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The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a 12-pin power connector, but it may be an NVIDIA-exclusive

The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a 12 pin connector after all. (Image source: Digital Foundry)
The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a 12 pin connector after all. (Image source: Digital Foundry)
The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a 12-pin power connector, despite the confusion sown by NVIDIA. However, AIBs are sticking with the trusty 8-pin connector, begging the question of the existence of the slimmer 12-pin one.

NVIDIA made a big deal of its new 12-pin connector on the lead-up to the release of the RTX 30 series, which it claimed would be compatible with PCIe 8-pin cables. Corsair and other OEMs are preparing to release 12-pin PSUs for those who want the cleanest looking set-up, but NVIDIA made no mention of its new connector at last week's launch. Likewise, the few official renders of the RTX 3080 Founders Edition that have been published do not confirm the presence of a 12-pin connector. One does show the card's power connector, but not the full width of it.

NVIDIA unveiled its new 12-pin connector ahead of last week's GeForce Special Event. (Image source: NVIDIA)
NVIDIA unveiled its new 12-pin connector ahead of last week's GeForce Special Event. (Image source: NVIDIA)

Indeed, a cursory check of the specifications of the RTX 3080 Founders Edition reveals that the card requires two PCIe 8-pin connectors. Conversely, NVIDIA refers to the card as having a "new 12-pin power connector" in one graphic, albeit it has hidden this text somewhat.

Thankfully, Digital Foundry has cleared up the matter. At 2:55 minutes into its RTX 3080 hands-on video, Digital Foundry shows a close-up of the 12-pin connector, which we have included above. However, add-in-board partners (AIBs) will not be using the new connector, as Tweaktown suggested last month. We can confirm that at least KFA2inno3DMSI and Zotac have gone with two 8-pin connectors on their custom RTX 3080 cards, which begs the question of why NVIDIA created the 12-pin connector in the first place. Perhaps, NVIDIA will make the 12-pin power connector mandatory for future cards, but we fail to understand the fragmentation with its Ampere generation.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a 12-pin power connector, but it may be an NVIDIA-exclusive
Alex Alderson, 2020-09- 8 (Update: 2020-09- 8)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.