Nvidia believes the RTX 4090’s cables melted because they weren’t fully connected

Weeks after Nvidia said it was investigating reports that the RTX 4090 graphics card’s power cables were melting and burning, the company says it might know why: They weren’t fully connected.

In a message to a customer support forum on Friday, Nvidia said it was still investigating the reports, but its findings “suggest” an unsecured connector was a common problem. It also says it’s gotten about 50 reports of the problem.

Nvidia’s flagship card uses what’s known as the 12VHPWR power connector, which is a new standard not natively supported by most power supplies already in their computers. Because of that, it ships an adapter — or “power adapter,” as Friday’s post calls it — in the box. Initial reports of users blamed the adapter, with some saying that the melt cable had also damaged the $1,599 GPU.

It can be easy to read the company’s results as blaming the users. Sure, Nvidia isn’t coming out right and Say It’s a user error, but it’s pretty much implicit in the post. It also seems like a pretty apt explanation, since people have been speculating for nearly a month that the problem is caused by something more complicated, like bad soldering or wires that are too small to reliably handle the massive amounts of power being pumped through.

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but, players, a port respected in the PC building community for its rigorous testing, came to essentially the same conclusion earlier this week. A video posted by the outlet on Wednesday, which examined damaged adapters submitted by viewers and conducted extensive testing and reporting on the problem, showed that the connectors had lines of wear, meaning they weren’t fully inserted into the slot. players He even says that some people seem to have lost complete contact by several millimeters. Its video shows that a loose connection may cause the plug to heat up too much, if it is connected poorly and tilted at an angle.

Nvidia’s post includes a picture of what the connector looks like when it’s not fully plugged in, and it seems easier to miss than something that’s a full 2mm out and held at an angle (probably due to the cables being pulled too tightly during installation). It would be easier to miss the third-party RTX 4090 than the Nvidia version shown in the images below.

If you have one of these cards in your computer, you should probably double check that your card looks the same as the bottom one.

Two pictures showing one connector mostly, but not fully connected, and one connector fully connected.

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However, it should be noted that Nvidia may not be completely Blameless here. The other thing that goes from the picture you posted is that the connector has a lock switch. In theory, this is a feature that should prevent this kind of thing from happening, as long as it gives good feedback when you plug it in. According to playersHowever, the adapters do not audibly click into place, even when fully inserted.

Regardless, testing by Nvidia and GamersNexus didn’t seem to point to manufacturing defects as the main cause (a video outlet on Wednesday said debris left during manufacturing may have been an influencing factor). Either way, an unnamed company spokesperson said players on Friday that “any issues with a burnt cable or GPU, regardless of cable or GPU, will be addressed” for replacement.

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