Nvidia RTX 40 series graphics card has been in the news since its launch due to many mistakes. Another bad news is a few RTX 4090 users reported that the 12VHPWR power connector is burning and melting.
However, no investigation report is yet published to clarify the cause of the incidents. It could be a user fault, a faulty power connector adapter, or a new PCIe 5 power connector design flaw. Indeed, the new 12VHPWR 16-Pin GPU Power Connector is facing bad feedback from several reputed reviewers regarding its design and reliability. Some also quoted it as a ” STUPID CONNECTOR”.
The problem is not in one specific AIB or FE graphics card. In fact, all Nvidia RTX 4090s are vulnerable. For now, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the best graphics card in the market, consuming up to 450W of power.
The 12VHPWR 16-pin power connector is certified to handle up to 600W power, and RTX 4090 is rated to use up to 450W. Clearly, it is not that the 4090 is drawing more current, which is causing the connector to heat up and melt.
It could happen that the whole problem is in the 16-pin to 4x8pin adapter, not in the 12VHPWR connector. And a dedicated 12VHPWR power cable should fix the problem. (Nvidia provides an adaptor with all RTX 4090 cards, including AIB cards.)
Unsafe 12VHPWR Power Connector
Early observations suggest that the tight bend in the cable near the GPU power connector perhaps misaligned the inside metal pins of a male connector. That possibly eliminates the proper sturdy connection between both male and female connectors. Therefore, we have seen melted 12VHPWR power connectors.
Moreover, the 12VHPWR power connector is much smaller and more delicate than the regular 8-pin PCIe connectors. Cablemod released their guide – “please be very careful with this connector and make sure not to overbend too close to the connector itself. We suggest a minimum distance of 35mm from the connector before any bends occur”. Also, a horizontal bend (side bend) is riskier than a vertical one (up/down bend).
Nvidia has started its investigation after a few users shared a burnt 12VHPWR power adaptor on Reddit. We don’t really know the total number of burned adapters because not everyone is using Reddit or sharing anywhere else. The number of cases may be much higher than what is being seen.
PCI-SIG and Intel pushed this 12VHPWR connector, but did you know? Intel itself hasn’t used it in its Arc graphics cards. Jokes apart, for the time being, do not bend the 12VHPWR power connector for any reason if you own one.
As a precaution, AMD confirmed that the Radeon RX 7000 series graphics card would not use the 12VHPWR power connector. Let’s see how Nvidia manage this 12VHPWR connector disaster. Also, ATX 3.0 power supply will provide a native 12VHPWR cable without an adaptor.