As Nvidia continues to investigate incidents of burning and melting power adapters that come bundled with its new RTX 4090 graphics card, the team over at Igor’s Lab believes it has found the culprit. According to the publication, the issue isn’t the 12VHPWR connection itself but rather, the quad 8-pin to 16-pin adapter distributed by Nvidia. Specifically, whoever manufactured the adapter performed a very poor soldering job.
Upon closer inspection, the crew discovered that four 14 gauge wires are distributed across a total of six contacts (each outer contact is tied to one wire, and the two inner contacts each have two wires soldered to them).
“The solder base is a mere 0.2 mm thin copper base with a width of 2 mm per incoming wire, which then results in 4 mm per pair for the middle connections,” Igor’s added. It is so fragile that “carefully lifting off the enveloping layer causes the thin plate to tear immediately.” Similarly, bending the cables at the connector – which can easily happen when plugging them in or unplugging them during normal installation or removal – could also induce damage.
Igor’s Lab has contacted Nvidia about the issue and believes a recall of the adapter is the least the GPU maker could do for customers at this stage.
Based on the evidence they have presented and the reports of damage that have surfaced so far, it would probably be best to discontinue using the Nvidia-supplied adapter and replace it with a quality third-party solution. At the very least, you will want to avoid excessively bending the adapter near the connection points and prevent them from being stuffed against a side panel at an awkward angle.
The best course of action would be to simply replace your existing ATX 2.0 power supply with a new ATX 3.0 version that has a native 16-pin PCIe cable. Several companies including MSI, Gigabyte and SilverStone already offer power supplies with native 12VHPWR connectors and more are in the pipeline.
Sure, that is more money out of your pocket but if you are already spending no less than $1,600 on a new graphics card, what is another couple hundred bucks to ensure your rig isn’t a giant fire hazard?