PC component maker Gigabyte has demonstrated a new approach to positioning the 12VHPWR power socket on graphics cards based on the Nvidia Ada architecture. The 16-pin power connector is usually found in the middle of the top edge on Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 cards, but the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 WindForce V2 24G instead has it hidden behind a cutout in the GPU cooler, facing sideways.
The V2 in the name marks a redesign since the original version of the card, which had a full-length heatsink and the power connector in the usual place on the top edge of the card. However, the new version has a big chunk of the heatsink removed on the rear of the card, with the power socket sitting behind the array of three fans on the front.
Positioning the 12VHPWR power socket in this location could make a big difference to the way you would run a cable to this graphics card. With no obstructions from the side, you could run a cable from the usual cable-routing holes found to the right of the motherboard and plug it straight into the graphics card, without having to bend the cable near the plug.
Crucially, this could help avoid some of the situations where people have ended up melting the power socket on their graphics cards, resulting from an insecure connection, often as a result of a tight bend in the cable coming up from the PSU cover and into the middle of the card, rather than from the side.
Recently, YouTuber Louis Rossman also made a video reporting that Gigabyte was refusing to RMA graphics cards with cracked PCBs (which you can see below), although it’s not clear whether this situation is linked to the relocation of the power connector.
The 12VHPWR power socket is a recommended part of the ATX 3 spec for power supplies, although so far competitor AMD has stuck to using standard 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors on its latest GPUs, such as the Radeon RX 7600 and Radeon RX 7900 XTX, and Asus even used a standard 8-pin PCIe socket on its latest Dual GeForce RTX 4070 card.
Although it’s expensive, the GeForce RTX 4090 is currently listed on our full guide to the best graphics card, as it’s the fastest gaming GPU you can buy right now, especially for ray tracing. You can also now read our full GeForce RTX 4060 Ti review, with this card costing just $399.
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