While the initial launch and release of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 certainly came with lot of excitement and fanfare, it’s hard to deny that the last couple of weeks have mostly been surrounded by concern (if not outright controversy) over the supplied 12VHPWR adaptor. – For those of you unaware, this adaptor allows standard ATX 2.0 VGA power supply cables to fit the new 12+4 pin PCIe Gen5 port the 4090 graphics card has.
What problem has this adaptor seen though? Well, how about a growing number of reports (and images) from 4090 owners showing the 12VHPWR plug apparently melting? – I mean, if that doesn’t have you worried, then you probably need to reevaluate your opinion of PC components and electronics in general.
With Nvidia confirming just earlier this week though that they are now formally investigating the matter, following a report via TechPowerUp it seems that they’re now taking things a step further by officially requesting that their AIB partners (MSI, Gigabyte, etc.) should now send any 4090 GPUs with 12VHPWR issues (RMA/refund requests from consumers) directly back to their headquarters for testing and evaluation.
Put simply, Nvidia seems to (quite rightly) be taking this very seriously!
Nvidia requesting their AIB partners to do this honestly makes a lot of sense. There will be many people who may encounter this problem who, rather than contacting Nvidia, instead decide to deal directly and solely with the AIB partner who actually ‘manufactured’ the GPU. – With this in place, therefore, Nvidia will be not only made aware of pretty much all 12VHPWR faults in the 4090, but they’ll also get the opportunity to physically inspect each reported example in order to identify what has (potentially or otherwise) gone wrong.
One of the most common theories on the subject of the 12VHPWR adaptor melting is that the cable is being bent at an extreme angle where it connects to the graphics card. This has already been cited as potentially allowing high levels of thermal deviance, which, in very blunt terms, means the cable will get hot and eventually start to melt.
While Nvidia hasn’t yet provided any formal instructions regarding the use of the adaptor, one of the most solid pieces of advice we’ve heard so far is for the user to ensure that their 12VHPWR adaptor cable has no extreme bends (think in the remits of 90 degrees over circa 1 inch). And this is especially so where it immediately meets/connects to the graphics card.
While this might sound good in writing, however, the issue here is that given how huge the 4090 is, getting this adaptor cable to fit within a PC case is clearly going to be a difficult task (especially when the side panel on a mid-tower case is subsequently fitted – or squeezed – on). – For the moment though, our advice remains the same, don’t panic just yet, but if you are using a 12VHPWR adaptor, make sure that the cable has no extreme bends, and more so, that it ideally has a good 2-3″ of straight clearance as it leaves the GPU. – And if this means leaving the side panel off for the moment, so be it!
Given all the worry though, you can’t help but feel that someone over at AMD must be patting themselves on the back for sticking with standard VGA connectors for the Radeon 7000 series.
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!
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