A prototype AMD graphics card has been discovered – reportedly a Navi 31 model, presumably the RX 7900 (we’ll come back to that point) – and it shows that the GPU will work with a pair of 8-pin power connectors.
The image was shared on Twitter by hardware leaker HXL, who regularly contributes to the GPU leak, and reportedly comes from a QQ chat group (in China). So heavy spice is needed here, but that said, the photo appears to be genuine (if faked, it’s a good effort with some attention to detail).
The graphics card is obviously an engineering sample (pre-release) as it has a red board design (the final product will not be) as well as voltage touchpoints (for engineers to use for debugging and so on) like VideoCardz (opens in new tab)who saw the tweet, points.
As you can see, it’s a triple fan card, slightly larger than its Navi 21 predecessor, and with red stripes on the heatsink, as seen in AMD’s teasers for its high-end GPUs in recent times.
Analysis: This is nice to see, but 8-pin triple can still happen
We already knew that AMD wasn’t following the same path as Nvidia’s RTX 4090 in terms of using the 16-pin power connector (and therefore 12VHPWR power adapter for use with traditional ATX 2.0 power supplies) with the flagship RDNA 3, as the company recently confirmed this.
The reason the announcement was met with a sigh of relief was twofold: due to the cable melting incidents we’ve seen with the 4090, and also because it indicates that the power needs won’t be as great as Nvidia’s (in the case of you are in any doubt about it).
So it’s great to see a Navi 31 graphics card with just a couple of 8-pin connectors needed for power. Especially recently, we were speculating if this could be the case or if we could see 3 x 8-pin connectors for the RDNA 3 flagship. AMD, an XTX variant, which confuses things a bit – and which may have a trio of power connectors, as mentioned.
To summarize a bit, 2 x 8-pin connectors equates to a graphics card of 350W or so (each connector provides 150W, which means 300W, plus 75W fed through the PCIe slot for a maximum of 375 W). Based on the rumor mill, the 7900 XT – which is reportedly one of the first graphics cards to come to AMD’s RDNA 3 range in a long time – is set to be a 350W card, hence the reasonable conclusion that this is what we’re looking here.
If there is a more powerful RX 7900 XTX spin, that could demand considerably more power (400W to 450W maybe) and would therefore need the 3 x 8-pin connectors to deliver enough juice, so we could still see this board next to the vanilla 7900XT .
In all honesty though, we’re not convinced by this XTX speculation, and it seems more likely that this GPU, whether it’s a 7900 XTX or a 7950 XT, will come further with its triple 8-pin power configuration. However, this is clearly all guesswork at this point.
What we do know is that we’re about to find out what AMD has up its sleeve for the initial release of RDNA 3 at a major event later this week (Nov 3). But these images showing a 2 x 8-pin Navi 31 board – assuming there’s no counterfeiting – are a good sign in terms of pointing to this power configuration being employed instead of a trio of 8-pin connectors. (Although, as we just discussed above, this setting could still show up on a more powerful Navi 31 model).