Thank the GPU Gods! A new graphics card power connector to replace the troublesome 12VHPWR connector

GPU connected via power connector.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) has developed a revised specification for the 16-pin 12VHPWR graphics card power connector.

According to a report from Igor's Lab, this revision comes in response to instances of the connector on Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 boards overheating and melting under load when subjected to heavy workloads.

The new specification introduces the 12V-2x6 power connector, replacing the problematic 12VHPWR connector while maintaining backward compatibility with existing GPUs. Initially, Nvidia attributed the melting incidents to user error, claiming that the 16-pin adaptor was not fully plugged in. However, the revision from PCI-SIG suggests that there may be other factors contributing to the issue.

The upcoming ATX 3.1 and PCI Express 6.0 specifications will also incorporate the 12V-2x6 connector proposed by PCI-SIG. As to the changes made, some mechanical adjustments are coming. The sense pins have been repositioned to establish a more secure connection.

The 12V-2x6 connector introduces two new power modes, enabling support for 150W and 300W in addition to the existing 450W and 600W modes. Each pin of the connector can handle a minimum of 9.2 amps. 

To differentiate between the old and new connectors, the new ones will bear an H++ logo, while the older 12VHPWR connectors will feature an H+ logo. The cable design and quality requirements have also been tightened to address previous implementation issues.

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Unfortunately, the release of the new connector will not occur in the immediate future, as the PCI-SIG has not yet finalized the revised specification. However, it is expected that the next generation of GPUs, likely to be launched in 2025, will incorporate the updated connector.

In the meantime, if you currently possess a 12VHPWR connector for your GPU, it is advisable to ensure a minimum clearance of 35mm before bending the cable. PSU vendors recommend a clearance of 40mm.

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.