Seasonic asks you to gamble your $1,000+ GPU that its new 16-pin connector won't melt — company gives out a free 16-pin power cable for beta testing

(Image credit: Seasonic)

Seasonic is ready with its new ATX 3.1 compliant 12V-2x6 connector to replace the 12VHPWR (16-pin) power connector, unofficially dubbed the 'RTX 4090 killer', for its power supplies. Seasonic is also willing to give these cables to 100 users in China for free if users sign up for beta testing with their graphics cards that utilize a 16-pin power connector and a compatible Seasonic power supply.

The beta test application is open until December 31st, and it's for users with either Focus, Vertex, or Prime series ATX 3.0 compliant power supplies and GPUs with a 12VHPWR connector. Though many would like to see this be tested with an RTX 4080 and RTX 4090, two of the best graphics cards, some GPUs with a much lower draw use this connector.

The leaked images of the Asus RTX 4070 Super OC Edition show that some GeForce RTX 4070 Super will likely use the 16-pin connector instead of the 8-pin PCIe connector used by its non-Super version. Irrespective of the GPU and its draw, one would like to be assured this new standard is also not prone to the same meltdown issues— Seasonic plans to address this by having up to 100 beta testers using their hardware.

The contest is limited to one application per person. You will need to provide information such as the platform ID (Weibo, Bilibili, and WeChat), photographs of the power supply, and a graphics card showing the serial numbers. The entry is limited to up to 100 people; hence, it is first come, first served. Winners of these new power cables with the 12V-2x6 power connectors will be announced via Weibo, Bilibili, and WeChat on January 5, 2024.

Regarding the cable, Seasonic claims via Weibo that this is a one-piece molded connector with additional reinforcement and precision-wielded wires. As a result, there will be no need to bend, and its 12V-2x6 connector is claimed to have a reinforced terminal structure, high-current resistant allo,y, and copper right-angled terminals. As per specifications set by Intel (which also developed the specification for the 12VHPWR standard), this is a 16-AWG wiring support 600w output and complies with ATX 3.1 and CEM 5.1 standards.

It is not known at the time of writing if Seasonic will give these cables free of charge to qualifying PSU owners worldwide or if they need to be purchased. But the same question also applies to other power supply manufacturers.

The 12V-2x6 connectors could be safer than 12VHPWR because of their increased power terminal length and shorter sense pin, which addresses the cause of the meltdown. The newer connector shows it can maintain its cool even with a worst-case scenario. Also, 12VHPWR connectors have backward compatibility with 12V-2x6 cables, therefore addressing the meltdown concerns for existing users as they need to get this cable from respective PSU makers. Newer manufactured power supplies should be bundled with the 12V-2x6 cables by default, but FSP has been doing that since September.

However, it would have been nice if Seasonic disclosed its responsibility if any user(s) faced a meltdown during this beta testing contest. Though this goes with the word 'beta,' many would rather be a spectator given the potential fire and electric hazards surrounding the 12VHPWR standard. Nobody would want to be in a situation where they put their hardware at risk. And since this, in a way, is a public test and given the cost of the hardware, it wouldn't hurt if SeaSonic made that disclosure in these details, just like disclosing about warranty coverage with these free cables. Here's wishing there were no meltdowns with 12V-2x6 connectors, even in a worst-case scenario.

Freelance News Writer
  • Auxityne
    There is absolutely no way on Earth I would participate in this unless Seasonic provided, in writing, some sort of guarantee to cover component damage.
  • USAFRet
    If they want me as a "beta tester", they need to give me the PSU and GPU for free.
  • HaninTH
    USAFRet said:
    If they want me as a "beta tester", they need to give me the PSU and GPU for free.
    Only the PSU and GPU? With the potential to destroy the entire system, I wouldn't gamble on any part of the system that is directly connected to the PSU using this cable.

    Do you want to be the first one to experience a destructive issue no one else has?
  • ilukey77
    while these 12v-2x6 connectors are supposed to be better and going to be the norm for atx 3.1 PSU's not sure i would if i was using a 4090 test it out without guarantees of compensation if it melts !!
  • Amdlova
    Someone need to launch a water block for this connector...
    True power need waterblock.
  • vanadiel007
    It's amazing we have had power connectors for many years that have worked without any major issues. Then comes along a new one and it catches fire...
    Newer is not always better...
  • TJ Hooker
    There is no change to the cable plug for 12V-2x6, only on the PCB header (with the revised header starting its roll out months ago). Seasonic may have released a new/revised connector, but whatever changes they made wouldn't be related to the 12V-2x6/CEM 5.1 spec change (except possibly on the PSU connection header, in the case of modular PSUs).
  • coromonadalix
    aw man make a video card with two copper bars for 100 amp, it will be enough

    feed them with 4awg ..... pffff

    ridicoulous became more down the drain
  • spongiemaster
    The PSU is covered, nothing else is. This is China only, and you have to have a Seasonic ATX 3.0 PSU. Appears Seasonic is expecting a lot of volunteers. "Only" first 100 will be accepted on a first come first server basis. Only one application per person. Could win a small gift. Might be tied to sharing pictures of your new cable on social media.
  • Avro Arrow
    This article would've been perfect for April 1st. :giggle: