Gigabyte has announced its new power supply, the UD1000GM. It comes with a new 16-pin PCIe 5.0 power connector, which means it can power new graphics cards in the future, like those that have more power. The connector can provide up to 600W, which is a lot more than the 150W that an 8-pin connector can provide.
The cable is set to replace the old 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors, which were not made for high-power graphics cards like 500W or more. With three 8-pin connectors, a motherboard can use 3x150W from the card, and another 75W from the PCIe slot. This adds up to 525W! There isn’t a lot of power, but there are a lot of PCIe power cables, and replacing them with a single power connector will help cut down on the amount of cables.
Another thing to note is that the connector is very small, making it easy to store. It’s about the same size as an 8-pin plug. On the subject of making things smaller, how about making the 24-pin ATX power connector smaller?
It is unclear whether or not the new connector will be required for PCIe 5.0 graphics card certification in the near future. Although not all cards will require anything close to 600W, the tiny size of the connector eliminates any legitimate reason why it shouldn’t be a universal connection. Will we see it on a future RTX 4060 or RX 7500 XT graphics card, for example?
This Gigabyte power supply isn’t the first to claim capability for PCIe 5.0. A comparable cable was included with Asus’ ROG Thor Platinum II power supply units, however it lacked the additional four signalling connections that may be required to achieve the full 600W PCIe 5.0 specification. Asus has since revised the Thor 2’s specifications, indicating that it now supports 450W over its cable, rather than the full 600W previously stated.
More announcements from power supply manufacturers are expected in the near future, especially if Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 3090 Ti graphics card is outfitted with this connector. For anyone considering a new build for later this year that will include an AMD Radeon HD 7970, AMD Radeon HD 7970, or AMD RDNA 3 GPU, you may want to hold off on purchasing a new high-end power supply until the situation becomes clearer.
The mere fact that 600W may be drawn from a single power socket does not auger good for the efficiency of graphics cards in the near future. The days of a 300W flagship GPU are, it appears, in the rearview mirror.