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Nvidia RTX 4090 could still have a melting power connector problem

The 12VHPWR power connector problems that plagued the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 during its launch period may still affect the GPU a year after release.

A photograph of a 12VHPWR cable sat atop an RTX 4090

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 launch was undeniably somewhat spoiled by many reports of melting power connectors, but all has appeared resolved in the following months, after action from Nvidia itself. However, it seems there may still be some graphics cards out there that are vulnerable to the issue.

The RTX 4090 was the first graphics card to use the 12VHPWR connector, introduced as part of the ATX 3.0 power supply spec, providing a more convenient, smaller means to supply it with enough watts. Unfortunately, the design of the socket was somewhat flawed, in that it could lead to these melting issues if inserted incorrectly, and wasn’t resolved until the introduction of the RTX 4070.

Now, a Reddit user claims their RTX 4090 has suffered the same fate as launch models, almost one year to the day since the graphics card hit the market. Taking to the PCMR Subreddit, user Byogore, shared images of their ASUS RTX 4090, a 12VHPWR connector on top of it with clear signs of thermal damage (via Tom’s Hardware).

Byogore says that they were using the adaptor that comes supplied with every RTX 40 series graphics card, plugged into a Corsair HX1000i power supply (a model more than capable of meeting the needs of the RTX 4090). While this scenario makes up the majority of cases we’ve seen reported, there are now some instances of 12VHPWR sockets melting on the PSU side.

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It’s unclear how concerned RTX 4090 owners should be about this issue, even now, but we’d strongly suggest ensuring your 12VHPWR cable is connected properly all the same (see the video above from Seasonic). If you’d rather not think about this at all, then the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and its siblings don’t use this connector, instead opting for tried and tested ATX 2.0 cables.

Featured Image credit: Reddit / Byogore