Gigabyte has refined its GeForce RTX 4090 WindForce design by rethinking the positioning of the controversial 16-pin 12VHPWR power connector. Twitter's @Harukaze5719 noticed that the firm quietly introduced a V2 iteration of the RTX 4090 WindForce design, and you can see the change we are highlighting in images above and below.
It is interesting that Gigabyte quietly introduced this change in a non-flagship family of graphics cards. There is no press release about this new WindForce V2 design. The product page, which shows the change from multiple angles, doesn't even mention the highly evident physical change.
Looking closer at the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 WindForce V2 design, we can see the power cable recess extends for about a third of the length of the triple fan air cooler. In one section of the product page, it says that the design uses an "extended heatsink." This seems to be in reference to the PCB, rather than compared to other RTX 4090 designs, which are invariably triple fan (or liquid cooled) designs.
Within the signature recess of this design the 12VHPWR power connector is clearly visible, with the socket oriented towards the front of the PC (in a standard tower build). There are clearly some cable management benefits to this positioning - the connector from the PSU won't be so proud. Also with about 100mm or more, installers should be able to avoid any bends, twists or shears of the cable near to the PCB connector. Finally, the third fan blows through some slots which could help cool the connector.
Comparing these two RTX 4090 WindForce graphics cards using Gigabyte's online tool, we can see they are both very similar, and both run at the Nvidia reference GPU and memory clocks. However, it is interesting to see the V2 WindForce is quite a lot smaller and buyers benefit from the provision of an anti-sag bracket in the box. Also, the v2 graphics card features an HDMI 2.1a connector, which is a slight improvement on HDMI 2.1 due to its source-based tone mapping (SBTM) support.
The Twitter sourced product image is evidence that there new Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 WindForce V2 designs are already in circulation. Harukaze5719's picture (below) appears to have been found on a Chinese tech chat site.
Gigabyte graphics cards were in our headlines for the wrong reason this weekend. There were reports of the PCB cracking near the PCIe locking tab in some designs. Could this emerging issue be behind Gigabyte's new model(s) coming with a bundled anti-sag bracket?