Nvidia has seemingly tweaked the design of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics cards, adding a new power connector that should provide an RTX 4090 melting power cable fix.
Spotted by Reddit user prackprackprack, the new version of the 12VHPWR power connector used on the card looks externally identical to the old design but inside it uses slightly shorter sense pins. The sense pins are those contained in the single small rectangular socket and are used to communicate the power demands of the card to the power supply. By shortening these pins, the new connector ensures the graphics card can’t demand more power without the connector being properly inserted.
The sense pins of the old connector (left) can clearly be seen from an angle but they’re invisible from a similar angle on the new connector (right).
The melting cable problems of the RTX 4090 were due to users not inserting the cables fully, so the electrical connection between some of the power pins was too weak. This weaker connection was less able to deal with the high current flow demands of the card, resulting in the connections overheating and melting. By ensuring such a high current can’t be drawn until the cable is fully inserted should ensure melting RTX 4090s are a thing of the past.
The power connector was also in theory a problem for the RTX 4080 that also launched with the older-style connector, but because its peak power demands aren’t quite so high, it wasn’t an issue that ever cropped up.
Sadly, this isn’t a fix that can be retro-applied to existing RTX 4090 cards – without some serious soldering work and a voided warranty – but so long as owners of those cards ensure the cables are fully inserted, they should avoid any issues anyway. Also, be sure that both ends of the 12VHPWR cable are inserted correctly, as the same issue can result in melted 12VHPWR power supply connectors.
Despite some issues with power connector security, we were very impressed with the performance of the GeForce RTX 4090 when we reviewed it, and it’s currently on our guide to the best graphics card as the best GPU for 4K gaming.
Were you put off buying an RTX 4090 by the cable melting issues? If so, does the new Founders Edition connector design alleviate your worries? 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 390,000+ members.