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NVIDIA’s 16-pin adapter comes in two variants, 300V is fine for GeForce RTX 4090, but 150V is a fire hazard

Since we reported the first case of NVIDIA’s 16-pin connector melting on a GeForce RTX 4090 video card, there were different discoveries. Now, a few days after first reporting the problems, it seems GamersNexus and Igor’s laboratory finally got to the bottom of the problem.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 adapter is to blame, but not all! 300V 14 AWG cable works fine, 150V melts

For now NVIDIA and its partners AIB work to solve problems with the 16-pin connector, the PC technical community is working hard to find out the real cause of the problem. In a previous report, we learned that the adapter was definitely responsible for the melting, not the card or the plug on the card itself. The 16 pin connector got very hot if the proper contact was not made or if the cable was bent too much. This resulted in an excess amount of current flowing through the cable, which further increased the temperature and subsequent melting.

Steve Burke of GamersNexus has now discovered that while the cables themselves are the problem, not all cables can cause a card to burn or melt. Tech Point noticed that all their cables were labeled “300V 14AWG” and the ones that were shown Igorov were designed for 150V. That’s a huge difference. But not only that, there was also a difference in bonding between the two cables.

NVIDIA 16-pin 300V adapter cable (cable known to be good):

As both sockets stripped the connector, it was found that the 300V cables use high quality solder, while the 150V cables have each cable line soldered separately and with less solder surface, which can lead to bending damage. This should explain why the cable went bad in Igor’s case. Cable used by Steve (GamersNexus) and Ronaldo (TecLab) was able to withstand torture through various tests of endurance and strength. And GamersNexus, and TecLab also ran the cable for hours under load.

16-pin 150V NVIDIA adapter cable (bad soldering via Igor Lab):

In the case of GamersNexus, their NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards ran for more than 48 hours under load, while TecLab used their 16-pin adapter cable under a constant 1530W load tester. So this leads us to the conclusion that it’s just bad cables causing the problem, but only NVIDIA and its AIB can answer why it’s there in the first place.

Solder quality of 16-pin NVIDIA 150V vs 300V (Image: GamersNexus):

There’s no way to know which cable you’re getting unless you pull back the sleeve. In case you have purchased a 16-pin 150V cable, you can ask the manufacturer to replace it with a suitable 300V cable. The good thing is that not many users have received a 16-pin 150V cable. NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card is now in the thousands gamers, and while there are less than 20 reports of the card melting, it’s still enough to cause concern. Based on surveys conducted by HardwareLuxx and GamersNexusit appears that less than 7% of users have received a 150V adapter.

GamersNexus also advises owners of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 16-pin adapter cable to use the following instructions to check which version of the cable they received with the card:

So the vast majority of gamers who have 300V adapters shouldn’t worry too much, but it’s still recommended that you check your cable to see if it’s good. We have already tested the 7 cables included with our samples (FE, SUPRIM X, SUPRIM Liquid, Vulcan X, TUF Gaming, AORUS Master, SG) and all of them are rated for 300V. You can also let us know in the comments below, which cable you got with your NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 card (FE or AIB) if you have one.

News source: Tomshardware


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