Say Goodbye To The Controversial 12VHPWR Power Connector And Hello To This Replacement
Whether you think that the spate of melted 12VHPWR connectors was the fault of users (for not plugging it in all the way) or the fault of the connector's design, it's clear that it was a fairly unique situation to that connector. In that case, the connector probably needs revision, as having people fry components due to what is honestly a fairly-easy-to-make mistake is not a great look in any event.
Clearly NVIDIA and PCI-SIG agree, at least if Igor's latest information is accurate. According to our favorite German leakster, PCI-SIG is drafting a new connector to replace 12VHPWR that is known as "12V-2x6", a rather plainly-descriptive name for a connector that carries 12 volts across two rows of six pins.
That configuration might sound familiar, and if it does, that's because it's the exact same configuration in the exact same shape as the outgoing 12VHPWR connector. Likewise, it also supports the same power capacity: up to 600 watts, although Igor reports that there is a small change in the spec, where cards with the new connector can use up to 675 watts, with 75 watts of that budget being supplied from the PCIe slot. Previously, cards with 12VHPWR were apparently limited to 600 watts total.
As part of the new standard, there are defined a great many specifications and requirements on maximum current load both for the connector and on a per-pin basis. As well, there are new limits placed on connector temperature, and requirements for cable assembly integrators to verify that their cables meet all of the above requirements.
Notably, the new connector will purportedly plug into the old one, so there's no need to worry about cards with the 12VHPWR connector being abandoned in the future. Igor's post is four pages long and goes into explicit mechanical and electrical detail about the new connector that we won't reproduce here, so if you're curious about the facts and figures, head on over to Igor's Lab and see 'em for yourself.