AMD’s newly released Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT graphics cards feature a dual 8-pin power connector to feed the sub-300W SKUs. However, unknown to many (including us), these cards were originally planned to leverage the 12VHPWR power connector like NVIDIA’s higher-end RTX cards. In an interview with Club386, AMD Radeon SVP and GM Scott Herkelman revealed this and much more about the RDNA 3 family.
We specifically, for 7900 Series, and even 7600, we didn’t plan on the new power cable, but 7800 and 7700 did have a plan for it. We removed it, and that was a purposeful removal. You shouldn’t blame end users for issues you have. You should catch and own any problems, just like we did with the vapour-chamber issue. I was all over social media because I felt like it was AMD’s problem and I was going to own it.
Until this power issue is cleaned up and there’s good confidence it’s working correctly for end users, that’s where you’ll start to see us incorporate it into our planning. The ability for someone to say it’s an end-user’s fault is a little strange to AMD and definitely strange to me.Scott Herkelman, AMD Radeon Lead
So turns out that AMD specifically left the RX 7600 and RX 7900 series cards out of its 12VHPWR plans, choosing the midrange RX 7700 XT and 7800 XT as the first SKUs for the test. However, following the public outrage over the burning/melting of the 12+4 pin adapters, the plan was shelved and delayed to the next generation.
Herkelman stated that NVIDIA shouldn’t have passed the blame for the igniting power connector to gamers. Referencing the Radeon RX 7900 series vapor chamber issue, he asserted that companies are supposed to catch and own any problems plaguing their products rather than pass on the buck.
AMD plans to integrate the 12VHPWR power connector into its Radeon graphics cards once the smoke clears up. In Scott’s words, “Until this power issue is cleaned up and there’s good confidence it’s working correctly for end users, that’s where you’ll start to see us incorporate it”.
This means that Team Red will likely adopt the ATX 3.0/PCIe Gen 5 power connector with its next-gen RDNA 4 graphics cards. Unfortunately, it looks like much of that lineup has been culled, leaving us with entry-level and midrange SKUs.