According to sources, NVIDIA’s next-gen “Ampere” graphics cards will feature the 12-pin (molex) power connectors for the higher-end RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti reference models. At present, most top-end GPUs come with dual 8-pin power connectors. The width and size of the 12-pin connector look the same as two 6-pin connectors, but the former supplies 8.5A of current while the latter is limited to 6A.
Update: It appears that NVIDIA is simply testing the 12-pin connector rather than implementing it with the Ampere graphics cards, so we’ll likely see the traditional 8-pin connectors.
The 6-pin connector supplied around 400W of power to the GPU at 6A while the newer 12-pin connector should increase it to around 600W. There’s a secondary 4-pin connector as well, but its function is unclear at the moment.
This rumor is in-line with what Igor has already claimed in the past. The German journalist suggested that NVIDIA will have a separate power phase for the Tensor and RT cores. Till now, the entire GPU including the newer Tensor and RT cores were fed by a common power supply across the same voltage (VDDC).
Considering that NVIDIA will likely double down on ray-tracing performance with Ampere, that means the power required for the same will likely go up as well. In this scenario, it’s very possible that the power phases for the primary CUDA cores and the RT/Tensors will be decoupled. The additional 4-pin connector may be for the same.
You can see the breakdown of the 350W power draw of the Ampere based Titan graphics card above.