Through individual reports and pictures of melted 12VHPWR adapters on the RTX 4090, half the internet is looking for the cause, but on a smaller level it can be done without the manufacturer’s defect data and types only speculate. As a problem, according to the report by Igor’s Lab currently mostly the weak-looking one Solder joint of some Nvidia adapters suspected, in which four thicker wires (with 14 AWG) are soldered to plates that are too thin. After current ones assumptions the isolated meltdowns were less due to the 12VHPWR form factor per se and more due to the construction and quality variations of the included Nvidia adapter. A detailed communication from Nvidia is still pending at the time of going to press; the incidents are currently being investigated. Defective adapters and cards can be sent in after contacting the manufacturer.
When bending hard, especially lateral/diagonal, the outer solder joints inside the Nvidia adapter seem to come loose easily in some variants (not all). In contrast to most native cables, which run directly from the power supply to the GPU, the individual pins on the Nvidia adapter are soldered together between the actual connector and the cables in a composite. With the position of Solder joint near the plug and the bending that is unavoidable in practice, a different design for the supplied adapter would have made more sense based on the current status.
Nvidia adapters vs. native power supply cables
A consequence to strengthen bending or an already defective connection would result in a partial failure, overloading the remaining lines and causing the connector to heat up to excessively high temperatures over a longer period of time. One alternative theory would also be a poor contact between connector terminals and pins, by moving/crushing the individual pin frames, which also leads to critical temperatures here due to the resulting higher resistance. are current only reports with the Nvidia adapters known. Nothing has yet been reported of defects caused by native 12VHPWR cables directly from the power supply.
Source: PC Games Hardware
To avoid severe bending, apply 35mm from connector to first bend as a recommendation. Nvidia’s included 12VHPWR adapter has reinforcing tape wrapped around the cables to exactly those dimensions. In practice, these dimensions are only wider cases like the Fractal Define 7 with approx. 20.5 cm. From the mainboard / the inside of the housing wall to the side panel are therefore horizontal installation at least 18.5 to 19 cm advisable, so as not to have to reshape the cable too much. In housings such as the LC Power 804B, which are slightly below these dimensions, either a rectangular third party solution or one vertical construction with riser cables be set. In our endurance test, we explicitly took the LC Power 804B with a horizontal structure, since the side panel was only
Source: PC Games Hardware
can be closed with a light squeeze. An otherwise simple but less than ideal option would be to omit the side panel until an alternative is readily available. Pay attention when carefully put it in Make sure that there is no gap at the top or bottom between the cable frame and the socket and, if possible, handle the adapter cable with care. At best, hold the graphics card on the right side or otherwise provide more stability when connecting. You should either feel or hear a subtle click from the lower lever as it engages. An extremely tightly screwed connection to the PCI-E slot covers is mandatory. As an optional addition, GPU mounts on the right side (to the front of the case) can be used prophylactically against sagging over time. However, in our test with custom cards like the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming, Gigabyte Gaming OC, Palit Game Rock OC and others, we were able to observed no sagging.
On the second page we take a closer look at the differences between native cables from power supply manufacturers and the adapter from Nvidia, go into basic points and examine the practice in housings through initial temperature measurements at various points over a longer test.