Increase / The RTX 4090 power adapter connects four 8-pin power connectors to a single 12VHPWR connector.

Sam Mackovich

Earlier this week, several Reddit users reported that the power connectors for their new expensive Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs partially melted and that Nvidia was looking into the issue. Since then, at least nine additional Reddit users have posted about the same problem with the 16-pin power connector (a thread that collects all information about the problem, here).

Igor Valosek from the German-language hardware site Igor’s Lab, too performed additional tests, and said that the power adapter cable (not the GPUs or the 12VHPWR connector) could be the cause of the problems. An adapter that appears to be made by a company called Astron and has been provided by Nvidia to all of its board partners, uses “just four thick 14AWG wires spread over a total of six pins,” with a thin solder base that Wolossek says can be easily damaged if the cables are moved or bent.

The solder inside the Nvidia power adapter cable can be damaged if the cables are moved or bent too much.
Enlarge / The solder inside the Nvidia power adapter cable can be damaged if the cables are moved or bent too much.

“If, in the worst case, the two outer wires break, all the current in the middle flows through the other two wires,” Valosek wrote. “The fact that it gets really hot afterwards doesn’t need to be explained separately.”

Compare the Nvidia adapter cable with the 12VHPWR cable that comes with the Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 power supply, one of several newer ones ATX 3.0 power supply models using a 12VHPWR cable that plugs directly into the power supply rather than relying on an adapter. The cable is thicker than the cable in the Nvidia adapter because each pin has its own wire, but it also runs cool and provides reliable power to the GPU.

Valosek also said that Nvidia has ordered its partners to send all affected cards back to Nvidia for further investigation and testing. We asked Nvidia about this issue and investigation earlier this week and will update if we receive new information.