Gigabyte confirms that PCIe Gen5 graphics cards will require either a new 16-pin power cable or a 3×8-pin to 16-pin adapter to comply with PCIe Gen5 specs.
The initial news regarding PCIe Gen5 power connectors came out back in October 2021 when GeForce RTX 3090 Ti probable specs were leaked. As for now, a lot more information about both the new NVIDIA card and the connector has been released.
The PCIe Gen5 power cable, also called 12VHPWR or 16-pin power cable, is a new standard that will replace existing 8-pin 150W power cables with a single 600W power cable. In order to comply with the 600W specs, the cable needs to have 12 wires for the current and 4 data paths for the signal. The data connectors ensure that the connection has been established and the card actually requires more than 450W of power. In case those data signals are not present, the power supply will feed up to 450W of power.
A triple 8-pin to 16-pin adapter has been mentioned for the first time and it is still not clear whether Gigabyte refers to the 12+0pin cable or the actual 16-pin cable. The 16 pin cable must have the data signals connected to comply with 600W specs. Contrarily, 450W power will be supplied.
Official PCI-SIG PCIe Gen5 power features have not been revealed yet so its difference from NVIDIA 12-pin is unclear. However, we do know that both are compatible with each other, but NVIDIA has not verified how much power can go through this cable.
NVIDIA RTX 30 Founders Edition models having a 12-pin connector utilize a 2×8-pin to 1x-12-pin adapter, transmitting up to 300W of power. On the other hand, the ASUS Thor 12-pin connector and cable) can feed up to 450W. This difference shows they are not exactly the same. The launch of GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and PCIe Gen5 power supplies (expected in a few weeks ) will make things clear.
“The UD1000GM PCI-E 5.0 power supply supports the PCIe Gen 5.0 graphics cards and it is capable to deliver the increasing power that the high-end graphics card demand. Traditional power supplies need a three 8-pin to 16-pin adapters to support the latest PCIe Gen 5.0 graphics cards. The new UD1000GM PCIE 5.0 power supply needs only a single 16-pin cable to directly supply power to the PCIe Gen 5.0 graphics cards. Moreover, the PCIe Gen 5.0 16-pin cable provides up to 600 watts of power to the graphics card, but it also simplifies the number of cables, significantly reducing the cable clutter, making the graphics card installation easier and it helps with the airflow in the chassis. In addition, the UD1000GM PCIE 5.0 also provides four PCIe 8-pins for the graphics cards, so it can meet the needs of current or next-generation high-end graphics cards at the same time.”
— Gigabyte PR