It seems pretty certain now that if you want to run Nvidia’s upcoming flagship GPUs (such as the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 TI or RTX 3090 – or whatever they end up being called), you’ll need to use a new power connector to hook it up to your PC’s PSU (power supply unit), and new pictures have emerged that appear to show it off.
If these images, posted by Guru3D, are real – and it seems like they are – then it could both confirm and allay fears people have been having since rumors of the need of an adapter began to emerge.
It means that if you want to run the most powerful GPUs in Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 3000 Ampere series, you won’t just be able to swap out your old one and connect it to the PSU, as with previous models.
Instead, you’ll need to use an adaptor, which will make the process slightly more fiddly. For anyone who has built a good looking gaming PC with careful cable management, adding an adaptor into the mix could make things look untidy.
It also raises concerns that Nvidia’s new graphics cards, especially the high-end ones, will be seriously power hungry. If this is the case, then not only will people need to use the power adaptor, but they may need to buy a new, more powerful PSU as well.
Swapping out a PSU is a big undertaking (we even suggested that it could require upgraders to rip out most of their PC), as well as adding extra expense onto what will already be a very expensive upgrade.
There is some good news with these images, however. First, they show the new 12-pin PCIe connector next to an existing eight-pin connector, and there’s not much size difference between the two. This should make installing the connector easier.
Many people were worried that if the 12-pin connector has to be inserted vertically into the top of the GPU, a large connector or adaptor would make that tricky – but that seems to not be the case.
We also heard that Nvidia, and some PSU makers, will be bundling the adaptor, so it shouldn’t cost you anything extra.
Still, this all proves that Nvidia’s new GPUs will be very powerful – and ambitious – components, and we’re very excited to see more. Luckily, the company has an event on September 1, so we shouldn’t have long to wait at all.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.