Most modern graphics cards, except low-end cards, need extra power because the motherboard’s PCI-Express socket is not able to supply them with all the power they need. to work. For this reason, manufacturers have integrated the PCIe power connectors into the graphics PCB, and as a rule they are located at the top of it, either in the straight zone hitting the end or even in the center as in the Founder Edition from NVIDIA.
Either way, this arrangement of power connectors ends up being bad when it comes to channeling cables, as they inevitably get hanging around and appearing “through” in our assembly. Why then are they not placed, for example, at the back? Or even from behind, in the back plate?
The location of the power connectors
It is true that this is not in all graphics cards, because in some cases – even in the reference models – the power connectors were on the back. However, in virtually most graphics they are located at the top, which will face the side of the PC once the graphics are installed on the motherboard.
Certainly, if they were placed in the back, it would be much more comfortable to be able to channel the cables, because as they are, in fact, we will have to rotate them by almost 180 degrees. For this purpose, there are angled connectors that allow the arrangement of the cables to be “turned”, although few trusted manufacturers sell them. With these “elbows” you can connect the cables glued to the back plate of the graphic and thus, at least, avoid having to bend the cables and have them hang all over the middle, being able to channel them a little better.
Either way, if the connectors were on the back (pointing to the front case fans) or even on the backplate, it would be much more convenient to be able to connect and channel them. That being said, why don’t they put them there?
Universal PCB design
The answer is “universality” when manufacturing the PCB. Many times we have told you that in the PC industry there are many standards, but component layout is nothing that has a standard that defines it, so manufacturers should do their best to fit their components. to the rest of the world. PC ecosystem. For example, we have already mentioned that a manufacturer of processor heat sinks should design their products based on the design of the sockets, and taking into account the location of the RAM, the width of the cases, etc., and that there is no standard in this regard.
The same thing happens with the PCB of graphics cards: the manufacturer does not know how long the PC case where you are going to install your graphics card will last, but there is usually some sort of agreement on the minimum width, since The width of the case depends on the height at which you can install the heat sink. This means that taking into account the height of the graphics cards, you will always have a little space before colliding with the side of the case, space which they take advantage of to put the power connectors taking into account the cable. which exceeds. Putting the power connectors on the back could collide with the front fans, hard drive rack or any other enclosure manufacturer installed in that area.
In short, the location of the power connectors is put there so that graphics cards, including PCIe power connectors, are as universal as possible and are compatible with the largest number of cases on the market. If you don’t like what there is, you can look for alternative solutions like the elbows we showed above, you just have to search a little and you will find the most creative solutions (including supports with an integrated PCIe connector).