Gigabyte has announced its latest UD1000GM power supply (opens in new tab). It comes with the an updated 16-pin PCIe 5.0 power connector, which means it’s ready to power future generation graphics cards. The connector is able to provide up to 600W, far higher than the 150W provided by a current 8-pin connector.
The cable is set to replace the severely outdated 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors that weren’t designed with 500W or higher GPUs in mind. A card with three 8-pin connectors supports 3x150W, plus another 75W from the PCIe slot, for a total of 525W. But its not so much that power is inadequate, it's that all those PCIe power cables look ungainly and replacing them with a single power connector will definitely help to reduce cable clutter.
Another interesting thing to note is the compact size of the connector. It’s more or less the same size as an 8-pin connector. On the topic of size reduction, how about getting around to shrinking the 24-pin ATX power connector (opens in new tab)?
It remains to be seen if the new connector will be a requirement for PCIe 5.0 graphics card certification. Not all cards will need anywhere near 600W, but given the compact size of the connector, there’s no real reason why it shouldn’t be a universal connection. Will we see it on something like a future RTX 4060 or RX 7500 XT?
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This Gigabyte PSU isn’t the first to claim PCIe 5.0 support. Asus’ ROG Thor Platinum II PSUs shipped with a similar cable (opens in new tab), but it lacked the additional four signalling pins that may be required to meet the full 600W PCIe 5.0 spec. Asus has since reworded the spec (opens in new tab) of the Thor 2, now stating that it supports 450W over its cable, rather than the full 600W.
Expect more announcements from PSU manufacturers soon, especially if Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 3090 Ti (opens in new tab) comes equipped with this connector. If you’re planning a new build later this year with an ADA Lovelace or RDNA 3 GPU in mind, you might want to hold off on buying a new high end PSU until the situation becomes clearer.
The very notion of 600W from a single power connector doesn't really bode well for graphics card efficiency going forward. The days of a 300W flagship GPU are seemingly behind us.