It looks like the Nvidia RTX 4090 is melting power cables
Nvidia's top of the line graphics card appears to be too hot to handle, causing some users' power connectors to melt
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: RTX 4090 power problem
🔥 Some users have shared images of their RTX 4090 connectors melting
😮 Concerns were raised about the high power adapter cable, which Nvidia initially dismissed
🔍 Nvidia is now investigating the claims and searching for additional information
⛔️ Users are advised to only bend the cable starting at 35mm from connector
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is a beast of a GPU, but it might be causing its power connectors to melt or burn.
Reddit user u/reggie_gakil shared an image that shows damage to the GPU’s 12-volt high power adapter cable (12VHPWR) that Nvidia ships with the RTX 4090. According to reggie_gakil, he was gaming and then began to smell and see smoke coming from his graphics card.
Another Reddit user replied to reggie_gakil’s post, showing a similar problem. And that’s been enough to spur Nvidia into action.
In a statement to The Verge, Nvidia said it is “investigating the reports” and has been “in contact with the first owner and will be reaching out to the other for additional information.”
YouTuber JayzTwoCents has previously warned that the new connector could be “dangerous” but his concerns were dismissed by Nvidia’s senior technical marketing manager Brandon Bell, who emailed Jay to say “I think you’re worrying about issues that don’t exist. We have thoroughly tested our power adapters and expect no issues.”
Bell ends his email to JayzTwoCents saying, “There’s nothing to worry or panic about, it all just works man. 😉” Well, that aged poorly.
JayzTwoCents clarifies that we don’t know whether the Reddit user whose card melted the power cable was overclocked, or tweaked in anyway. Apparently, though, this isn’t the first person who has a had a problem with the RTX 4090 says JayzTwoCent in the above video.
One thing you definitely shouldn’t do with the 12VHPWR connector is bend the wire when it’s plugged into the RTX 4090. As outlined by CableMod, “the terminals used in it [the 12VHPWR] are much smaller than previous generation. Through our extensive testing, it appears that bending the wires too close to the connector could result in some of the terminal coming loose or misaligning within the connector itslef. This may lead to an uneven load across the wires, increasing the risk of overheating damage. The risk is substanially higher if the bend is done horizontally in relation to the connector orientation.”
With that in mind, CableMod recommends that users leave a minium distance of 35mm from the connector before any bends oocur. This requirement could lead to some user error, and result in the type of hardware failure we’re seeing above.
As JayzTwoCents points out, almost every Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU design uses the same plug, and predicts that this could become a wider consumer issue in the future. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, keep an eye on your new RTX 4090 when its in use.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.