Nvidia Provides Update on RTX 4090 16-Pin Adapter Fiasco

Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Nvidia has provided a semi-update to KitGuru concerning the 16-pin adapter meltdowns on the GeForce RTX 4090. Unfortunately, it’s not the update that everyone was hoping for. The chipmaker reported that it is still investigating the 16-pin power adapter failures and doesn’t have any new details to disclose.

It’s already been several weeks since the first GeForce RTX 4090 incidents were reported, and Nvidia still does not have a solution. The GeForce RTX 4090 power incidents have exploded everywhere online, with numerous reports of GeForce RTX 4090 owners experiencing 16-pin power adapter melting on the inside and, worse, taking the graphics card’s power connector with it.

“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,” stated Nvidia to KitGuru (opens in new tab).

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous theories and suggestions on how to fix the 16-pin power connector from melting within GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs, but none have come to a single decisive answer that solves everyone’s problem.

One theory suggests the 16-pin power adapter is primarily at fault, with evidence by Igor’s Lab that the power adapter supplied by Nvidia was not engineered well and is subject to failure if the wires are bent too liberally.

But another report by Gamers Nexus counters this argument, with the news outlet revealing that some 16-pin power adapters use under-specced 150V cables instead of 300V cables. Incidentally, Igor was using a 150V power adapter version. At the same time, Gamers Nexus tested a 300V version and could not replicate any of the same failures Igor found in his testing, concluding that the 150V power adapters may be the only ones at fault.

Another more recent theory comes from Corsair’s Jon Gerow (Jonny Guru), who suggests that victims of the 16-pin failures are not plugging the connector in all the way. He noted that the 16-pin plug can be difficult to insert into the 16-pin power connector on GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs, leading to some users not plugging them in all the way. Gerow stresses that the connector must be plugged in completely, with no gaps between the plug and the connector, to prevent the 16-pin from melting.

Ultimately, there’s no decisive answer as to why some 16-pin power adapters have melted. Incidentally, some direct to PSU 16-pin cables are melting, too, leaving everyone in the same state of confusion as we were previously. If you have a GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, we recommend that you consider all these theories and ensure the 16-pin power plug is fully seated, with as little strain on the cables as possible. If necessary, you can still RMA your GeForce RTX 4090 if you find the 16-pin connector failing.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • blacknemesist
    NVidia will only bend to taking responsibility if there is no other option, no corporation will willingly take a huge hit like that if they can avoid it so it is no surprise that there is nothing to share from them.
    To be fair, no one has been able to replicate the issue as well and a lot of experts and enthusiasts came up with completely different reasons for the incidents, which means we(they) should be looking at this into extreme depth and that it is possible that there are multiple reasons for the failures.
    Hopefully the delay is because they want to make sure they tackle this at first try, if they do something but the incident keep happening it is much worse for them.
    As much as they are frustrating to hear from, they hold a lot of value when it comes to HW and research so I hope it all comes clean
    Reply
  • ikernelpro4
    blacknemesist said:
    NVidia will only bend to taking responsibility if there is no other option, no corporation will willingly take a huge hit like that if they can avoid it so it is no surprise that there is nothing to share from them.
    To be fair, no one has been able to replicate the issue as well and a lot of experts and enthusiasts came up with completely different reasons for the incidents, which means we(they) should be looking at this into extreme depth and that it is possible that there are multiple reasons for the failures.
    Hopefully the delay is because they want to make sure they tackle this at first try, if they do something but the incident keep happening it is much worse for them.
    As much as they are frustrating to hear from, they hold a lot of value when it comes to HW and research so I hope it all comes clean
    Initially yes, but the reason is very obvious now, lots of folks have made videos already.
    Reply
  • TechieTwo
    With an operating voltage of 12 volts I don't see how a wire rating of 150v vs. 300v makes any difference in this application. Basically the voltage rating is an indication of the wire insulation's ability to prevent passage of electricity through the plastic or rubber wire coating.
    Reply
  • TwoSpoons100
    TechieTwo said:
    With an operating voltage of 12 volts I don't see how a wire rating of 150v vs. 300v makes any difference in this application. Basically the voltage rating is an indication of the wire insulation's ability to prevent passage of electricity through the plastic or rubber wire coating.
    Precisely what I was thinking. There is one other difference though - the crimp terminals used for 300V wire are probably different, given the different insulation thickness. The 150V vs 300V is likely a red herring.

    This whole thing smells like engineering vs management : with management saying "use the cheaper option" and engineering saying "well, OK, but we're pushing the limits". I'm sure there are other engineers out there who know exactly what I'm talking about :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • shadowxsx
    I just upgraded earlier this year, and even if i came into enough money to build a top end system right now..... I would avoid Nvidia like the plague, with this connector fiasco..

    A old friend years ago went out and built a top end system, all from a retail store. He left it on while he ran to the store less than a week later and when he came home it was on fire. After that I do not like leaving mine on, unless there is someone here. At this point if someone gifted me a brand new 4090, it would go straight to ebay or somewhere else to sell as i do not want a potential fire hazard on my desk.
    Reply
  • King_V
    I mean, way back, didn't Nvidia even explicitly say that the connector could only be plugged/disconnected a relatively few number of times?

    I'm kind of thinking that was a hint that there might be issues. Why can't this connector last as long, for as many changes, as a 6-pin or 8-pin PCIe connector?
    Reply
  • shadowxsx
    I usually only plug in my video card 2-3x during it's lifetime.,.... But putting a imit on that is kind of odd IMO
    Reply
  • YouFilthyHippo
    NVidia is in the process of looking to rectify the issue without taking a hit and without a class action lawsuit. I don't see it happening. This stupid 12-pin connector thingy should never have happened. 4 8-pins would have been fine. Right now NVidia is probably just discussing options with their lawyers and will release a statement in a week saying: "We conducted an investigation and determined the fault lies with someone who is not us because we don't want to pay for our mistakes". They will just blame someone else. It's the spiderman finger point meme again. Just take the L, get the recall over with, put the 4 8-pins on so we can put this behind us. I bet 4090 sales are quite low right now. No one wants to trade their house for a GPU. It's just not worth it
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    "Nvidia Provides Up On RTX 4090 16-Pin Adapter Fiasco : Read more "

    Based on recent article titles, "Up" means an actual Update or Upgrade. Hardware, software, firmware.
    Not simply an infomatic Update on 'we have no idea'.
    Reply
  • sizzling
    USAFRet said:
    "Nvidia Provides Up On RTX 4090 16-Pin Adapter Fiasco : Read more "

    Based on recent article titles, "Up" means an actual Update or Upgrade. Hardware, software, firmware.
    Not simply an infomatic Update on 'we have no idea'.
    I find the use of Up a pointless and lazy shorthand for Update in any context.
    Reply