As per Wccftech reports, Asus is working on a design concept for the upcoming GeForce RTX 40 (Ada Lovelace) graphics card series that will not require any external power connector for power supply. Instead, the company has designed a patented slot that provides up to 600W of power.
The 16-pin power connector (12VHPWR) made headlines last year when the AC adapter melted on some GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards. The pins surfaced again a week ago. Nvidia attributed the issue to user error since the 16-pin power connector was not placed correctly in certain scenarios. Unfortunately, Asus' design does not completely eliminate the user factor from the equation. Nevertheless, it helps to minimize the possibility of it happening as the 16-pin power connector is no longer on the graphics card but on the motherboard, where there is more freedom to maneuver the power cable.
The GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon is the first prototype that features a connector-less design. However, the branding is not final yet, so the retail product may have a different name. At first glance, the GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon looks like a typical 2.3-slot graphics card. However, upon closer inspection, you'll notice that there are no PCIe power connectors. Instead, Asus has implemented a patented connector that looks like a PCIe x1 connector; however, it has the same power supply as the 16-pin power connector, up to 600W. Asus has named the connector GC_HPWR for now, but the company said it will have an official name upon release.
Asus is not the first vendor to insert a custom connector on the graphics card for power supply. For example, AMD has produced Radeon Pro graphics cards for Apple that use the latter's MPX (Mac Pro eXpansion) form factor. However, Asus' custom power connector, which does not have an official name yet, is not as lengthy as Apple's implementation.
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Asus introduced the GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon alongside a TUF Gaming Z790 BTF, a motherboard with connectors on the back. It's a design based on the DIY-APE standard. The GC_HPWR connector on the motherboard essentially acts as a pass-through for the 16-pin power connector since power has to come from somewhere. However, Asus went the extra mile and added three 8-pin PCIe power connectors to the mix as well. Therefore, consumers can choose either the three-cable solution or the single 16-pin alternative. Even if the motherboard has the special GC_HPWR connector, this does not limit its use. Consumers can still use normal graphics cards on Asus' motherboard.
Asus' BTF motherboards were previously reserved for the Chinese market. However, the company said that TUF Gaming Z790 BTF and GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon will be available in global markets. The price is unknown, but Asus has confirmed that they will have a small premium since there is an additional cost to move the connectors to the back of the motherboard. Not to mention that consumers will also have to shell out more money for a case designed for Asus' BTF motherboards.
Meanwhile, the GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon remains within Asus' ecosystem. Unfortunately, the company has not said whether it will open up the patented design to other motherboard vendors. But more importantly, will other manufacturers be willing to adopt the new design, as it will involve additional costs and human resources to redesign existing motherboards and graphics cards to meet the standard? Then there's the existing risk of the design not taking off.