Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs need a new PSU connector – but fortunately it won’t cost you anything

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Nvidia’s RTX 3000 graphics cards – or whatever the next-generation products are eventually named – will need a 12-pin power connector adaptor, it was officially confirmed yesterday; and the good news is it’ll be bundled with Nvidia’s GPUs.

As we previously reported, the plan for Nvidia’s Founders Edition is that it will indeed require a new 12-pin power connector (as the rumor mill had insisted), for technical reasons (this way, Nvidia observes it gets better data transmission and less crosstalk, with details provided in the video released yesterday).

So, we can definitely put paid to any of the chatter about the prospect of Ampere graphics cards possibly requiring a change of PSU, but what about that adaptor – do you need to fork out some cash for that?

The good news is that Nvidia has now confirmed that its Founders Edition graphics cards will come with the adaptor bundled.

First off, the company stated: “A compact electrical design, with a new 12-pin power connector that allows more space for components and cooling, and is compatible with 8-pin connectors in existing power supplies with an included adapter.”

But that statement wasn’t quite definitive in that it could possibly be read as the PSU having the included adapter, rather than it coming with actual Nvidia GPU.

Kotaku reached out for clarification, and got a response from Nvidia that “GPUs with the 12-pin connectors will come with an adapter, so you won’t need to have one already”.

So you won’t need to pay an extra penny, and if you’re buying an Ampere graphics cards which requires the 12-pin adaptor, it will come included.

The adaptor, as we’ve previously seen, has two 8-pin connectors on one end to plug into your power supply, and a 12-pin connector on the other end to plug into the graphics card.

Further questions

It’s thought that this new 12-pin connector is only going to be used with Nvidia’s own Founders Edition cards, so it remains to be seen how exactly things will work with third-party Ampere GPUs.

However, if these also need the 12-pin adaptor, graphics cards manufacturers will presumably follow Nvidia’s lead and include it bundled.

That said, Wccftech did spot an MSI power supply which comes with the 12-pin adaptor bundled itself, so that does leave us wondering why is that necessary if the GPUs will have it anyway? There are still question marks here, certainly.

With the Ampere graphics card launch fully expected to take place on September 1 – especially given that Nvidia just dropped that teaser video – we should soon know a lot more about its next-gen GPUs.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).