NVIDIA asks board partners to collect and send damaged RTX 4090 cards to headquarters
Igor’sLAB reports that NVIDIA has notified all AIC (Add-in-Card) partners to collect RTX 4090s affected by “melted” 16-pin power connectors and ship them directly to HQ.
NVIDIA is stepping up its response to new power adapter issues. A story exploded earlier this week after many users reportedly had issues with RTX 4090 cards dying after melting power connectors and 16-pin/PCIe Gen5/12VHPWR adapters, and in some cases, destroying the cards in the process.
Naturally, that’s not a good look for NVIDIA, whose logo can be found on every 4x 8-pin to 16-pin AC adapter that comes with the cards. The issue of overheating and in some cases the power connector melting seems to be impacting all card partners, so the issue had to be escalated within NVIDIA.
Igor Wallossek confirmed to people familiar with the matter that NVIDIA had requested that all affected cards be sent to headquarters for analysis. It’s not clear if this means NVIDIA HQ or AIC HQ, but it shouldn’t really matter as both parties are able to discover the root cause of this problem.
nVIDIA just notified all AICs this morning… Any damaged boards should be sent directly to HQ for fault analysis, this is the first time… Even a few years ago when 2080 Ti had a problem with Micron, they didn’t.
Igor believes that this problem is not caused by severe bending of the power cable, nor by exceeding the recommended duty cycles. The problem may be the power adapter itself, which is of poor quality.
The adapter is said to have fire-hazardous design flaws. Wobbly contacts and dangerous soldering can be the reason so many adapters see heat spikes. The main concern is with NVIDIA’s power adapter, other brands may not be affected by the issue.
Why NVIDIA’s 12VHPWR adapter has issues:
- The problem is not the 12VHPWR connection as such, nor the repeated plugging or unplugging.
- Power cables that comply with brand manufacturers’ standards are NOT affected by this so far.
- The current trigger is NVIDIA’s own 4x 8-pin adapter in the accessories, the inferior quality of which can lead to failures and has already caused damage in isolated cases.
- Splitting each of the four 14AWG wires on each of the 6 pins of the adapter’s 12VHPWR connector by soldering them on much too thin bridges is dangerous because the ends of the wires can break off at the solder joint (for example, when they are folded or folded several times).
- Bending or twisting the wires directly at the adapter connector puts too much stress on the solder joints and bridges, so they can break.
- The inner bridge between the pins is too thin (resulting section) to compensate for the current flow on two or three instead of four 12V lines connected.
- NVIDIA has already been informed in advance and the data and images have also been provided by be quiet! directly to the R&D department.
NVIDIA confirmed to The Verge that it is actively investigating the issue. The company has already promised to replace the first reported card. Other users should not worry about the replacement, but it would be advised to pay more attention to the cards when playing games.
Source: Igor’sLAB (declaration), Igor’sLAB (analysis)
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