NVIDIA AIC Partners Asked to Collect RTX 4090 Cards Affected by Melted 16-Pin Power Connectors

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Image: NoDuelsPolicy on Reddit

NVIDIA AIC (add-in-card) partners have been asked to collect cards that have been reported to have their 16-pin power connectors melted. A growing amount of RTX 4090 owners have been posting images of their cards and adapters on the internet leading to more suspicions about the 12VHPWR adapters. Igor’s Lab, calling it “adapter gate,” said that NVIDIA has briefed its AIC partners to begin collecting any damaged cards customers have reported on.

nVIDIA just notified all AIC this morning … All damaged cards need to be sent directly to HQ for failure analysis, this is first time… Even a few years ago when 2080 Ti got issue with Micron, they didn’t do this.

It is now being suggested that the quality of the adapter is coming into question. A company called Astron is said to be the manufacturer of 12VHPWR adapters as well as plugs, and connectors. VideoCardz has reported that poor-quality soldering, not repeated plugging or unplugging, could be the culprit. However, due to the suspected low-quality nature of the connectors, they could be more susceptible to damage from bending and thus break off, but it has been noted that standard-compliant power supply cables made by other manufacturers do not share this issue. The inner bridge between the pins is also said to be too thin as well. Users on Redditor had been asking if perhaps the 4x 8-pin adapter could be a culprit and it appears that could, in fact, be the case.

  • The current trigger is NVIDIA’s own adapter to 4x 8-pin in the accessories, whose inferior quality can lead to failures and has already caused damage in single cases.
  • Splitting each of the four 14AWG leads onto each of the 6 pins in the 12VHPWR connector of the adapter by soldering them onto bridges that are much too thin is dangerous because the ends of the leads can break off at the solder joint (e.g., when kinked or bent several times).
  • Bending or kinking the wires directly at the connector of the adapter puts too much pressure on the solder joints and bridges, so that they can break off.
  • The inner bridge between the pins is too thin (resulting cross section) to compensate the current flow on two or three instead of four connected 12V lines.

Common melting points?

Multiple posted images have shown a similarity in that the two corner connectors/pins in the row next to the 4-pin power-sense connectors are almost always the first to be damaged. Other pins can be seen damaged in other photos but these 2 seem to be consistently seen in all. The three images below are from three different Redditor users. The first two images were said to be ASUS RTX 4090 TUF OC cards while the third, which has been widely publicized at this point, hasn’t identified which model it is.

Another user has posted images using a FLIR camera of their MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 4090 using a 3x 8-pin connector. They said they benched the card using Superpostion for 20 minutes and saw an average temperature of 120F. They do not know what the spec threshold for the adapter/plug is but the images do show it as a hot spot.

One thing that is certain is that NVIDIA is taking these reports seriously as it is investigating the matter and has now begun a process to collect the cards.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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