NVIDIA Offers "Semi-Update" On Melting 12VHPWR Adapters For GeForce RTX 4090 Cards

hero burned 12vhpwr connector
The GeForce RTX 4090 has gotten a lot of bad press since its launch due to the 12VHPWR adapters and native cables driving the card overheating and melting. In reality, this problem seems to have been confined to a fairly small fraction of users, but it's still concerning nonetheless. NVIDIA hasn't said anything on the issue until just recently, when it issued a "semi-update" to KitGuru in the form of an e-mail comment:

"We continue to investigate the reports, however we don’t have further details to share yet. NVIDIA and our partners are committed to supporting our customers and ensuring an expedited RMA process for them." - NVIDIA to Kitguru, via Twitter
It's reassuring, at least, that both NVIDIA and its add-in board partners have indeed been quick on the ball to address customers suffering this issue, but it would be nice to have a final explanation for the problem, allowing us to put it to rest once and for all.

jonnyguru inserted correctly
Jonnyguru suggests making certain your 12VHPWR is fully seated.

The best guess we've heard comes from Jon Gerow, better known once upon a time as the PSU expert Jonnyguru from the website of the same name. He's since given up the indie hardware journalism gig in favor of a job at Corsair, but he still has some strongly-worded opinions to share on power supply and cable design.

In his opinion, and contrary to earlier hypotheses (including one by Igor's Lab), these overheating cables are the fault of users simply not plugging in the 12VHPWR connector fully. This lines up with early cautions from PCI-SIG, who are in charge of creating and ratifying PCI Express standards. That agency published a bulletin warning of heat hazards if the plugs are damaged or not connected properly well before 12VHPWR saw use.

One curious detail that seems to have gone largely ignored in these investigations is that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti used fundamentally the same power connector and the same power budget as the RTX 4090, yet we never heard of any of these issues. Hopefully NVIDIA can find out the source of the problem and tell us how to avoid it once and for all.