What started out as an unusual melting situation has now ended up becoming a concern for RTX 4090 adopters around the world. Over the weekend, the first NVIDIA 16-pin connector caught on fire as Reddit user u/reggie_gakil posted his burnt connector on his brand-new NVIDIA RTX 4090. The image he shared showed the cable, which includes a 16-pin to 4 x 8-pin plug and the power connector both melted after it burst into flames. The game he was using was the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC.
The cable that melted was supplied by NVIDIA and comes in all RTX 4090 GPUs. The user was playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on his card when it went up in flames and burned the power connector. Both the cable adaptor and the GPU power socket are now broken.
There’s more to this story though. Another early RTX 4090 adopter suffered the same fate with his ASUS GeForce RTX 4090 TUF Gaming OC. He was also simply playing games on his PC before it set alight and melted both the 16-pin connector and the power plug on the PCB.
Another 4090 (ASUS 4090 TUF OC) with a damaged 12VHPWR power connector just got posted in the same reddit thread as the original Gigabyte card post from today.
— Vectral (@Vectral555) October 24, 2022
Just when you thought no more GPUs were dying, the third case popped up. Another user was playing games on the same ASUS GeForce RTX 4090 TUF Gaming OC GPU and it set alight. However, he claims that the cable is the only thing that had problems and that the GPU connector was salvageable.
Another TUF Gaming 4090 goes kaput pic.twitter.com/SbTmhdgW77
— Hassan Mujtaba (@hms1193) October 25, 2022
Of course, these issues stem from something even larger at play here. This cable is an extremely high-voltage piece of equipment and sadly, has to be handled in a specific way. The NVIDIA RTX 4090 uses a 12VHPWR Cable which is a new cable designed specifically for PCI-E-5 GPUs. The cable packs even more power into a tighter connector with thinner wires and ports. A guide from Cablemod details the correct way to make use of the cable and install it on your GPU. A big point of advice is to not bend the cable horizontally or vertically until past 35mm of the connector.
Sadly, PC cases vary in all sorts of shapes and forms and many users who make use of a smaller case are struggling to fit this giant RTX 4090 into the housing. The side doors touch the cable and bend it down closer than the recommended distance. This is resulting in the build-up of heat and melting.