might get away with two if they're very well constructed, but even that is exceeding the design limits of the 8-pin PCIe standard.
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#14
Caring1
arbiter
As for the hoop's, i would bet Nvidia will include a 2x8pin to 12 pin with gpu's like how they did 2x molex 4 pin to 6 pin back in the day. So really no hoops if they do that.
Or sell it as an accessory at top dollar like they did with the HB Bridge when they first came out.
JustAnEngineer
If the options are three 150-watt 8-pin PCIe connectors or one of the new 600-watt 12-pin micro connectors, we can deduce that the graphics card needs between 376 and 525 watts of power and 301 to 450 watts of it is coming through the external power connector. Therefore, it isn't safe to power the new 600-watt micro connector with adapters from a single 150-watt 8-pin PCIe connector. Running two or three times the rated current through the single cable would risk melting the insulation and starting a fire. We might get away with two if they're very well constructed, but even that is exceeding the design limits of the 8-pin PCIe standard.
From what I have seen it is the equivalent of two 6 pin connectors, the same gauge wire and quantity of positive and negative, only a higher power drawn through the connector from the PSU.
Posted on Reply
#15
JustAnEngineer
A 6-pin PCIe connector is designed for just 75 watts. It would take eight of those to equal the 600-watt rating of the new micro 12-pin connector and five or six of them to match the power draw of the new graphics card.
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#16
Caring1
JustAnEngineer
A 6-pin PCIe connector is designed for just 75 watts. It would take eight of those to equal the 600-watt rating of the new micro 12-pin connector and five or six of them to match the power draw of the new graphics card.
Lol, what has math got to do with it?
It's been stated the wire gauge is the same, diagrams show what I have said to be true regarding two six pin connectors having the same amount of positive terminals and negative terminal as the twelve pin connector. It seems the recommendation for a higher capacity PSU is only to allow the correct current to be drawn over the rail that supplies power. Time will tell if the wire can handle the heat, or detoriorate.
I'm happy to be proven wrong though. The thought of a person's $3,000 system going up in flames is saddening.
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#17
JustAnEngineer
Successful engineering relies very heavily on getting the math right.

Even if the cable from the PSU to the PCIe connector is over-designed so that it can handle much more current than the PCIe standard says that it must, we don't know if the circuit inside the PSU has also been over-designed. The fire could start in the connectors or inside the PSU instead of in the cables. There's probably some safety margin above the design rating before we start a fire, but running two, three or four times the rated power is likely to be a bad thing.
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#18
dragontamer5788
JustAnEngineer
A 6-pin PCIe connector is designed for just 75 watts. It would take eight of those to equal the 600-watt rating of the new micro 12-pin connector and five or six of them to match the power draw of the new graphics card.
Or just two 8-pin connectors. 8-pin connectors are 150W after all, and PCIe itself has some power running through it.

Thinking about these standards... 6-pin is 75W, but 8-pin doubles the capacity to 150W? And now 12-pin brings it all the way up to 8x capacity? I do wonder how this math is working out, or maybe the 12-pin connector has some more assurances behind the gauge of wire or something.
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#19
mouacyk
How can something smaller and tightly packed sustain a higher load? Are the wires actually thicker? I've had enough PCI-e and EPS connectors melt on me to wonder.
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#20
dragontamer5788
mouacyk
How can something smaller and tightly packed sustain a higher load? Are the wires actually thicker? I've had enough PCI-e and EPS connectors melt on me to wonder.
Hmmm... thinking about it more seriously, it could be a tolerance thing. If the connectors are better "matched" and have a greater surface area / contact area due to improvements in manufacturing, its probably possible.

These old 6-pin 75W and 8-pin 150W connectors were made from decades ago. Maybe tolerances / manufacturing has improved to the point where they feel its safe to improve the specifications of a new connector?

