NVIDIA Secretly Shippped GeForce RTX 4070 FE Cards With A Retooled Power Connector

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It turns out that NVIDIA’s RTX 4070 is not carrying the same 16-pin power connector found on other RTX 40 series graphics cards. After careful inspection from Igor at Igor’s Lab, he found that the RTX 4070 Founders Edition and 16-pin equipped AIB partner cards are carrying a modified 16-pin power connector that features similar characteristics to the newly revised 12V-2x6 power connector.

If you’re not familiar with the new connector, we would highly recommend you check out our previous coverage here on the subject. But in short, the 12V-2x6 connector is the successor to the infamous 12VHPWR power connector and aims to rectify the connector’s notorious melting problems on 16-pin equipped cards like the GeForce RTX 4090. Some of the connector’s latest specifications include new cable insertion safeguards, new connector temperature limits, and a slightly higher power rating. It will also be backward compatible with 12VHPWR cables, so you don’t need to buy a new adapter or power supply to take advantage of the new connector.

But to clarify, the actual 12V-2x6 power connector is still in actual development by PCI SIG. The connector used on the RTX 4070 is a modified version featuring some of the design changes made with the new connector.

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

According to Igor, the RTX 4070 is believed to be using a modified 12VHPWR power connector that features at least one modification adapted from the new 12V-2x6 connector. The modification in question is the adjustment of the 4070’s four sense pins which have been recessed by 1.7mm inward compared to the standard 12VHPWR connector. This change is part of the 12V-2x6 cable insertion safeguards and makes the connector more sensitive to incomplete insertions by users. Hopefully, this will prevent more accidental damage from incomplete insertions, which was the primary cause of 16-pin damages according to NVIDIA on the RTX 4090.

Beyond this, there are no other modifications Igor mentions with the RTX 4070 connector. Though interestingly, he does say that the new 12V-2x6 connector is already being utilized on some power supplies. Suggesting NVIDIA and various power supply manufacturers have been testing the 12V-2x6 connector and its associated modifications for some time.

It's rather ironic that NVIDIA started testing its 16-pin modifications with the RTX 4070, which is the least likely GPU to have melting issues due to its very low power draw. If anything, we would love to have seen this modification on the RTX 4090 first, since it has been the most problematic GPU featuring the 16-pin power connector.

Nonetheless, having more safety is not a bad thing, and it will ensure that the RTX 4070 does not succumb to any further melting disasters if the modification is completely successful. Even if it isn't, users can still fall back on the 8-pin version which is being used on most of the 4070 AIB partner models right now.