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12V gpu connector question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
June 20, 2010 10:47:34 AM

Why use 12v to power something like GPU or CPU that only uses less than 1.5v most of the time?
June 20, 2010 12:22:40 PM

Lol :p  If that cpu uses 1.5 v only but uses a whomping 200 watts = 200watt/1.5v = requiring a psu that has 133amps So yeah. But this is my theory, it might or might not be correct but I think the main thing is that a 12v rail has more power per amp than a 5v rail or a 3.3v rail... Therefore we use a 12v rail.

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a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2010 12:26:25 PM

The same reason power lines are 4000 to 14400 volts and converted down to 120 volts. High voltage lines can be 100000 volts or more.

Efficency. less loss to heat. and smaller wire size to carry the same amount of electricity.
The amount of electricity wasted to heat increases as the voltage goes down.
Also as a wire gets hotter the amount of electricity it can transfer goes down.

So as the wire gets hotter voltage drops. When voltage drops heat increases. When heat increases voltage drops.
It is a vicious cycle that has to be designed arround.

If the power supply converted down to 1.5 volts the wires coming out of the power supply would need to be arround 8 times larger to carry the same total amount of electricity without overheating.
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June 20, 2010 1:10:16 PM

June 20, 2010 1:12:05 PM

Best answer selected by area61.