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Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090: a gigantic graphics card with tiny power pins?

If these images are of an RTX 3090, prepare to upgrade your chassis...

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Are you feeling it now Mr Krabs? That’s the feeling of impending Nvidia Ampere graphics cards, hopefully set to be unveiled on September 1 at 09:00 PT / 17:00 BST / 12:00 ET during the company’s Huang-hosted special event. This is only a week away, and we’re now seeing pictures reportedly showing a humongous RTX 3090, and further images of a new 12-pin power connector for RTX 30-series graphics cards.

This news trickled through from various sources over the weekend. First, Twitter user GarnetSunset posted (via VideoCardz) two pictures of what looks like an RTX 3090 Founders Edition sitting next to an RTX 2080 – and it’s huge. Then, Seasonic posted a picture of a 12-pin PCIe power connector on Bilibili forums (via VideoCardz), under the heading “Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series graphics interface” (translated into English via Google translate).

And these pin connectors are tiny, at least judging by Hardwareluxx’s photos of the interface and the site editor Andreas Schilling’s tweet comparing the 12-pin connector to the two 8-pin connections that we’re used to seeing featured on some of the best graphics cards. We see from these photos that the new 12-pin connector is actually tiny, managing to fit all twelve pin-holes into a space smaller than what the standard 8-pin connector takes up.

Compare this to the picture of the supposed 3090 itself and you have quite the absurd pair: a gigantic, three-slot graphics card that dwarfs the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with its criss-cross fin configuration and comparably tiny power connector. Could the future of PC gaming herald enormous graphics cards powered through tiny connectors?

Well, as VideoCardz points out in the previously linked article, “It is also worth noting that this cable will only work with Seasonic power supplies. The adapter to be bundled with the RTX 30-series is likely to use existing 8-pin power cables from power supplies and act as an extender.”

Schilling also lists a $1,400 price tag for the RTX 3090, but, of course, all details are unconfirmed at this point. With all the information we’re gathering about the upcoming Ampere graphics cards, Nvidia should be set for an exciting launch. High-bandwidth, high-capacity memory, a plethora of CUDA cores, and maybe just about enough raw horsepower to play Microsoft Flight Simulator at a reasonable frame rate. If we have to pay for this with chassis space then so be it. Roll on September 1.