The 12VHPWR graphics card connector has made a name for itself for all the wrong reasons, with the component frequently melting and causing the death of many a GPU. Now, graphics card manufacturers are apparently testing a replacement that could finally put an end to the sorry saga.
The new version, dubbed 12V-2×6, can reportedly deliver up to 660W of power to a graphics card — 10% more than the 12VHPWR. Despite that, testing has apparently shown it to be much safer than its predecessor.
From the outside, the design of the 12V-2×6 is fairly similar to the 12VHPWR. However, a key difference is that the new connector can deliver extra power through the GPU’s PCIe slot, which enables its higher power draw. In fact, testing by YouTube channel Hardware Busters has shown it could send up to 675W without a hitch.
During the testing, Hardware Busters noted that the connector could deliver 600W while temperatures rose to just 40 to 50 degrees Celsius — well within the safe range of operation and nowhere near hot enough to melt the connector. This was done even with a peak power draw of up to 640W.
Even more impressively, this was achieved even when the connector was not properly inserted. The component’s shorter sense pins compared to the 12VHPWR could well be the cause of this, as they detect when the connector is not inserted fully and limit power delivery to the GPU, thereby constraining how hot it can get.
In comparison, some 12VHPWR connectors were reaching temperatures of 150 degrees, causing them to melt and inflict serious damage on users’ graphics cards. The difference here appears to be immense.
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The 12V-2×6 appears to be a superior part compared to the 12VHPWR, at least from this testing. The question now is how widely it will be adopted in the industry.
Nvidia has already begun implementing the 12V-2×6 connector in its RTX 4090 cards, which previously seemed to be particularly susceptible to melting when they used the 12VHPWR connector.
AMD might also decide to add the part to its cards. Past reports have suggested the company considered adding the 12VHPWR connector to its cards but dropped the plans due to the negative reception surrounding the component. Now that a more suitable replacement has been found, it’s possible AMD could decide to add it to its upcoming GPUs.
Whatever happens, it’s clear the 12VHPWR’s days are numbered. After all the fires, broken GPUs, and numerous attempts to fix the problem, few people will be sad to see the connector go.