NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 graphics cards will use a brand new PCIe Gen 5 power supply to meet their high power needs. While only modern power supplies that comply with the new ATX 3.0 standard can offer direct unitary routing, users with an older power supply will need to use an adapter that includes as many as four 8-pin connectors going to a single Gen 5 cable.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 graphics cards will require a new PCIe Gen 5 cable after 30 connect-and-disconnect cycles
Update: We have confirmed with NVIDIA that the specification of 30 cycles for the 16-pin connector is the same as for the past 20 years. The same specification for 30 cycles exists for the standard 8-pin PCIe / ATX connector (aka Molex mini-fit). The same connector is used by AMD and all other GPU vendors, so all of these cards also have a 30-cycle life. In short, with the GPU RTX 40 series, nothing has changed.
The new information comes from ZOTAC, which listed the service life of a single PCIe Gen 5 adapter cable on its website. According to the manufacturer, the company suggested replacing the PCIe gen 5 adapter, which includes a 4x 8-Pin to 1x 16-Pin connector, after 30 connections and disconnections. This means that the user can only plug in and unplug the cable a maximum of 30 times before the end of its “Limited” life.
Next-generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 graphics cards, including the RTX 4090 and TX 4080, will ship with these cables, however, each package will only include one cable, so enthusiasts who like to unplug their hardware frequently and try new things will have to be careful because every time 30 cycles of life are reached you will need new cables.
A PCIe Gen 5 cable can provide up to 600W of power, however, as stated by NVIDIA, a fourth 8-pin cable is entirely optional and can be used to provide more headroom for overclocking. As officially confirmed by the company, GPUs can be set to 3 GHz + with overclocking.
“Each GeForce RTX 40 Founders Edition graphics card reduces cable clutter by taking advantage of the new standard GPU power consumption of next-generation ATX 3.0 power supplies – the 16-pin PCIe Gen-5 connector. This allows the GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards to be powered with just one cable, improving the aesthetics of your build.If you are using a previous generation power supply, an adapter cable is included that allows you to connect three 8-pin power connectors, with an optional fourth connector providing more overclocking reserve. ATX 3.0 power supplies will be available in October from ASUS, Cooler Master, FSP, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, MSI, Silverstone and ThermalTake, with more models coming in the future. ”
The lower lifecycle problem stems from the fact that the PCIe Gen 5 (12VHPWR) cable is extremely prone to bending and the thermal variations are somewhat worrying as the PCI-SIG suggests, prolonged use beyond the advertised lifecycles could damage the cables permanently.
PCI-SIG Internal Issue Investigation (Image Credit: GamersNexus):
This should be verified after booting the card, but for new owners, or those who plug their GPU into a computer once and never remove it, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Some power supply companies also manufacture their cables with higher quality components, but there’s no way of telling how good or bad a 12 VHPWR cable is without removing the sleeve.
News source: Videocardz