After using the RTX 4090 graphics card for a year, 12VHPWR interface melts

NVIDIA’s mid-to-high-end GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards, built on the Ada Lovelace architecture, come equipped with a 16Pin 12VHPWR connector. By the close of last year, numerous users reported incidents of this power connector overheating to the point of melting, with noticeable damage also appearing at the cable plug. Such occurrences underscore the inherent design flaws of the original 12VHPWR connector. Consequently, PCI-SIG introduced an improved connector design dubbed “12V-2×6” this year.

Image credit: Reddit – u/Byogore

According to TomsHardware, some users have recounted instances where their GeForce RTX 4090 graphic cards, with the 12VHPWR connector, showed signs of melting after just a year of usage. This stands in contrast to earlier reports where similar melting incidents arose after merely six months of utilization. Nonetheless, these incidents have sparked concerns among a section of users. They question the long-term reliability of GeForce RTX 4090 cards with the older 12VHPWR connectors, fearing unpredictable damages might ensue over extended use.

NVIDIA has progressively integrated the newer “12V-2×6” connector design into its GeForce RTX 40 series Founder Edition graphics cards. Simultaneously, some power supply manufacturers have upgraded their products to this new standard to mitigate the risks of connector overheating and melting.

Most GeForce RTX 40 series products currently utilize the 12VHPWR connectors designed with the CEM 5.0 specifications, featuring a mere 0.45mm inward tip offset. In contrast, based on the forthcoming CEM 5.1 specifications, these modified versions have an inward tip offset of 1.7mm. Compared to their predecessors, these redesigned connectors have shortened sense pins (defining wattage via four data pins). If the 12VHPWR cable is not fully connected, the power supply will be constrained, forestalling potential overheating and melting from excessive power flow.