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Nvidia RTX 50 series may include controversial GPU feature, unlike AMD

Rumors suggest Nvidia is mandating 12VHPWR ports for its upcoming GeForce RTX 50 series GPUs but AMD isn't seeing the need to follow suit.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX Founders Edition graphics card, its 12VHPWR connector visible

As the inevitable launch of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 50 series draws closer, details on its design are seemingly leaking from the lab. Now, it appears that the green team is considering plans to continue using a controversial feature that first debuted on its GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards. Confident as the company may seem in this approach, competitors like AMD are apparently less convinced.

The battle for the title of best graphics card rages on between Nvidia and AMD, with both companies recently bolstering their respective current generation lineup. However, it’s no secret that successors are in the works and we could be looking at two markedly different power connector designs on upcoming GeForce and Radeon GPUs.

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According to sources close to rumor monger Moore’s Law Is Dead (MLID), Nvidia is deliberating whether it will mandate that all RTX 50 series graphics cards use the PCIe 6.0 12VHPWR connector, as found on the likes of the RTX 4090. Yes, that cable and port combination that was prone to melting.

Nvidia already uses the connector type for all of its Founders Edition cards, including the RTX 4060 Ti which only has a TDP of 160W, but AIBs haven’t been as consistent. You’ll find plenty of examples of RTX 4060 and RTX 4070 pixel pushers sporting the six and eight pin ports.

The primary reason that MLID gives for this mandate is one of cost savings as this simplifies Nvidia’s supply chain both in terms of graphics card design and in the supply of power adaptors. However, the company’s continued use of it does open the door to producing high TDP cards, should RDNA 4 become a potential threat.

Speaking of RDNA 4, MLID also spoke to their sources at AMD who are decidedly less enthusiastic about 12VHPWR, describing it as “an unnecessary new standard”. Apparently, team red considered moving to 12VHPWR but this didn’t materialise with RDNA 3 graphics cards like the RX 7900 XTX. More importantly, though, the source says that the decision to forgo the connector “has not changed”.

Intel appears to be of a similar mindset, with a source telling MLID that “all Battlemage test boards I’ve seen have utilized 6-pins and/or 8-pins, and I’ve never heard a discussion to use 12VHPWR.”

It’s highly unlikely that Nvidia will backtrack on its decision to implement 12VHPWR connectors with the RTX 50 series, but its implementation across all AIB models too could prove a bit of a headache to those without the best power supplies launched in recent years.

For more on what Nvidia’s cooking up Blackwell, check out our RTX 50 series guide. We’ve also got the latest rumors on the RTX 5090 too.