AMD's reportedly avoiding the 12VHPWR connector with their Radeon RX 7000 series

Reports are circulating about melting 12VHPWR connectors, so it looks like AMD has made a good call here

AMD's reportedly avoiding the 12VHPWR connector with their Radeon RX 7000 series

It looks like AMD's not planning to use the new PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector with their next-gen GPUs

AMD's Radeon RX 7000 series of graphics cards are on the horizon, with AMD planning to reveal their first RDNA 3 graphics cards on November 3rd. Now, thanks to information from Kyle Bennett, the former editor and owner of HardOCP, we know that AMD does not plan to utilise the PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR (12 Volt High Power) connector with their next-generation graphics cards.

The 12VHPWR connector was created to deliver up to 600 watts of power to add-on cards. Specifically, Nvidia created this new power standard to fuel their latest RTX series graphics cards, with their RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 4090 graphics cards being the first to utilise the new connector. Now, reports are coming in of users melting their power connectors, suggesting that the 12VHPWR connector has reliability concerns. 

Kyle Bennett has claimed that he has contacted multiple sources and has confirmed that AMD's reference Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards will not utilise the 12VHPWR connector. Furthermore, he has stated that we could not verify that a single AIB planned to use a 12VHPWR connector on custom NAVI 31 GPU designs. This suggests that AMD will be sticking to tried and true PCIe 8-pin (6+2) PCIe power connectors for their next-generation graphics cards.  

AMD's reportedly avoiding the 12VHPWR connector with their Radeon RX 7000 series

(Kyle Bennett - Twitter)

What's wrong with the 12VHPWR connector?

The 12VHPWR connector id designed to handle up to 600 watts of power and does so with a connector that is smaller than a traditional PCIe 8-pin (6+2-pin) connector, a 150W connector. The PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector is designed to handle four times as much power than an 8-pin connector while using smaller cable terminals. More power being transmitted over a smaller area can cause issues, especially if their connection points are under stress. 

If 12VHPWR cables are bent near their terminals, stress can be applied to the power connector that can harm the cable connection to your graphics card and result in thermal build up. In some cases this has resulted in melted PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connectors and damaged graphics cards, as seen in the image above. This has led consumers and analysts to question the reliability of the 12VHPWR connectors used on Nvidia's RTX 4090 graphics cards. 

AMD's reference RDNA 3 flagship design, their Radeon RX 7900 XTX, reportedly features three 8-pin PCIe power cables. These cables can deliver 450W of power in total, and an additional 75W of power can be deliver though PCI Express. 

You can join the discussion on AMD avoiding the PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector with RDNA 3 on the OC3D Forums

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