Beware of the script twist that this whole topic of the 12VHPWR connectors and the RTX 4090 takes. If until now we have talked about everything related to the adapters and the connector itself, new data provided by JonnyGuru show something that is quite amazing and would clear much of the blame on NVIDIA and the manufacturers: RTX 4090 burned they could be responsibility of the users. That is, owners could be largely to blame for their GPUs burning up.
JonnyGuru has been for years, if not the best, one of the best analysts of everything related to power supplies and electronics in general for PC components. After long years he decided to get away from it and have a quieter path, but seeing all this NVIDIA problem he decided to investigate for himself and presented a report with very interesting tests.
The 12VHPWR connector and adapters are tough, but…
Summing up his tests to focus on what’s new, JonnyGuru pushed this connector to the limit, both electrically speaking and physically. He forced it, tried to rip it out, bend it and ultimately, reproduce any possible installation problemsand while it did manage to chip away at the solder and clip, the connector worked with its adapter without issue, even after ripping out one of the end wires.
It is true that the adapter had very limited welding, of poor quality, but even so it did not fail, which led him to seriously consider how it was possible that these adapters were burning the RTX 40. There could be games of adapters in poor condition, with even worse welds than the ones he saw, but looking at the specific cases of the affected users and the images that they themselves had uploaded to forums and the Internet in general, JonnyGuru saw something particular that could change everything.
The burned RTX 4090 could be the responsibility of the users
Yes, there is a possibility that poor installation of the 12VHPWR connector was behind the burned RTX 4090 and therefore, it would be the fault of the specific user. Not even pulling out a cable did the temperature of the adapter exceed 53ºChow could it be that it far exceeded the 105 ºC marked by the Amphenol connector?
Well, the answer goes a little hand in hand with what PCI-SIG saw with its thermals: 12VHPWR connector not fully connected, it is not fully plugged in. When it is correctly installed the anchor is perfect, there is no distance between the male and female housings of the adapter / connector and curiously in almost all cases seen of RTX 4090 burned users had shown incorrect installationsleaving almost 1mm the part of the male connector outside the female.
Why is this happening? Well, because the connector has been slightly modified if we compare the adapters of the RTX 30 vs RTX 40. The new one has a sideband that would prevent the complete connection, and not being properly plugged in causes greater resistance. If we add to this the one that occurs with “badly welded” cables, then two determining factors come together when before there was only one.
Gold plated connectors and dielectric grease
Finally, two recommendations to keep in mind. The first is that the gold connectors that are being sold cause galvanic corrosionsince the pins and solders are made of tin-plated brass, something that is standardized in the industry.
Gold is a better conductor of electricity, but the connectors and cables do not have a veneer on said materialgo to the air with brass and tin, and therefore, this type of cables is inadvisable in the long term.
Finally, it is recommended dielectric grease between the male and female connector, a slight amount, that does not overflow when plugging them. As the welds of the adapters are so large and exposed, it may be the case that in very humid environments they end up corroding to levels that are invisible to the eye, but that will cause greater resistance or cracks in the weld.
In addition, the dielectric grease will favor the connector lubrication allowing it to reach the bottom without affecting anything electrical. This is important if we take into account that the new version of the male connector, as seen in the image below, has longer sideband to protect the two data cables.
It is not that their safety matters, which obviously does too, but since they are longer they seem to prevent the connector from entering more easily until the end, giving rise to the aforementioned problems and hence the recommendation of dielectric grease. The next thing will be to have an engineering to connect a cable, because seen what we have seen…