Nvidia’s superb GeForce RTX 4090 wowed reviewers and set a brand new bar for simply how stupidly quick a graphics card could possibly be. Sadly, the launch of the $1,600 GPU has been marred by a number of experiences of melting 12VHPWR connectors used within the playing cards damaging each the connector and the GPUs at instances.

The brand new 12VHPWR connector is a compact energy connector that mixes the aptitude of a number of older 6- and 8-pin connectors into one tiny plug. It was initially adopted with the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Version and is now used within the GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Version in addition to customized variations of the RTX 4090 constructed by the likes of Asus, MSI, et cetera. The 12VHPWR connector will even be used within the impending GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Version, slated to launch on November 16.

As of Nov. 7, at least 23 experiences of melted connectors have surfaced within the Nvidia subreddit with one other 5 unconfirmed circumstances.

With this fast-moving, complicated, and likewise very critical scenario, PCWorld has determined to spherical up the details you must know to assist separate truth from fiction. Nvidia officers have declined to remark whereas it investigates, however the newest growth appear to level to unhealthy 12VHPWR adapter cables. There’s additionally the likelihood that not totally inserting the cable could trigger elevated resistance and sufficient warmth to soften the connectors. We’ll replace this story as new data is launched.

Sept. 10 Hassan Mujtaba of WCCFTech experiences of an alert issued from PCI-SIG to members of a “thermal variance, which may end in questions of safety beneath sure security situations.” The member alert advises distributors to “work intently with their connector distributors and train due diligence in utilizing high-power connections”Sept. 14 The complete e-mail and extra particulars from the PCI-SIG are reported by Stephen Burke of Avid gamers Nexus and notes that “failures have been noticed in sure cable routing situations from PSUs and take a look at boards that generate aspect load on the interface.” Burke mentioned the report–apparently created by Nvidia–from PCI-SIG confirmed three totally different producers have been examined with 10 pattern assemblies with failures manifesting from 10 hours to 30 hours with melting. It’s price mentioning that the inner report appears to seek advice from the connection on the PSU aspect—not the GPU aspect. Usually, nonetheless, ATX 3.0 energy provides PCWorld have seen point out the cables to be equivalent on each ends.Brad Chacos/IDG

Sept. 22 VideoCardz’s editor WhyCry experiences that GPU maker Zotac’s steering on the brand new 12VHPWR connector is rated for 30-insertion cycles which raises alarms as to the lifespan and sturdiness of the brand new connector. VideoCardz later amends its report back to say that whereas 30 cycles seems very low, many Molex connectors launched during the last 20 years have had related mating cycles.Oct. 24 The primary report of a melted 12HPWR connector is posted on the Nvidia sub-reddit. The GPU seems to be a Gigabyte 4090 Gaming OC utilizing an Nvidia-branded 12VHPWR adapter cable. Each Nvidia and Gigabyte attain out to the proprietor who experiences a alternative card has been acquired. A second report of a melted dongle is acquired as properly on that day with harm to the adapter cable and an Asus RTX 4090 TUF Gaming OC Version occurring. The Reddit publish instantly goes viral on the high-profile graphics card with many assuming the brand new connector to be at fault.Oct. 24 A couple of hours after the preliminary melting report on Reddit, famend energy provide reviewer and the precept behind PSU certification firm Cybenetics, Aristeidis Bitziopoulos, makes an attempt to duplicate the melting 12VHPWR connector by subjecting it to 600 watt hundreds for greater than 90 minutes. He’s unable to wreck the cable whereas seeing solely a small thermal variance. It ought to be famous that the take a look at used a local 12VHPWR cable on an ATX 3.0 energy provide relatively than Nvidia’s adapter. Bitziopoulos concludes the 12VHPWR connector doesn’t appear to be a problem in his testing.Oct. 24 Overclocker Buildzoid of Truly {Hardware} Overclocking, posts a video criticizing the brand new 12VHPWR connector noting that the brand new connector drastically reduces the variety of pins and wires carrying energy.

Oct. 25. With failures now reported at three,  Nvidia officers inform the Verge’s Tom Warren that “we’re investigating the experiences” and are involved with the house owners of the impacted playing cards. Oct. 25 Former HardOCP editor Kyle Bennett experiences AMD’s upcoming RDNA3 GPUs is not going to use the 12VHWPR connector in its reference designs. Neither Bennett, nor his sources at AMD point out when the design choice was made to skip 12VHPWR.Oct. 25 Displaying what a distraction the 12VHPWR has grow to be, AMD’s Scott Herkelman publicly confirms the brand new Radeon playing cards will skip 12VHPWR and receives responses reminiscent of “That could be a HUGE aid, pleased with that information.”Oct. 26 The official Reddit megathread itemizing displaying documented failures now numbers 5 broken 12VHWPR connectors.Oct. 26 Jason Langiven, aka JayzTwoCents, who has lengthy been important of the connector being “harmful,” makes an attempt to duplicate the failure on a local 12VHWPR cable and is unable to induce a failure on the cable beneath heavy hundreds.Nvidia’s 12VHPWR adapter wants to hook up with three or 4 8-pin energy cables.Brad Chacos/IDG

Oct. 27 Igor Wallossek of IgorsLab.de conducts a tear down and failure take a look at of a 12VHPWR energy adapter and concludes that the difficulty doesn’t seem like the 12VHPWR design itself nor the much-touted insertion cycle concern raised beforehand. As a substitute, Wallossek concludes it’s the design of Nvidia’s adapter itself, which he describes as “inferior high quality (and) can result in failures and has already brought about harm in single circumstances.” Wallossek mentioned he believes bending and kinking of the adapter may cause weak solder joints and bridges to interrupt and enhance the resistance inflicting the melting.Oct. 28 Ronaldo Buassali of TecLab.web.br posts his personal failure exams, together with swinging an influence provide utilizing simply the connector and subjecting to a stress take a look at of 1,532—properly past its rated sustained wattage of 600 watts.

