Asus has demonstrated a new concept for providing extra power to graphics cards, removing the need for extra PCIe power cables to plug straight into your card and replacing them with a new graphics card power slot imaginatively called ‘GC_HPWR‘.
Power for the new GC_HPWR slot is still delivered by standard PCIe power cables, but they plug into the back of the motherboard rather than the graphics card. This allows for a cleaner system with no cables reaching across the inside of your case, where both looks and airflow are key considerations.
It’s not a brand new concept, as AMD‘s Radeon Pro cards used a similar system on Apple Pro systems, but it’s new to general desktop use.
Image source: Wccftech
Able to deliver the same 600W as Nvidia’s new 12VHPWR 16-pin graphics card power connector, as first seen on the RTX 4090, one such connector is positioned on the back of the motherboard alongside three eight-pin PCIe power connectors.
It isn’t yet clear how many of these sockets need to be occupied to enable the new slot to work but we suspect it will work with either one 12VHPWR connector or one or more of the conventional connectors, depending on your graphics card’s power requirements.
The new slot, which was spotted by Wccftech at the Computex 2023 trade show in Taiwan, requires both a compatible motherboard and graphics card, so you won’t be able to upgrade just one or the other. However, it could become a new standard if it proves popular enough.
Both a new graphics card and a new motherboard will be required to use the new power slot but you will be able to use one of the new motherboards with a conventional graphics card, if you’re looking to spread the cost of your upgrade. You’ll just need to plug in the power connectors as you normally would for the card.
Image source: Wccftech
Although currently still in the concept phase, Asus is saying the products will be hitting shop shelves later this year, with an Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics card and Z790 TUF Gaming motherboard used to demonstrate the technology. Pricing is set to be slightly higher than standard equivalents, but there’s no indication of how much higher.
Are you excited by the prospect of graphics card no longer needing directly-connected power cables? Or is this concept too much of a pursuit of aesthetics over practicality?