Do you need a new power supply for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080?

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Do you need a new power supply for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080?

Do you need to upgrade your power supply for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card? That’s a concern many people have, but it’s actually two concerns clumped into one.

First, people fear they’ll need a new PSU to handle the new 12-pin connector on Nvidia’s own RTX 3080 Founders Edition. Second, the RTX 3080 pulls more wattage than even the prior-gen RTX 2080 Ti flagship. That’s why Nvidia bumped the recommend power supply rating up to 750 watts to compensate, up from a 650W maximum last go-round.

One of these questions is simple to answer. The other takes some explaining. Let’s dig in.

Do you need a new power supply for the RTX 3080’s 12-pin power?


dsc00982 Brad Chacos/IDG

Nvidia’s 12-pin power connector

Yes, Nvidia created a proprietary new 12-pin power connectors to fit on the shortened custom PCB inside its GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition. But the Founders Edition ships with an adapter that converts a pair of 8-pin power cables to the new 12-pin connector. Plug it in and it just works. Note that Nvidia suggests using separate 8-pin connectors plugged into your power supply, rather than using a single PSU cable with a pair of connections daisy-chained on the business end.

That said, if you have a transparent case window and care about aesthetics, Nvidia’s 12-pin adapter looks janky in your case. It’s too short and chunky, and even somewhat blocks the illuminated white “GeForce RTX” logo on the edge of the card. If you don’t like it, some power supply makers such as Seasonic and EVGA will offer full-length 12-pin to 2x 8-pin cables, which you can buy and slip directly into your existing modular PSU.

dsc00958 Brad Chacos/IDG

The short 12-pin adapter plugs into the center of the Founders Edition, in a connector embedded in the card’s fin stack.

No other RTX 3080 graphics cards announced so far feature Nvidia’s 12-pin connector. Everything but the Founders Edition sticks to standard 8-pin connectors.

Do you need a bigger power supply for RTX 3080?


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