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Old 12th January, 2006, 03:43 AM
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PCIe Power Connector

With high-end PCIe video cards came the new 6-pin PCIe power connector. I was wondering what the differences were between this plug and the 4-pin molex connector when used to power these video cards? (The 4-pin molex is still used on the AGP cards, and a certain 7800 GT from XFX.)

As far as I can tell, the only benefit is the 6-pin connector is a dedicated line. With the 4-pin molex, there are two or more connectors on one wire, meaning you could share the line with a few hard drives. Having a dedicated line would mean cleaner power.

One person told me the 6-pin connector provides more power, but I don't believe it. It should be connected to the same rails as the 4-pin connector, correct? I was wondering if anyone here could shed more light on the issue.
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Old 12th January, 2006, 10:19 AM
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All things being equal, 6 conductors can carry a higher current than 4 conductors. The 12V rail on a PSU can provide a far higher current than any single connector can carry!
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Old 12th January, 2006, 11:09 AM
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It should also be noted that the PCI-E slots provide more power than AGP slots to start with.

The PCI-E Version 1.0 slot provides two voltages from the motherboard, 3.3V and 12V.

You can have up to 3A on the 3.3V rail and up to 5.5A on the 12V rail. Combined thats 9.9W from the 3.3V and 66W from the 12V for a total of 75.9W.

75.9W doesn't mean 75.9W however. Nothing ever does mean what it says...

Cool thing is that they go to the trouble of seperating the power supply from the I/O pins on the PCI-E design.

If you look at the cards, the long pin block is your 16 lane PCI-E I/O pins. The smaller part (at the DVI / D-Sub end of the card) is the power block.

In that power block, the first 3 pins are all the same +12V motherboard supply taken from the primary 12V rail. So not only does it run multiple external +12V conductors, but it runs them in the slot itself too.
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