Do Graphics Cards Come with Cables?

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There are two types of cables that connect to a graphics cards i.e PCIe power cables and video output cables but the question is do graphics cards come with cables in the package?

Basically, majority of the graphics cards do not come with power or video output cables. You may find some graphics cards come with power cables but those are very rare. In usual cases, the power cables that are required by the graphics cards come with the PSU, and not with the GPU. Similarly, the video output cables come with the monitor and not the GPU. In this article, we will look at what cables graphics cards can need and where you can acquire them.

Another cable that a graphics card may require is the Multi-GPU link, NVLINK for SLI for example. This too does not come with graphics cards usually. However, some high end GPUs may offer this.

What to Do if the Cards Don’t Come with the PCI-E Cables?

If your graphics card does not come with PCIes cable, then must use the cables that come with your PSU.

As mentioned earlier, PCIe power cables come with power supply unit.

PCie Power w
PCIe Power Cables come with the Power Supply Unit

In case if the PCIe power cables provided with your PSU are insufficient, you will need to procure more separate. In the case of modular power supply units as shown below, you can simply plug in the extra cables. In the case of non-modular PSU, you would need to purchase PCIe splitters.

power supply unit modular w
Extra PCIe cables can be attached to modular power supply units.

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with Cables?

Read Power Supply Unit Specifications to Find Out What Cables it Comes With

The following chart shows the the cables that come with the Corsair RM750X power supply unit.

do graphics cards come with cables

Summary of Which Components Comes with Which Cables Included

The following table should help you identify which cables come with a certain PC component.

Cable
Component it Comes With
SATA Data Cables
Motherboard (Often 2 provided)
SATA Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
PCIe Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Motherboard and CPU Power Cables
Power Supply Unit
Main Power Cable
Power Supply Unit
Video Output Cables
Monitor
Front Panel Jumper Cables
PC Case

Also Read: What are PCIe Cables Used For?

What are the Types of Cables and Connections Used by Graphics Cards?

There are various connectors and cables which graphics cards need to connect with the PC.

  1. PCIe Connector
  2. PCIe Power Cable
  3. Video Output Cables

1. PCI Express x16 Connection

pcie slot sizes
PCIe Slots come commonly in x1, x4, x8 and x16 sizes. X8 is rarely seen as it is merely replaced by X16 size working in X8 mode.

The PCI Express x16 connection is the most common and widely method of connection for graphics cards.

The PCI Express x16 can carry up to 75 watts of power to the graphics card. If your graphics card needs less than 75 watts to operate, you can simply connect it to the PCI Express slot on the motherboard and you’re good to go.

x16 slot pcie
A PCIe x16 slot

The MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti is a low-end graphics card that requires only 60 watts to work.

Hence it does not require a PCIe power cable. The PCI-E express can fulfill its power requirement on its own.

Also Read:

2. PCIe Power Cables

For graphics cards that requires more than 75 watts of power, a PCIe power cable is used to connect the graphics card to the Power Supply Unit as shown below:

graphics card connected
A graphics card that requires 2 x 6 Pin PCIe Power Cables.

6-Pin PCI-E Connector

pcie power pin connector

If your card needs more power to run, then it will use either a 6-pin or an 8-pin connector. The 6-pin connector has the capability to provide your card with 75 watts of additional power.

The Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 OC edition 4GB GDDR6 is a good example of a card that requires only one 6-pin PCI-E cable to function.

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1650 actually has a power requirement of about 100 watts. However, with the PCIe slot providing 75 watts, the rest of the power has to come from the PSU.

Note that in this case the extra 6-pin connector would provide about 25 watts of power or so despite it having the capacity to provide 75 watts of additional power.

Also Read: How to Use Motherboard HDMI with Graphics Card?

8-pin PCI-E Connector

For cards that require even more than 150 watts of power to run, you will have to resort to an 8-pin PCI-E Cable. The 8-pin cable is capable of carrying up to 150 watts of additional power.

The XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS is a graphics card that requires a single 8-pin cable to connect to the PSU.

Combination of 6+6 Pin, 6+8 Pin, 8+8 Pin and MORE Connectors

For graphics cards that require more power, a combination of two connectors may be required.

An example of such cards is the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 580. This card requires both the 6 and 8 pin cables to connect to the PSU in order to run.

Similarly, there are some cards that may even require as many as 3 x 8 Pin connectors such as the ASUS ROG-STRIX-RTX3080-10G-GAMING

Cables and Graphics Card Maximum Power Consumption

The following table shows the power delivered by the PCIe cable type and their combination.

PCIe x16
(75W)
6 Pin Cable
(75W)
8 Pin Cable
(150W)
12 Pin Cable
(600W)
Max Power
Consumed
75W00075W
75W1 x 75W00150W
75W01 x 150W0225W
75W2 x 75W00225W
75W1 x 75W1 x 150W0300W
75W02 x 150W0375W
75W1 x 752 x 150W0450W
75W03 x 150W0525W
75W001 x 600W600W

What are Split Cables?

pcie pigtail connectors
An 8 – 2×8 Pin PCIe cable.

Split Cables, aka PCIe pigtail connectors, are a certain type of cable that split a single connector into two cables with a higher number of connectors.

If you do not have extra connectors available from your PSU to power up your graphics, then a PCIe splitter cable can be essential.

These may or may not come with the power supply unit.

Also, make sure you are not saturating your power supply unit. You should not install a demanding graphics card on a low wattage power supply unit.

Also, there is a common debate among gamers whether separate cables should be used for powering up GPU instead split cables.

Gamers and enthusiasts favor separate cables. However, as is proven by many, the difference is often minimal.

Do Graphics Cards Come with Cables for Video Output?

Other than the power cables, the other type of cables that connect with a graphics card are the video output cable. They include, HDMI, DP, DVI-D, Thunderbolt, and VGA cable.

Many graphics cards have a combination of these video output ports. However, the graphics cards themselves do not come with video output cables.

Instead, these are usually packaged together with the display device you have i.e Monitor, TV, or Projector.

Also Read: How Many SATA Cables Do I Need?

Conclusion

So do graphics cards come with cables? The simple is no, they do not. Graphics cards do not come with either the PCIe power cables or the video output cables.

There are exceptions, but they are quite rare.

So in short, power cables and video output cables come packaged with Power Supply Unit and the Monitor respectively.

Also, if you are short on PCIe power cables, you can always buy them separately online or through your local IT store.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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