NVIDIA confirms 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable for GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 is available in two variants

As the days go by, more mystery is unfolding around the melting NVIDIA 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable and it seems that the company has made its first official statement on the matter, other than just saying that they are still investigating the issues.

NVIDIA 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable for GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 have two manufacturers with wildly different designs

Several solutions and plausible explanations have been made by various tech outlets and experts, including Igor Wallosek of Igor’s Lab. Thanks to the latest details, we are one step closer to where the problems come from and we also receive confirmation from NVIDIA itself about the supplier of these cables.

“We are continuing to investigate the reports, but we have no further details to share yet. NVIDIA and our partners are committed to supporting our customers and ensuring an expedited RMA process for them.”

NVIDIA spokesperson via KitGuru

We know that the NVIDIA 16-pin “12VHPWR” adapter cables come in two flavors, one rated at 150V and one rated at 300V. Despite the higher voltage support and better solder quality of the 300V cable, we have seen cases where that adapter has melted as well. We’ve also seen ATX 3.0 PSUs melt and even full-fledged cables melt. In our previous article, we also mentioned that despite the 16-pin connector being fully connected, resistance can cause the cable to come loose, and there’s more.

NVIDIA 16-pin 12VHPWR cable from Astron and NTK (Image Credit: Igor’s Lab):

It seems NVIDIA is relying on two different manufacturers with two vastly different locking mechanisms for the 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable. According to the Director of Engineering at NVIDIA, Gabriele Gorla, these two manufacturers have been revealed to be Astron and NTK. Both are based in Taiwan and their cables are compliant with PCI-SIG standards but there is only a very slight difference which may not be visible to most consumers at first but can be a major problem due to the resistance and cable pulling issues which we mentioned above.

ASron’s NVIDIA 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable comes with a two-slot spring contact, while the NTK cable comes with a single-slot spring contact. Now you must be thinking that higher is better, right? Well, not here. You can see that the single-slot spring design provides lower drag. AIBs such as Zotac and Gigabyte use NTK cables and have stated that they are easier to disconnect and more reliable for longer life cycles, while Astron’s solder quality is somewhat poor and has higher resistance.

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Meanwhile, both the Astron and NTK cables will need to be pushed in with force, with NTK requiring a little more for a proper lock. Based on Igor’s findings, the 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable should not exceed a resistance of more than 2 ohms. Now there is no way to conclude that this is the primary problem as there have been multiple reports before that didn’t pan out. The problem may be a combination of several issues and design revisions are also underway. It’s likely that NVIDIA is waiting for the next revision before making a final statement on the matter.

NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Resistor Table. (Image credit: Igor’s Lab)

Furthermore, Igor says NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 will rely on the two different 16-pin ’12VHPWR’ cable manufacturers, while the RTX 4070 Ti will only use cables from NTK. The full breakdown of the issues is below:

Issue Cause Solution
Poorly fitting plug,
straight plugging impossible
die casting,
Excellent casting residues
Light bevel
with cutting blade,
do not use contact grease!
Poorly fitting connector,
no incision at the end
die casting,
Excellent casting residues,
Bad locking mechanism
Visual check by user
hot contacts,
Melting the connector (1)
Curved Tulip contact through
insert obliquely or
then move the connector
Replace the cable or adapter
hot contacts,
Melting the connector (2)
Bending the adapter or
power cable
Replace the cable or adapter
hot contacts,
Melting the connector (3)
All relevant causes Use ATX3 power supplies
with native 12VHPWR connector
or spare PSU cables
(shrunk anyway)
Insufficient gripping surface in front
the correct insertion of the
end stop
Cooler design No
Insufficient gripping surface in front
correctly disconnecting the
Connection without bending
Cooler design No
Hot leads
between adaptor
and PSU
Adapter with broken
solder joints or cable breakage
Exchange adaptor
Hot plugs/sockets
on the PSU side
PSU design too weak Replace PSU

News Sources: Videocardz, Tomshardware

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