WE SPOTTED THE picture below over at TweakTown and it shows off three GeForce 100 cards, also known as Fermi, running in SLI. This in itself is big news, as it shows that Nvidia has more than one card that’s working, but what really intrigued us were the ports on the cards.
AMD decided to go down a fairly unorthodox route with its Radeon HD 5800 and 5700 series of cards, as all of them are dual slot with a pair of DVI ports and a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector. Nvidia has taken a slightly different and possibly worse route by fitting two DVI connectors and a mini HDMI connector, also known as a type C connector. The mini HDMI connector is more commonly found on things like digital camcorders and digital cameras, as it takes up less space than a normal HDMI connector.
The problem for Nvidia is that there just isn’t enough space on the rear of the card for a full size HDMI connector next to the two DVI connectors. Although the GeForce 100 is a dual slot card it seems like it’s running so hot that Nvidia has to use the full width of the slot as an air exhaust rather than being able to fit a port there. This might not seem like a big deal, but with HDMI connectors already being very fragile, the mini HDMI connector is even more fragile.
There’s less risk for breakage on most consumer devices, as you’d only plug them into your screen for short periods of time. It’s also very different having a small connector on the device and a large connector on the screen end. In the case of the GeForce 100 you end up with a very small and dare we say easily breakable connector at the graphics card end and if you are like most people, have the cable going upwards to connect to your screen, then there’s a huge chance that over time or by accident, the connector at the graphics card end will be damaged.
We doubt that the mini HDMI connector was ever intended for this kind of usage and we’d much rather have seen cards from Nvidia with a single DVI port and a full-size HDMI connector as well as a DisplayPort connector. We’re still waiting for DisplayPort to become anything near a standard, but AMD is doing a good job at getting it out there with its latest DX11 graphics cards.S|A
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