The PCI requirements group adjustments, blaming it for melting GPU energy connectors

Enlarge it / . / Nvidia 12VHPWR energy cable adapter, as shipped with the RTX 4080 .

Andrew Cunningham

The brand new Nvidia RTX 4090 and 4080 GPUs each use a brand new connector referred to as the 12VHPWR to ship energy as a solution to fulfill power-hungry graphics playing cards with out having to commit the bodily house wanted for 3 or 4 8-pin energy connectors. However that energy connector and its specs weren’t constructed by Nvidia alone—to make sure interoperability, the specification was co-developed by the PCI Categorical Particular Curiosity Group (PCI-SIG), a physique that features Nvidia, AMD, Intel, Arm, IBM , Qualcomm, and others.

Nonetheless, issues with overheating and melting that some RTX 4090 house owners have skilled lately have apparently prompted the PCI-SIG to clarify it in additional element which elements of the specification for which it’s and isn’t accountable. In a press release issued by Toms {Hardware}, the group despatched a reminder to its members that they, not the PCI-SIG, are liable for security testing merchandise utilizing connector specs such because the 12VHPWR.

“Members are reminded that the PCI-SIG specs present the technical info crucial for interoperability and don’t try to deal with correct design, manufacturing strategies, supplies, security testing, security tolerances, or craftsmanship,” the assertion stated. “When implementing the PCI-SIG specification, members are liable for the design, manufacture and testing, together with security testing, of their merchandise.”

In different phrases: PCI-SIG tells firms how their 12VHPWR merchandise ought to work with different firms’ 12VHPWR merchandise, however they’re not concerned in manufacturing or security testing any of them explicit 12VHPWR output. The assertion appears designed to absolve PCI-SIG of any blame within the melting-power-connector saga in gentle of a lawsuit filed towards Nvidia over the issue.

Third-party and Nvidia assessments counsel that the RTX 4090’s GPU energy connectors are getting scorching virtually Resulting from consumer error fairly than an underlying downside with the design—usually, the connectors confirmed proof of overheating and melting that they weren’t totally inserted into the GPUs’ 12VHPWR connector. This downside appears to be working all 12VHPWR cables, whether or not you utilize an adapter for 8-pin PCIe energy cables or a local 12VHPWR cable that plugs immediately into your energy provide, nonetheless, appear to be pretty uncommon.

Moreover, producers can create extra fail safeties to detect improper connections or make extra apparent when a cable is totally inserted and when it’s not—a bigger connector with a louder, easier-to-see retaining clip has helped the 6- and 8-. PCIe pin energy connectors have prevented any such downside for years. Hopefully we are going to see enhancements that may assist stop any such consumer error, whether or not from producers or within the type of specification adjustments within the PCI-SIG. The 12VHPWR connector is probably going right here to remain, because of being included in Intel’s ATX 3.0 specification for PC energy provides.

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