MSI has tweaked the notorious 16-pin GPU power cable so it's more obvious when it's not properly plugged in

A animation showing the 12VHPWR connector with new yellow colour inserted correctly and incorrectly.

(Image credit: Future)

With one simple change to its 12VHPWR connector, MSI has made it very obvious when the connector isn't plugged in all the way into a graphics card or PSU. The bit that's meant to be on the inside of the connector is entirely yellow.

If you see yellow, you need to keep pushing.

The compact micro-fit connector is traditionally all-black, as most are, but MSI has shown off new PSUs over at Computex 2023—including the MEG power supply pictured—that change the inner connection plastic to a bright yellow. Thus, in theory, reducing the risk of a dodgy connection unbeknownst to you that could kill your card.

It's a surprisingly simple way to help mitigate what has been suggested to be one reason for melting power connectors on graphics cards. The 12VHPWR connector can deliver up to 600W through a single cable, but it got off to a rough start with the RTX 40-series graphics cards as user reports rolled in showing clear signs of damage to the connector during use.

A dodgy connection is only part of the parcel for the 12VHPWR connector, however. Early investigations suggested that one specific type of 12VHPWR connector, the so-called 3 Dimple, was more prone to making an improper connection, resulting in temperatures rising and in some cases the connector failing. The alternative, 4 Spring, is supposedly more robust. 

That's since been backed up since by Intel, who is the publisher of the ATX 3.0 PSU specification, who recommended that manufacturers only use the 4 Spring design henceforth.

But a loose-fitting connection is one sure way to make matters worse. Something as painfully simple as a two-tone connector might well do some good for fiddly builds where you can't access the cables easily to check they're securely fastened. And there's the added bonus that for anyone who hasn't been kept abreast of the recent melting graphics card incidents would be more likely to secure the 12VHPWR connector all the way with such a visual cue in evidence.


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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.