EDIT: Molex claims that micro-fit connectors can support 10.5 Amps (www.molex.com/molex/products/family/microfit_30). With 12-connectors, but 2-connectors per circuit (positive + negative leads), that's 10.5 Amps x 12V x 6 connections == 756W per 12-pin connector. Throw down a bit of a safety factor, and we're at 600W.

USB-C surely was similar: with those tiny connectors now pushing 100W to charge laptops when USB was initially only designed for just a few Watts.
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#21
Pumper
Looking at the inflated prices of RTX3000, one would think that nvidia can afford to include these cables with the GPUs.
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#22
biffzinker
Pumper
Looking at the inflated prices of RTX3000, one would think that nvidia can afford to include these cables with the GPUs.
Nvidia might as well bundle in the required power supply with Nvidia branding on the power supply, and as a bonus the required 12 pin cable.
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#23
watzupken
JustAnEngineer
The 12-pin micro connector itself looks fine. All but two of the power supplies that I've purchased in the past decade have been SeaSonic modular units, so I'm ready to plug and play with the cable in the photo.

The idea that the new Ampere graphics card consumes more than 375 watts (necessitating three 8-pin 150-watt PCIe connectors or this new plug) is a bit concerning.
If the performance of the card matches up to the power draw, I think it may still be acceptable because I am not surprise people buying this card wants the absolute best at this point in time, and also likely to have a high end PSU to go along with their rig. With Ampere about to be revealed in another week's time, I am also looking forward to see how RDNA 2 is shaping up later this year.
biffzinker
Nvidia might as well bundle in the required power supply with Nvidia branding on the power supply, and as a bonus the required 12 pin cable.
No thanks. They are going to brand it some Founders Edition and charge you a hundred buck premium for it.
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#24
efikkan
I don't have anything against this specific design yet, and it seems to be objectively better, but the good thing about established standards is compatibility, one of the key features which have made the PC platform so successful. Any time we break compatibility, it better be for a good reason.
newtekie1
1. It's not proprietary.
2. It is a "new" standard.

This is a standard Molex connector: www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_housings/0430251200

It's been a standard since at least 2018.
Shh! You're bursting the "Nvidia is evil" narrative! :p
Posted on Reply
#25
kayjay010101
xkm1948
I can see next gen cards needing 2x12 pin now
The day that'll happen is the day we'll see GPUs rated in kilowatts. We'd need a new electrical system as most electrical installations in houses is capped at 230V/10A in Europe or 120V/16A in North America, which works out to 2300W and 1920W respectively, per course. If a card is drawing 1.2kW, then the rest of the PC is probably drawing close to 1.6 (300W CPU, plus some loss due to inefficiency in the PSU and other power draw from SSD/HDDs, fans, LEDs, etc.), which is only 320W off the limit of the breaker. Guidelines say to never exceed 80% usage on a single course, and that number is already 75W over. So when we start seeing 1.2kW cards we'd also probably need to get bigger courses, atleast in North America.
Not to mention the hard limit of 5nm as it seems quantum tunneling is a major barrier to go denser than that in the consumer space and still be able to turn a profit. With 5nm being the barrier, the only way to get anywhere close to 600W+ would be MCM.
biffzinker
Nvidia might as well bundle in the required power supply with Nvidia branding on the power supply, and as a bonus the required 12 pin cable.
Rumors are the FE cards will ship with the required adapter to use 3x 8pin PCIe connectors. So no need for a new PSU or new PSU cable just yet. If we are to believe the rumors, at least.
Pumper
Looking at the inflated prices of RTX3000, one would think that nvidia can afford to include these cables with the GPUs.
Rumors indicate they are, and it'll only be for the FE cards. AIB cards will still use traditional PCIe power connectors.
Searing
At the end of the day, the power consumption of the cards isn't the point of the connector. As long as I can easily use the 12 pin without buying a new PSU (for example, can I use a 8+8 on one cable and convert that to the 12 pin?) I'm fine with it.
More likely 3x 8pin, as dual 8pin is only capable of 300W, which these cards are rumored to exceed at stock. Hence the new 12pin connector being able to go upto 600W.
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