It has been roughly three weeks since the first reports of melting 12VHPWR connectors and NVIDIA says that it is still investigating the matter. A “16 Pins Adapter Megathread” has been created on Reddit showing that the first confirmed case there was reported on October 24. As of November 11, there are now 24 confirmed cases and another 6 unconfirmed. An interesting detail to note is that there are no Founders Edition graphics cards on the lists but major manufacturers such as ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, and Zotac all have multiple different models on them. GALAX and Inno3D even managed to make an appearance on the lists. As not all RTX 4090 owners are guaranteed to report on Reddit, nor could be expected to be regularly inspecting their cables and connectors, there could be more incidents of them melting that are not yet known.
There are many theories as to the root cause of these reports but none so far have been consistent enough to fully explain them. On October 27 NVIDIA asked its AIC partners to collect RTX 4090 Cards affected by melted 16-Pin power connectors for its investigation. Kitguru has now reported that an NVIDIA PR person has responded to them with a statement saying that the investigation continues.
“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.”
Is user error to blame?
One of the many theories regarding damaged connectors and cables points to user error. Corsair PSU Expert Jon Gerow (Johnguru) issued a report of their own saying the issue is likely user error in not fully inserting the cables into their respective connectors and provided the following images for reference.
MSI has posted the following instructional images on its MSI Gaming Facebook page.
However, some users have stated they did properly install their cables while others have said the connector could not be fully inserted. If accurate, this could indicate potential product defects, but that remains to be seen, and will hopefully be clarified upon the results of the investigation.