What’s the last thing you want to hear after dropping $1,500+ on a brand new, ultra-powerful graphics card? Probably “they just announced a new one,” but a close second has got to be “it might melt inside your computer.” So it’s understandable that Nvidia has been scrambling to get to the bottom of isolated reports that the RTX 4090 is frying adapter cables for its fancy new 12VHPWR adapters. The good news: Nvidia is still on the case. The bad news: it doesn’t have a solution just yet.
KitGuru quoted an Nvidia representative, who said that while the company is continuing its investigation, “we don’t have further details to share yet.” Nvidia assured its customers that both it and its manufacturing partners are offering RMA returns under the usual graphics card warranties.
While Nvidia investigates, the more tech-savvy members of the PC gaming community have been looking into the matter themselves. It seems fairly settled that the issue is the 12VHPWR adapter cables included in most versions of the RTX 4090, which splits the new compact 16-pin cable into up to four conventional 8-pin power supply rails for those who don’t have a new ATX 3.0 PSU. Beyond that, there are several potential culprits.
Some are blaming poorly-designed plastic connectors might be causing electrical pins to not fully insert, especially when the cable is bent just behind the connector. Others are theorizing that the cables might be under-specced, designed for 150 volts instead of 300 volts, or that soldering errors might be allowing shorts in the connection. But there is at least one positive indication: Despite extensive testing, GamersNexus and Igor’s Labs have been unable to replicate the melted cables seen by a handful of new RTX 4090 owners. That indicates that the problem, while distressing, is quite rare. We’ll have to see if the $1,200 GeForce RTX 4080 suffers from similar issues when it launches on November 16.