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For AMD’s RDNA3 or Nvidia’s Ada generation: Asus and Seasonic are launching the first power supplies with the 12VHPWR connection.
Corresponding graphics cards are not yet available, but the manufacturers are preparing for it: With Asus and Seasonic, two of the first suppliers have equipped their new power supplies with 12VHPWR connectors. The ROG Thor 1000W Platinum 2 uses one of them, the Prime TX-1600 and the Prime PX-1600 each use two.
The 12VHPWR connector is part of the ATX 3.0 specification , but does not necessarily require a corresponding power supply. In the case of the Asus and the two Seasonic models, the 12VHPWR is used via an integrated breakout cable on two 8-pin connectors so that full power is available.
Because an 8P is 300 watts, the 12VHPWR can power a graphics card with up to 600 watts. The plug itself is specified for up to 662.4 watts (9.2 A at 12 V on six lines), so it can deliver a little more on average. The only graphics card so far with a connector for the 12VHPWR is the Geforce RTX 3090 Ti (test) as a Founder’s Edition or custom model, with the board power at 450 watts being below the maximum of the connector.
AMD’s RDNA3 and Nvidia’s Ada use the 12VHPWR
As part of the PCI SIG’s CEM5 (Card Electromechanical Gen5) specification, the 12VHPWR connector, short for 12 Volt High Power, is primarily intended for upcoming graphics cards. New to the CEM5 specification is that pixel accelerators can exceed their power consumption by a factor of three for 100 µs.
AMD and Nvidia are expected to launch the first graphics cards in fall or winter 2022, which will require a 12VHPWR connector across most of the portfolio. The Geforce RTX 4000 are based on monolithic GPUs with Ada technology, the Radeon RX 7000 on Navi 3X chiplets with RDNA3 architecture. The 12VHPWR is apparently not fully utilized at first, the Geforce RTX 4090 is said to need 450 watts.
The ATX 3.0 standard itself also has high load peaks, up to 80 percent more are permitted for 1 ms and up to twice as much for 100 µs. Previously, the 12-volt rail was allowed to drop by up to five percent, now it’s seven percent. The minimum voltage is therefore 11.2 instead of 11.4 volts and Intel succinctly recommends raising the nominal voltage to 12.1 or 12.2 volts as a measure.