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Nvidia may have preempted PCIe 5.0 power connector as brand new PSUs reveal

Asus ROG Thor 1000W Platinum II 12-pin power connector
(Image credit: Future)

Asus recently announced its ROG Thor 1000W Platinum II power supply and that it ships with a PCIe 5.0-ready 12-pin PCIe power cable. And wouldn't you know, this connector is awfully familiar. It first appeared on Nvidia's RTX 30-series Founders Edition cards that connected to a pair of regular 8-pin PCIe power cables via an adapter. Many assumed this was a proprietary Nvidia connector, but it turns out  Nvidia may have been ahead of the curve, as Asus states that the Thor Platinum II is PCIe 5.0 ready. 

The power requirements of high-end graphics cards continue to trend upwards. Cards with triple 8-pin PCIe connectors are commonplace. Three 150w PCIe 8-pin connectors can deliver a total of 450W, and when combined with 75W available from the PCIe slot, a high-end card has at least 525W on tap, but even 525W might not be enough power for future graphics cards.

Asus ROG Thor 1000w Platinum II Power Supply

(Image credit: Asus)

According to information from Igor’s Lab, and previously reported on PC Gamer, the governing PCI SIG body has defined a new High Power Connector or 12VHPWR as part of the new PCIe 5.0 standard. This is good news as graphics cards have evolved beyond the rather ancient six- and eight-pin standards. Power supplies need to evolve to cope with the increased requirements of 500W or higher GPUs. Having a single power cable will help with cable management too—no one likes all those power cables messing up the look of their build.

Note that the picture below shows four signalling pins located underneath the main 12-pins. These aren't present on the Asus connector indicating that they may be optional.

Minitek PCIe 12-pin power connector

(Image credit: Amphenol ICC)

According to Amphenol ICC (via Tom’s Hardware), the new connector is designed to deliver at least 600W. While a single connector is definitely more user-friendly, it certainly doesn’t bode well for GPU efficiency going forward. Are we getting to the stage where sub-1000W PSUs will no longer be enough for a decent gaming rig? The power requirements of a next-generation gaming rig could look pretty scary.

The Asus ROG Thor 1000W Platinum II will be joined by more powerful models towards the end of the year. They certainly look like premium PSUs and are likely to be the first of many new PCIe 5.0 PSU designs built to support next-generation gaming rigs.

Chris Szewczyk

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.