Single-slot operation may be impossible by default, among other thingsJust when we thought we had nothing to worry about as far as NVIDIA Kepler was concerned, except the potential TDP, the world has stumbled upon something, simply put, strange.
There appear to be some very strange power connectors on the reference design of the first Kepler-based graphics adapter.
When we learned about the possibility of the first GK104 GPU-based product to have a 300W TDP, we could guess there would be two power inputs on the card.
The pictures that TechPowerUp, Expreview, ChipHell and other people online spotted, though, raise some serious questions.
There appears to be a new type of plug in play, one that stacks a couple of 6-pin (or possibly an 8-pin and a 6-pin) on top of one another.
This more or less confirms that Kepler will be plagued by an at least mild hunger for energy.
Then again, that much we would have been able to forgive, as long as the power draw didn't reach GTX 480 levels.
After all, NVIDIA has just promised that Kepler will be unbeatable when it finally launches on March 23.
Unfortunately, the placement of the inputs is very worrisome, since it means that there will be no way for the card to be limited to one-slot operation.
Reference video boards usually take up the space of two PCI Express slots, but replacing the cooler with a better one, especially waterblock, often makes them thin enough to allow another card right next to them.
If NVIDIA really goes with this implied schematic, it will be tricky to use those two SLI bridge connectors on the PCB, even if there is support for 3-way and 4-way SLI.
On a related note, the leaked pictures revealed HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, plus 3 NVVDD phases. All we can do now is wait for the launch or some extra unofficial reports.