Skip to main content

Nvidia is taking unprecedented steps to fix the RTX 4090 melting problem

The saga of melting Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs continues, and today’s development is significant. According to inside information, Nvidia is taking the matter very seriously. As a result, it’s taking unprecedented actions to ensure that the RTX 4090s stop burning up.

Although the affected cards seem to primarily be custom versions prepared by Nvidia’s partners, the company has requested that all the cards are sent directly to the headquarters. The investigation has started.

A melted power connector on the Nvidia RTX 4090.

Today’s round of juicy Nvidia information comes from Igor’s Lab. According to Igor, Nvidia got in touch with all of its add-in board (AIB) partners earlier today. The company requested that all damaged RTX 4090 cards should be sent directly to the headquarters for in-depth investigation. It’s unclear whether this refers to the manufacturers’ HQ or to Nvidia itself, but it’s clear that the company is taking a strong stance on the matter.

Igor’s Lab notes that this is a huge step for Nvidia, seemingly proving that the manufacturer is serious and wants to get this looked into properly. The first report about a melting power adapter on the RTX 4090 emerged a few days ago on Reddit, and since then, similar reports have been popping up. While the owners of an RTX 4090 are running into the issue, tech enthusiasts are purposefully putting the GPU through some heavy testing to determine what’s happening.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

So far, all signs point to the fact that an improper connection can increase the temperatures to a point where the cable and the power connector sets on fire and melts. This appears to be caused by bending the 16-pin cable during the installation, which, in all fairness, is hard to avoid since the GPU is so big. Many PC cases simply don’t have room to accommodate the card and the cable without any bending.

Loose connection testing by GALAX with a 12VHPWR connector.

Loose connection = 100C+
Good connecttion = 60-70C

That's while the connector is pulling a sustained 1530W load. There's more here and it is possible that bending is not the main issue here, force contact is.

— Hassan Mujtaba (@hms1193) October 26, 2022

Igor’s Lab claims that the root of the problem is the Nvidia-supplied 16-pin adapter. Igor notes that the 12VHPWR connection is not exactly the issue by itself, and repeated plugging and unplugging don’t contribute to the rising temperatures.

“The current trigger is NVIDIA’s own adapter to 4x 8-pin in the accessories, whose inferior quality can lead to failures and has already caused damage in single cases,” said Igor in his in-depth report. He then went on to describe some of the problems with the adapter, citing poor build quality as the cause.

Nvidia is yet to release an official statement on the matter, but if Igor’s Lab is to be believed, it seems to be taking steps to try to mitigate the problem. Will the GPUs need to be recalled? It’s hard to say, but let’s hope that Nvidia will shed some light on the matter soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
The RTX 4090 is past its prime, and that’s OK
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.

In October 2022, when I first reviewed the RTX 4090, I called it "both a complete waste of money and the most powerful graphics card ever made." That's even more true now that it was more than a year ago. The AI boom shortly after the launch of the RTX 4090, combined with some international restrictions on the GPU, has caused prices to skyrocket to unattainable places, moving the affordability from unlikely to basically impossible.

But that's changing. Reports indicate that prices are slowly dropping, moving from a high of $2,200 down to around $2,000. That's still way above the GPU's list price of $1,600, but the trajectory now is at least positive.

Read more
Using an RTX 3060? Here’s the GPU to upgrade to next
EVGA RTX 3060 sitting on a table.

Nvidia's RTX 3060 is a certified legend. It's the most popular graphics card in gaming PCs, according to the Steam hardware survey, and that makes sense. For gamers playing at 1080p, you can't ask for more than what the RTX 3060 offers between its low price, 12GB of VRAM, and features like Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).

But where do you go from there? If you picked up an RTX 3060 over the last couple of years and you're looking to take your PC gaming to the next level, I rounded up the best GPUs to upgrade to from the RTX 3060.

Read more
Why I’m feeling hopeful about Nvidia’s RTX 50-series GPUs
The RTX 4070 Super on a pink background.

I won't lie -- I was pretty scared of Nvidia's RTX 50-series, and I stand by the opinion that those fears were valid. They didn't come out of thin air; they were fueled by Nvidia's approach to GPU pricing and value for the money.

However, the RTX 40 Super refresh is a step in the right direction, and it's one I never expected to happen. Nvidia's most recent choices show that it may have learned an important lesson, and that's good news for future generations of graphics cards.
The price of performance
Nvidia really didn't hold back in the RTX 40 series. It introduced some of the best graphics cards we've seen in a while, but raw performance isn't the only thing to consider when estimating the value of a GPU. The price is the second major factor and weighing it against performance can often tip the scales from "great" to "disappointing." That was the case with several GPUs in the Ada generation.

Read more