Nvidia teases RTX 3090 design, confirms new cooling and 12-pin connector

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Nvidia is getting ready for its big GeForce event next week by teasing the design for its next-generation graphics cards. In a newly published video, Nvidia engineers and designers discuss the changes being made to its next Ampere-based GeForce cards. Recent leaks have suggested Nvidia will announce RTX 3000 Series cards on September 1st, including an RTX 3080 and a flagship RTX 3090 card.

At the end of Nvidia’s video, the company briefly flashes up what appears to be an RTX 3090. It matches recent card leaks that claim the RTX 3090 will ship with a pennant-shaped board and a new cooling shroud. Nvidia focuses heavily on cooling throughout the video, noting that it has redesigned its cooling solution to improve airflow and overcome some of the constraints of the cooling solutions that exist on GPUs today.

Part of this cooling solution and pennant-shaped board appears to have led to some power connector changes, too. Leaks have suggested Nvidia is moving to a 12-pin connector, and the company is confirming that today. The 12-pin connector is smaller than using two traditional eight-pin connectors, and Nvidia will include an adapter that’s compatible with eight-pin cables. Nvidia has picked a 12-pin connector to allow more space on the board for components and cooling, but it’s not clear if the company’s third-party board partners will also use the new 12-pin connector.

Nvidia’s video also mentions a new low-profile leaf spring that provides room for a back cover on the card and an overall stronger mechanical structure. That could be important, as the pictures that have leaked recently suggest the RTX 3090 will take up three slots, ship with 24GB of GDDR6X memory, and act as the Titan top-of-the-line card for this generation. In other words, it’s looking like a beast of a GPU for PC gaming.

Nvidia still has a bunch of details left to confirm next week, including the type of performance boost we can expect with the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards over the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. Price will also be hugely important, especially when rumors suggest the RTX 3090 might land at $1,400.

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