User error and foreign object debris are two of the main reasons why some GeForce RTX 4090 owners have ended up with melted connectors, according to a new in-depth investigation by GamersNexus’ Steve Burke that shows footage of a 12VHPWR power connector bubbling and smoking alongside one of NVIDIA’s Founders Editions cards. “We believe these […] to be the primary ones,” Burke wrote, cautiously noting that there could be even more reasons before warning enthusiasts that their cables should be seated properly and to ensure that they stay that way. NVIDIA is still investigating and hasn’t provided an official statement yet, but many critics continue to insist that design flaws are to blame.
Burke offered additional insight through his reddit account, echoing the idea that improper seating is one of the main issues:
The two primary ones, except it’s sort of like a 2+1 set of issues — 2 related to seating, 1 related to FOD. The seating one seemed to most effectively trigger failures when combined as a bad, specific angle on the cable route (towards the ‘a’ in the NV logo, since they’re oriented differently on some cards) PLUS a poor mount. We had trouble forcing failures when it was just one or the other. The FOD one, as a note, could be debris deeper/not cleanable by the end user also. We saw some molded into the strain relief. But it could also be burrs and damage from the dimples, according to the third-party failure analysis lab we sent it to.
(oh, one other thing – the high power contributes as well, maybe being the reason this one is failing more often than we heard about 3090 Tis fail or something)