NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 FE With An Upgraded Power Connector Breaks Cover

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Slightly modified NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics cards appear to have made it through the channels to the public. The welcome change we see here is a tweak to the controversial 16-pin power connector, also known as the 12VHPWR connector. From a set of photographs shared by a PC enthusiast on social media, it is quite clear that the four ‘sense pins’ have been shortened in length.

We have previously reported on sightings of similar 12VHPWR connector changes delivered to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4070 FE graphics cards. That was a surprising change to see without fanfare from NVIDIA, and now it looks likely the same modification will permeate the full range of Ada Lovelace Founders Edition graphics cards.

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If you look at the images of the new connector then consider reasons behind the issues the original 12VHPWR connector was notorious for, the change seems sensible. The original power connector would work when improperly inserted, but the shortened sense pins should mean that sloppily inserted connectors simply fail to work. Thus, the installer will look again and insert the connector properly, rather than one day notice the internals of their PC components melting, smoldering, or worse.

In our last report on this modified 12VHPWR connector, we mentioned the leaked information which appears to reveal NVIDIA and the PCI-SIG are working on a revision of the design dubbed 12V-2x6. It is thought that the newly discovered modified 12VHPWR connector in the RTX 4090 and RTX 4070 FE models has quickly adopted at least one of the changes proposed for the physically compatible 12V-2x6 connector.

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Modified RTX 4070 Power Connector Vs. RTX 4080 - Image From Igor's Lab

For now, we are seeing NVIDIA roll out an evolutionary change for a significant safety impact without significant production line changes. The change seen in Redditor PrackPrackPrack’s images is welcome, but it would also be welcome if product changes like this were announced by NVIDIA and partners, to keep the paying public informed.