Oct. 30 Stephen Burke of Avid gamers Nexus makes an attempt to duplicate the melting failure by deliberately damaging a 12VHPWR adapter much like what IgorsLab.de had reported and subjected it to a 99 p.c load for 8 hours with no melting noticed. Burke additionally notes that his 5 adapters all seem like constructed the identical—and but otherwise than the adapter IgorsLab had. Burke mentioned his 5 12VHWPR adapters use wires labeled for 300 volts versus the 150 volts the adapter Wallossek had. Burke concludes that we simply don’t know what the difficulty is, however it’s a actual downside on some adapters—however not all of them. He additionally mentions a concept being floated that the smaller connector could not simply seat in addition to the bigger conventional energy connectors. He additionally factors out that opposite to what many customers imagine, a local connector that plugs immediately into an influence provide can also fail the identical approach if the native cable is constructed the identical because the failed adapters. Burke additionally asks house owners of RTX 4090 playing cards to report which cable adapters they’ve.
Simply maintaining everybody up to date: Out of about 130 emails thus far to the 4090cable inbox, we have acquired 7 which might be 150V rated wires (and subsequently doubtlessly indicative of various provide), so 5%. That ranking would not immediately imply it is unhealthy. Replying to a couple for information— GamersNexus (@GamersNexus) October 31, 2022Oct. 30 With information that there seem like totally different 12VHPWR adapters being supplied, Stephen Burke of Gamer’s Nexus experiences by way of Twitter that of the 130 emails he has acquired, 7 p.c of homeowners report they’ve the 150V cabling that was utilized in IgorsLab’s adapter cable. Burke notes that whereas the cable marking could say 150V, that solely means it makes use of the identical obvious spec cables—and doesn’t point out they’re could have the low-quality solder joints that IgorsLab discovered. Burke additionally notes that of the 130, “not many are burned.”Oct. 30 Andreas Schilling of Hardwareluxx.de conducts his personal ballot of discussion board members who’ve bought RTX 4090 playing cards. He experiences that 12 have a 4-pins-to-12VHPWR adapter marked “300V.” One has a 3-pins-to-12VHPWR marked “150V,” and two individuals have 4-pins-to-12VHPWR marked “150V.”

Nov. 1 Ronaldo Buassali of TecLab.web.br posts an extended video of testing from the unique reside stream with further explanations of how he examined the 12VHWPR. Not like a lot of the testing thus far, which used precise GeForce RTX 4090 playing cards, Buassali bodily removes the 12VHWPR connector from the GPU and wires it up for stress testing. This lets Buassali push the connector meeting properly previous the 600 watts referred to as for, together with a great deal of 900 watts, 1,200 watts and 1,500 watts. Buassali’s conslusion? The 12VHPWR connector itself is “properly sized, a lot in order that it supported far more than its specification.” Nevertheless, Buassali concludes that although the connector can deal with greater than it’s rated for, a poorly inserted connector that creates resistance may certainly be behind the melting of the connector. Buassali additionally doesn’t rule a batch of unhealthy cables, however that means a producing subject, not a design downside.Nov. 2 Jon Gerow, director of R&D at Corsair and previously of Jonnyguru.com, posts outcomes from deliberately broken 12VHPWR cable adapters beneath load and is unable to induce melting as properly. Gerow was in a position to supply a number of 12VHPWR adapter cables for harmful testing, and regardless of breaking off solder joints, he was unable to induce melting or a failure. He did observe that a number of the adapters weren’t constructed very properly however even the worst of the batch handed stress testing with out failing. Gerow concludes that a number of the issues could have occurred when the house owners didn’t totally seat the 12VHPWR adapter cables and likewise posts pictures of put in PCs the place even a small hole of 1 mm may end in elevated resistance.Nov. 3 AMD formally publicizes its RDNA3-based Radeon 7900XT and Radeon 7900XTX and proudly notes that it didn’t use 12VHPWR connections. Nevertheless, the corporate factors out that the final notion that it modified its designs solely after the melting issues cropped up just a few weeks in the past will not be right. AMD made the choice to stick with standard 8-pin energy connectors greater than a 12 months in the past.Nov. 4 A brand new publish within the Nvidia subreddit, taken from a Fb publish of a Hong Kong-based RTX 4090 proprietor, is the primary reported broken 12VHPWR cable from a local cable plugged immediately into an influence provide. Earlier to this report, the entire reported points had solely occurred in 12VHPWR adapter cables, not native cables. The next day, one other individual experiences a melted connector utilizing a local 12VHPWR cable from an ATX 3.0 energy provide. This seems to sprint hopes {that a} native plug would resolve the issue.Nov 7 The variety of confirmed failed connectors now numbers 23 on the Reddit megathread, with points unfold amongst many graphics card makers. Oddly, there aren’t any Nvidia Founders Version playing cards listed with failures. There are additionally 5 unconfirmed circumstances listed from different board makers as properly.Nov. 7 VideoCardz editor WhyCry experiences that an individual on Reddit has been instructed his or her Gainward GeForce RTX 4090 shall be delayed till the center of November because it waits for alternative 12VHPWR adapter cables. The e-mail, despatched from Australian PC firm Techfast to a buyer, mentioned “Whereas investigations are nonetheless persevering with and Nvidia has not launched a public assertion, Gainward has instructed us that cables shipped with their playing cards will (are) being changed. Consequently, they’re holding transport of all playing cards till this has taken place. We additionally perceive this cable alternative is not going to be restricted to Gainward alone.” PCWorld reached out to Techfast who confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail.

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