NVIDIA Releases Official Update Addressing Cause Of Melting 12VHPWR Connectors

hero burned 12vhpwr connector
There's been much ado in the DIY PC hardware space about the issue of the new ATX 3.0 and PCIe 5.0 12+4-pin peripheral power connector melting on GeForce RTX 4090 cards. There's a class-action lawsuit, AMD's managers are memeing on NVIDIA, and numerous outlets have rushed to publish their preliminary, unscientific findings as if they are gospel truth. Well, NVIDIA's finally made a statement, and brief as it is, it could set the matter to rest.

In a support knowledge base post titled "Power Connector Update - GeForce RTX 4090," NVIDIA tersely explains that it is investigating the reports and that it is aware of about 50 cases globally. Of course, if you're not aware of the ongoing issue, this explains absolutely nothing. It is referring to the reports of melting 12VHPWR connectors.

The "50 cases globally" thing is noteworthy, because NVIDIA has stated elsewhere that it has sold around 125,000 GeForce RTX 4090 cards so far. That puts the failure rate at around 0.04%, which is practically a statistical error. Despite that, NVIDIA and its partners have been taking care of affected customers with replacement cables and new cards, with expedited service and shipping in all cases.

nvidia connector demo

That's even more impressive considering that the issue is almost certainly caused by user error. NVIDIA's announcement goes on to explain that the company's findings so far suggest that the most common cause of this issue is when the 12VHPWR connector is not fully seated in the graphics card. This lines up directly with Gamers Nexus' findings earlier this week, as well as with statements from Jon Gerow (Jonnyguru) and PCI-SIG.

NVIDIA suggests plugging the power cable into the graphics card before installing the card into the machine. That way you can see it more clearly and ensure that it is fully seated and can't be easily tugged out of the socket. Gamers Nexus posited that some cables may have been "incorrect but acceptable, then tugged into meltable" as users performed cable management functions to improve airflow.

So, as we've said before, if you're getting an Ada Lovelace card this holiday season, make sure you shove that 12VHPWR connector in there and tug it slightly to check that it's secure. A melting power cable is just the thing to ruin a glorious Christmas morning.