On September 20, Gamers Nexus talked about the new 16-pin 12VHPWR graphics card power supply solution. As you can see, in order to meet the high power demands of PCIe 5.0 devices, only ATX 3.0 can safely provide a single cable-based power supply. However, for users of older power supplies, there are also four 8-pin connectors available for adapters. But what is more confusing is the theoretical pluggable life of the connector, how many times?
According to the information listed on Zotac’s website, the company recommends that users replace the 4×8-pin to 1×16-pin PCIe 5.0 graphics card power connector after plugging and unplugging 30 times.
Cards such as the RTX 4090 and 4080 will come with one of these adapter cables in the package. But for PC DIY enthusiasts who like to try things out, is there any point in changing a cable after the 30 nominal lifecycles have been exhausted?
For reference, the PCIe 5.0 cable can handle 600W of power. But as NVIDIA states, a fourth 8-pin is completely optional, just to provide more room for overclocking (previously claimed to have been overclocked to 3 GHz+ in the lab).
Update] WCCFTech has confirmed with NVIDIA that the new 16-pin connector’s 30-times nominal life is actually the same as the old 8-pin connector (mini-fit Molex) specification that AMD and other GPU manufacturers have been using for the past 20+ years.
For PC DIY users updating from the old standard to ATX 3.0 power supplies, the RTX 40 Series Founders Edition graphics cards require only one cable to meet auxiliary power needs, thus effectively eliminating cable management headaches.
Finally, major manufacturers will be launching new ATX 3.0 power supplies starting in October this year. Even if you’re not in a hurry to update your power supply, it’s easy to use the three groups of 8-pin adapter cables for a single 16-pin adapter.