What you need to know
- Some NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics cards have caused power connectors to melt.
- NVIDIA is investigating the situation but hasn't shared much as of yet.
- The company has said that it uses two different 16-pin adapters, which could be related to the problem.
The NVIDIA RTX 4090 has an issue that causes some power adapters to fail and melt. The situation first appeared on Reddit in late October, but we haven't had official confirmation as to what causes the problem. While not confirmed by NVIDIA, the 16-pin connector of the RTX 4090 appears to be at fault.
The RTX 4090 has a massive power draw, even when compared to the best graphics cards. All that power (450W stock / 500W+ overclocked) goes through a single connection. With that much power going through a single point, issues such as a slightly bent wire or a loose connection can cause serious problems.
NVIDIA provided a small update on the situation over the weekend (via Tom's Hardware). "We continue to investigate the reports, however we don’t have further details to share yet. NVIDIA and our partners are committed to supporting our customers and ensuring an expedited RMA process for them," said the GPU maker to KitGuru.
One of the theories is that the adapter's angle limits how much it can be bent without causing an issue. CableMod has an adapter for the RT 4090 that allows you to connect to it at a right angle.
Another theory is that there are two different types of cables used in various RTX 4090 GPUs. Gamers Nexus tore down several of the graphics cards and Tom's Hardware looked at their review unit to try to see what was going on.
Neither of the above theories have been confirmed by NVIDIA though. What has been confirmed is that NVIDIA has two different sources for the power adapters within the RTX 4090, as reported by Igor's Lab (via Tom's Hardware ). One of the adapters is from Astron, while the other is from NTK. Both adapters are made to meet NVIDIA's specs, but they feature different designs.
Igor's Lab explained that the NTK adapter, which is in Zotac and Gigabyte cards, is less likely to fail after being plugged in and removed several times. The outlet argued that since the Astron power adapter has rigidly soldered pads that it creates a point of failure.
Notably, while NVIDIA confirmed that it uses two different types of power adapters, it did not place the blame on either Astron or NTK. The GPU maker seemingly needs to investigate things further before sharing what it believes to be melting some GPU power connectors.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.