Nvidia RTX 4090 is looking into reported issues with its cable melting
According to a few customer reports, Nvidia’s RTX 4090 may experience cable melting difficulties, which Team Green is presently looking into. An owner of a Gigabyte RTX 4090 posted about this issue on Reddit, as Tom’s Hardware(opens in a new tab) noted, and another user who had experienced the same unsettling fault responded to that post. In particular, the RTX 4090’s supplied adapter cable (4 x 8-pin to 16-pin) that enables connection to an ATX 2.0 PSU is being burned, and the first Redditor(opens in new tab) offered photographic evidence demonstrating that it had been very roasted indeed (see above).
The other RTX 4090 buyer (this time with an Asus TUF Gaming OC card) then chimed in: “You aren’t the only one. This happened to me today as well. Not as badly burned as yours though. I was having a gaming session a few hours ago, playing Black Desert with my dungeon party. All of a sudden, the screen went black and all the fans started spinning at 100%. Powered off the machine and, after some inspection, noticed that the power adapter was damaged. “
Currently, it appears that there have only been two reports of this melting issue since we are unable to locate any other complaints on Reddit (or elsewhere online for that matter). There is always a chance that these people’s graphics cards were extremely unlucky in some way, or that there was a problem with their setup or the cable installation. The method of installing the adapter has been problematic because it has been difficult to bend the adapter cable round to suit it while still being able to place the side panel back on the PC case. This has caused the majority of people to be concerned.
Many have expressed concern that if the wire is twisted at an acute angle to fit, this could pull on the pins and prevent the connector from correctly seating in the 4090 graphics card. This is unsafe, especially given the amount of power flowing through those cables (450W, maybe more with overclocking and such). This may be the cause of the melted adapters. Although we cannot be certain, it appears to be the most likely offender at this time.
However, some have already criticized the design of the adapter for ATX 2.0 power supplies and are now wondering why it didn’t come with a right-angled connector to avoid bending the cable, which officially isn’t supposed to be bent any closer than 35mm from the connector on the end. Nvidia’s investigations will undoubtedly shed more light on the situation. Mind you, as you may have noticed, a third-party 90-degree angled 16-pin connector is on the way.
For the time being, however, owners of RTX 4090s who are concerned should make sure the cable connector is properly inserted into the card and avoid bending the cable too close to the end (less than 35mm). However, this is sometimes easier said than done with PC cases, unless you’re planning to leave the side panel off, which is not recommended for a variety of reasons, including dust, the possibility of damaging the hardware’s internal components, and an increase in PC noise when all those fans start up.)
Be aware that anyone with a new ATX 3.0 PSU shouldn’t be affected by this potential cable melting issue because they can connect their RTX 4090 directly to the 16-pin connection without the use of an adaptor. Those PSUs won’t have any issues, at least not in practice.