Are Today's GPUs Too Heavy? Popular Repair Shop Details PCB Cracks In RTX 4090 Cards

NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4090 is currently the most powerful consumer GPU on the market. Class-leading power, however, often comes with some drawbacks. First, the GeForce RTX 4090's $1,599 MSRP is steep by any measure. Secondly, the GeForce RTX has a hefty 450W TDP, which has resulted in issues with its 12VHPWR connector. 

To deal with this increased power draw and the resulting heat, GPUs such as the GeForce RTX 4090 require relatively large, and heavy cooling. This not only means cards may be cumbersome and too large to fit inside many PC cases, but it can also have other repercussions.

YouTuber Northridgefix, known for fixing faulty GPUs, recently received 19 GeForce RTX 4090s from a single customer, most with cracked PCBs. He theorizes that the weight of these GPUs are the most likely explanation for them breaking, either during transit or because they sag when installed in a typical tower. 

Northridgefix shows us a damaged PCB that destroyed this GeForce RTX 4090

The majority of the GPUs are from ASUS and Gigabyte. While that doesn't necessarily point to issues specific to these two brands, the fact that so many of them are cracked -- and hence deemed unfixable, without immense effort and cost -- does raise some questions.

System integrators have dealt with potential PCB cracking for years, since they tend to ship a large number of PCs. There have been various solutions over time, from physical brackets to prevent movement during shipment, to expanding foam, or even shipping the GPUs separately.

With the increased size and weight of these ultra-powerful GPUs, shipping and other physical damage is increasingly more likely. Properly supporting of these heavy beasts is essential to ensure their integrity and for long term durability. Obviously, this particular batch of GPUs required some sort of force to crack the PCBs above their edge connectors, and the sheer quantity of cards at a single repair center shows it's not a particularly rare issue. So, please take care to properly install and support your high-end GPU. We can only imagine the gut wrenching dissapointment if this has happened to you.