The documentation and images released by Twitter user @momomo_us reveal a new GC-HPWR/HPCE power connection standard. This innovation aims to provide extra power to GPUs through the motherboard, boasting a capacity of over 600 Watts, which aligns with the 12VHPWR connector’s maximum sustained power capability.
Debuted at Computex, this connector was initially featured in prototype motherboards and graphics cards, demonstrating its capacity to enhance cable management and visual appeal. By removing the need for extra power cables connected to the graphics card and instead channeling power through the motherboard, it creates a neater appearance for the graphics card and streamlines cable organization behind the motherboard tray.
Front View of GC-HPWR pic.twitter.com/x2RYNgJBeh
— 188号 (@momomo_us) August 28, 2023
What adds to its intrigue is that this connector isn’t an entirely new design; instead, it’s an adapted variant of the standard frequently employed in the server sector. Drawing from its origins in the server domain, the consumer-focused HPCE (High Power Card Edge) connector might sidestep the reliability concerns linked with the recently introduced 12VHPWR connector.
As pointed out by Tom’s Hardware, the connector is divided into four pin groups—sixteen for power delivery and twelve for motherboard-to-graphics card communication. Its dimensions resemble those of a standard PCIe x1 connector and it is situated adjacent to the primary PCIe x16 slot on the motherboard. This strategic positioning enables straightforward installation, as the graphics card can be inserted into both connectors without necessitating an extra locking mechanism, courtesy of the built-in lock of the x16 slot.
The connector’s documentation discloses its potential to supply a maximum of 600 watts, although the precise power threshold could differ based on choices made by motherboard manufacturers. Currently, the most advanced models employing this connector are RTX 4070 variants with a TDP of approximately 200 watts. With the escalating power requirements of contemporary graphics cards, transitioning to a higher-capacity connector such as HPCE holds promise for future GPU developments.
During events like Computex and Bilibili World 2023 in Shanghai, Asus presented graphics cards and motherboards featuring this cable-free power supply innovation, indicating a possible industry trend towards this novel power connector.
While Asus has spearheaded the promotion of this connector, it’s uncertain whether other companies will embrace this standard for their consumer offerings. Asus was one of the pioneers in introducing the APE motherboard series with connectors positioned on the opposite side. With sufficient motivation and cooperation across companies, there’s a likelihood that this concept will eventually gain wider acceptance.
Via Tom’s Hardware