Radeon RX 7800 XT

Radeon RX 7800 XT (Image credit: AMD)

AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7700 XT will soon arrive to fight for a spot on the list of best graphics cards. The Navi 32-based graphics cards rely on standard 8-pin PCIe power connectors for external power, but that wasn’t the original plan. 

Scott Herkelman, senior vice president and general manager of the Graphics Business Unit at AMD, has recently stated in an interview with Club386 that AMD had contemplated using the 16-pin (12VHPWR) power connector on the Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7700 XT but ultimately decided to abandon the idea.

“We specifically, for 7900 Series, and even 7600, we didn’t plan on the new power cable, but 7800 and 7700 did have a plan for it,” Herkelman said. “We removed it, and that was a purposeful removal. You shouldn’t blame end users for issues you have. You should catch and own any problems, just like we did with the vapour-chamber issue. I was all over social media because I felt like it was AMD’s problem and I was going to own it.”

“Until this power issue is cleaned up and there’s good confidence it’s working correctly for end users, that’s where you’ll start to see us incorporate it into our planning, he continued. “The ability for someone to say it’s an end-user’s fault is a little strange to AMD and definitely strange to me.”

Unlike Nvidia, AMD isn’t in a hurry to hop on the 16-pin power connector train. The 16-pin power connector has been a headache for Nvidia, particularly on the GeForce RTX 4090, which is most vulnerable to connector meltdowns. Sasa Marinkovic, senior director of gaming marketing at AMD, even joked about the burning issue on X, then known as Twitter. It would appear that there are less and less reports of the 16-pin power connector mishaps. The last known case was back in May of this year.

PCI-SIG recently rolled out the revised 12V-2×6 power connector to improve the safety of the original 16-pin power connector. Despite the revision, it wasn’t enough to convince AMD to utilize the power connector on the latest RDNA 3 Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7700 XT graphics cards. The Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7700 XT are 245W and 263W graphics cards, respectively, so a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors provide more than enough power.

However, that doesn’t mean that AMD will never adopt the 16-pin power connector on its Radeon gaming graphics cards. According to Herkelman, the chipmaker would consider the 16-pin power connector’s usage when the “power issue is cleaned up and there’s good confidence it’s working correctly for end users.”

Herkelman reiterated to Club386 that the Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7700 XT are the final RDNA 3 ASICs. If AMD finally bites the bullet on the 16-pin power connector, we probably wouldn’t see it until RDNA 4.

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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

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The post AMD Roasts Nvidia Over 16-Pin Issues, Removed it From 7800 XT and 7700 XT | Tom’s Hardware first appeared on

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