Home Technology Nvidia investigating cases of melting RTX 4090 power cables, RDNA 3 does not use 12VHPWR

Nvidia investigating cases of melting RTX 4090 power cables, RDNA 3 does not use 12VHPWR

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Why it matters: Nvidia’s new flagship RTX 4090 is a beast in several ways. In addition to the unprecedented gaming performance, consumers have expressed concerns about power requirements. Those fears may now be confirmed weeks after warnings about the GPU’s power connectors.

Nvidia said it is investigating at least two cases of power adapters burning and melting for its new flagship RTX 4090 graphics card. The requirement of a new power connector standard for use with the GPU has caused some controversy.

Two Reddit users shared photos of burnt and melted RTX 4090 power connectors on the end of the cable and on the card itself. Nvidia contacted one of the owners hoping to diagnose the problem. It is unclear whether the incidents are related to issues raised by the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) in September.

At the heart of the controversy is the new power connector standard used by RTX 4000 series graphics cards. The GPUs use the 16-pin 12VHPWR cable standard for ATX 3.0 power supplies. Those who want to upgrade without replacing their ATX 2.0 PSUs can use adapters included with the cards that connect three 8-pin or four 8-pins with a single 12VHPWR cable.

Last month, PCI-SIG warned that certain situations could put the adapters at risk from overcurrent and overcurrent. For example, pushing the PSU to its limits in a hot case can burn the adapter connectors, but Nvidia claims the issue has been resolved before the official launch. Cable vendor CableMod warns that bending the cables less than 35mm can threaten the connections, as the 12VHPWR connectors are smaller than previous generations.

It’s unclear if any of these concerns are the cause of Reddit user incidents. In any case, it’s probably safest to run RTX 4000 GPUs with ATX 3.0 PSUs if you can afford the upgrade.

In response to the burned connector photos, AMD confirmed its upcoming RTX 4000 competitor – the RDNA 3 GPUs – wouldn’t use 12VHPWR. Many users will likely celebrate the new cards while maintaining full compatibility with their existing PSUs.

Concerns about 12VHPWR came on top of early concerns that the RTX 4090 could consume 800W. Nvidia confirmed it only needs 450W and recommended an 850W PSU for systems using the card. However, some AIB partners recommend PSUs over 1,000W as a precaution for users trying to pair the GPUs with low-cost PSUs.

Rumors indicate that Nvidia planned to launch an even more powerful RTX 4000 card – the Lovelace Titan – but canceled it because it took too much energy. Reports say it melted PSUs and circuit breakers during internal testing. However, the monster card can return with 27 Gbps or GDDR7 memory.


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