The Truth About NVIDIA’s RTX 4090 Adapters: Testing, X-Ray, & 12VHPWR Failures

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The RTX 4090 12-pin cables (12VHPWR connectors) have been in the news for burning, melting, and the theories surrounding them for a few weeks now. We ran our first test piece early because we were at a stage where we needed more cables from viewers — we got some! With the help of our audience sending in a few failed cables, we were able to reach 3 firm conclusions (or, really, 2+1) of causes for failures of these adapter cables (and unadapted ones, too). Of course, there may be even more reasons — but we believe these 3 to be the primary ones. Between foreign object debris in manufacturing (seems uncommon, but a cause) and user error, we were able to make a few cables melt. On the user error front, remember one key thing: Even if yours doesn’t start fully unseated and is only partly unseated, it can work its way loose over time if you move cables around, do some cleanup, move the system, etc.

Watch our first video in this series!

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00:00 – Melting the RTX 4090 12VHPWR Cable
02:42 – Background & Frequency of Failure
03:51 – What Cables Can Fail
06:13 – What Makes 12VHPWR Cables Fail
08:04 – Disclosures & Responsible Reporting
09:12 – Debunking the Weak Solder Joints Conclusion
11:44 – Testing Terminal Splits
13:58 – Reasons for Failure: Foreign Object Debris
15:21 – Smoking Gun & Potential for Some Manufacturing Defects
17:50 – Partial Insertion & User Error
22:24 – Conclusions: Some User Error, Some Manufacturer Defects
23:52 – Conclusions: Recapping the Reasons
26:39 – How Small User Error Becomes Big
27:28 – Quick Monologue on Reporting

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Host, Testing, Writing, Video Editing: Steve Burke
Testing, Research, Writing: Patrick Lathan
Video Editing, Camera: Andrew Coleman

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