A graphics card technician has revealed some shocking numbers when it comes to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 melted power connectors. Californian electronics repair outfit NorthbridgeFix claims that it gets sent 20-25 RTX 4090 cards with burned-out 12VHPWR power connectors every week, adding up to around 100 every month.
In a YouTube video, which you can see below, a technician from NorthbridgeFix revealed the scale of the problem for owners of the Nvidia GPU, showing all the GeForce RTX 4090 cards that had been fixed during the week. It apparently happens so frequently, he says, that ‘it’s safe to say the 4090 melted connector is not a user problem.’
The 12VHWPR connector was introduced as part of the ATX 3 spec, and was designed to replace 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe graphics power cables. However, stories of melted 12VHPWR power connectors quickly began to appear after the launch of the RTX 4090, and later even expanded to include melted PSU connectors. It’s been a constant thorn in the side of the RTX 4090, which is a damn shame, as it’s the best gaming GPU around right now, with the top place on our best graphics card guide.
It’s not just the sheer number of cards sent for repair that’s extraordinary, though. NorthBridgeFix also has to take a number of health precautions when fixing the cards, simply because of all the toxic fumes emitted by burning connectors.
The technician demonstrates a respirator mask that he wears when repairing RTX 4090 cards with melted power connectors. ‘We get 20-25 4090s a week,’ he states. ‘We get them in so much that I bought myself this mask so I do not have to smell the burn on these connectors.’
He also points to an air purifier and two fume extractors in the lab, which are used to make the repair environment safe from toxic fumes. ‘Every time I’m working on the 4090, the smell is unbearable,’ he says. ‘It smells like fireworks times ten.’
The rest of the video shows the involved process of desoldering and resoldering various types of 12VHPWR connectors found on RTX 4090 cards, with thick PCBs, while not overheating the cards. It’s safe to say that it’s not a job most people can do at home with an everyday soldering iron, and we recommend watching the video above to see what’s involved.
Have you experienced a melting 12VHPWR connector, and would the numbers involved put you off buying a GeForce RTX 4090? Let us know your thoughts on the Custom PC Facebook page, via Twitter, or join our Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group and tap into the knowledge of our 420,000+ members.