Published in PC Hardware

Nvidia chips power socket and cable catching fire

by on26 October 2022

Pizza which is too hot and spicy 

The GPU maker named after a Roman pizza, with potatos and sausages, apparently has a problem with the 600W power socket and cable on its RTX graphics cards.

 Users have reported overheating issues and posted pictures on the world wide wibble which show a 12VHPWR power cable that had melted where it plugs into their RTX 4090. The cable feeds power from the PC's PSU into the GPU card.

The Redditor said that the power connector appeared to be the issue since the card still worked despite the damage sustained.

"It smelled badly and I saw smoke," he complained.

Another Reddit post showed something similar with the RTX 4090. This had less damage, other than melted power connectors on the GPU board and cable end.

Nvidia showed off the 12VHPWR power connector and cabling used by Nvidia RTX 4090s earlier this year along with Intel's new ATX power supply specs. The big idea was that the PSUs were designed to support PCIe gen-5 graphics cards that require more power. The 12VHPWR connector and cable can deliver 600W to the GPU from a suitable PSU.

The industry group responsible for PCI standards, PCI-SIG told members in September that it was "aware that some implementations of the 12VHPWR connectors and assemblies have demonstrated thermal variance, which could result in safety issues under certain conditions."  This is the polite way of saying "catches fire." 

Nvidia is a member of PCI-SIG, and so should have known there were issues in the cables being used to power its newest flagship cards, although it does appear to be somewhat slow in fixing any problem.

Cable maker Cablemod thinks the problem is caused by bending of the wires within 35mm of the connector which "may lead to an uneven load across the other wires, increasing the risk of overheating damage."


Last modified on 26 October 2022
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