As part of its own Thermaltake Expo, the manufacturer is presenting some new power supplies. The two high-end models of the Toughpower iRGB Plus series, which natively support the 16-pin 12VHPWR connector according to the ATX 3.0 specification, deserve special mention. The GF3 and the compact SFX series also get the new connector.
Two high-end solutions for upcoming GPU top models
The Toughpower iRGB Plus is a fully modular power supply unit in ATX form factor, which Thermaltake presents in a 1250 watt and a 1650 watt variant. Both are particularly efficient according to 80Plus Titanium and have an illuminated 140mm Riing Duo RGB fan. The power supplies are fully digital and can be read using dedicated software.
The ATX 3.0 standard is also accompanied by stricter requirements for behavior during peak loads – for example, it is stipulated that a 1,000 watt power supply must be able to provide a maximum of 2,000 watts for periods of up to 100 μs . Thermaltake also advertises a hold-up time of over 16 ms, a residual ripple of under 30 mV and the exclusive use of Japanese capacitors.
Toughpower iRGB Plus Titanium 1650W (Image: Thermaltake)
12VHPWR native and not just adapted
The 16-pin 12VHPWR connector, which the 1250-watt model offers once and the 1650-watt power supply even offers twice, has also been adopted from the PCIe 5.0 standard and is a core element of the ATX 3.0 standard. Strictly speaking, this is a 12(+4)-pin connection, whereby current is conducted via 12 pins – with 6 × 12 volts and 6 × ground. Theoretically, 600 watts of electrical power can be provided via the plug.
The other four pins, which are slightly offset, are used for communication between the power supply and the graphics card. And since Thermaltake also offers the connection for the new models on the power supply side, such an exchange is actually possible. It is different, for example, with Seasonic's Prime series, which was launched just a few days ago, which only implements the 12VHPWR connector using a breakout cable. The Asus Thor Titanium II also only offers the new connection via an adapter.
Toughpower iRGB Plus Titanium 1650W (Image: Thermaltake) 16(12+4) pin connector 12VHPWR breakout cable of the Asus Thor II 1200W
With such an adaptation, the 8 current-carrying wires from two or even three standard 8-pin connectors are translated to the 12 power-carrying pins of the 16-pin connection, but the four "sense" pins remain blind. The graphics card should actually be able to find out how much power it can consume or how high the reserves of the connected power supply are – in the case of a breakout cable, however, this information is missing. Instead, the graphics accelerator is fooled into thinking it has infinite performance reserves.
New plug promises safety and fewer cables
In the context of the new GPU generations AMD Radeon RX 7000 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000, which are due in autumn of this year, such communication makes sense, as the high-end models in particular are supposed to consume even more power – up to 600 watts for the RTX 4090 is the speech. But even at the start of the current generation of graphics cards, unusually high load peaks often caused problems with only supposedly sufficiently powerful power supplies. The new standard is intended to protect against the resulting crashes, emergency stop experiences or even damage to the electronics.
Another benefit is that most graphics cards can only be connected via a cable thanks to the 16-pin connector. The RTX 3090 Ti Kingpin already demonstrates how big the cable clutter would be if 8-pin connectors were still used for the top models: Evga installed two 16-pin connectors for theoretically up to 1,200 watts, which in the case of a Adaptation via breakout cable from 6 conventional 8-pin connectors must be fed.
Toughpower iRGB Plus, GF3 & SFX (Image: Thermaltake)
12VHPWR also for mainstream and SFX format
Aside from the highest-end solutions, Thermaltake has also presented the GF3 series, power supplies certified according to 80Plus Gold, models with a maximum output of 1,650, 1,350, 1,200, 1,000, 850 and 750 watts are available. In the case of the most powerful model, two 12VHPWR sockets are offered as with the iRGB Plus series, the smaller variants only offer the new connection once. The same applies to the power supplies of the SFX series, which offer 1,000, 850 and 700 watts according to 80Plus Gold in the smaller SFX form factor that gives it its name.