Hardware Busters (helmed by Tom's Hardware alum, Aris Mpitziopoulos) recently had an opportunity to test the new 12V-2x6 power connector to see how the new connector performs in both optimal and... less-than-optimal use cases. Hardware Busters found that the new connector performs significantly better than its 12VHPWR predecessor, and operates at substantially lower temperatures even when under high amounts of cable stress.
The hardware reviewer tested the new connector at Linewell, a manufacturer that makes power cables for companies such as Asus. For testing, Hardware Busters monitored the cable in two scenarios, one where the cable was fully plugged in, and the other where it was only partially inserted. In both scenarios, the cable was delivering its full 660W power rating, to fully stress the connector.
In both scenarios, Hardware Busters found that the new 12V-2x6 connector had no problems outputting the full 660W of power, with thermal readings that were well below dangerous levels, even when the cable wasn't fully inserted. Ironically, the 12V-2x6 power connector does such a good job transmitting power through its pins, that the thermal output of the connector was 5.5 degrees Celsius lower when operating in a partially inserted state, compared to running the connector properly inserted.
Hardware Busters says the shortened connecting pins on the new connector only constitute part of the reason why the new connector works so well, in reference to the 12VHPWR connector. The primary upgrade that makes the connector work really well, even with an improper insertion, is its more conductive connecting pins that lower the voltage resistance of power coming through the connector. According to Hardware Busters, the lower resistance pins are the reason why thermals are so low, to the point where overheating is nearly impossible even with improper insertions.
It's great to see that the new 12V-2x6 power connector fixes most, if not all, of the problems of the original 12VHPWR connector, especially with regard to overheating. The 12VHPWR power connector was infamous for its tendency to overheat, particularly when its associated power cable was stressed too much and/or the connector was improperly inserted. This was particularly problematic on the RTX 4090, which could get very close to maxing out the 12VHPWR's 600W power rating.
Thankfully, we've already seen a couple of Nvidia graphics cards quietly get transitioned to the new 12V-2x6 connector, including the RTX 4090, and the RTX 4070. Nvidia is likely upgrading other RTX 40 series GPUs to the new 12V-2x6 connector, but we haven't received confirmation of it just yet.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.
So the connector itself isn't a problem. That is to say, if it was a problem, physics would dictate issues out the wazoo.Reply
A new connector. They should have put a warning label on the prior cables like McDonald's did for their coffee.Reply
Physics is the reason why design is important.Reply
Less than perfect manufacture, usage and environmental conditions are also reasons.
I wonder what caused the lack of design. Expertise, management pressure, standardization process or politics? General lack of appreciation of design significance? Why for this one part?
Without testing the old 12VHPWR connector under the same conditions, I don't know what conclusions can be drawn from this test.Reply
Also, as far as I can tell the new 12V-2x6 spec didn't make any changes to the power pins. So whatever new, more conductive pins are being referred to here are just some change that Linewell decided to do on their own, and has nothing to do with the spec change (and presumably could have just as easily been done with the original 12VHPWR).