NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Cable Connection Guide For GeForce RTX 4090 & RTX 4080 Owners

Hassan Mujtaba
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With all the issues surrounding NVIDIA's 16-Pin 12VHPWR cable, we decided we can also try and help people out with a little guide that may help avoid any trouble using a GeForce RTX 4090 or GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card.

Here's A Small Guide To Help You Make Sure Your NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Cable For GeForce RTX 4090 or RTX 4080 Doesn't Melt

While we don't know the exact nature of the issue yet, we do know that at least three sources have pointed out that poor contact force is the most plausible reason behind the melting of the 16-pin 12VHPWR cable. We have worked with some manufacturers to assemble a small guide that will let you know the proper way of installing the cable to the graphics card.

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  1. There are two ways you can plug the cable in. You can do it either with the graphics card on your desk or you can do it with the graphics card plugged into the PC.
  2. If you are going the first route, take the 16-pin 12VHPWR cable and plug it in fully.
  3. The cable will make a slight *click* sound once you have pressed it in all the way.
  4. Make sure there are no gaps between the 16-pin connectors on the adapter and the cable.
  5. Slightly wiggle or pull the cable out to make sure, if there are gaps, you have to press it back in with more force (check this a few times before and after installing the card on your PC).
  6. Now install the graphics card inside the PCIe slot on your PC.
  7. Once installed, bend the cable to your liking but make sure it is beyond the 35mm clearance headroom. (bending below the 35mm clearance can lead to higher resistance build & can pull the cable out of the socket).
  8. After making sure that your cable is properly inserted, plug the four or three 8-pin power plugs into the adapter.
  9. Now close the side panel of your PC and make sure that it doesn't clash with the 16-pin 12VHPWR cable. (In the case it does, check the connection of the cable again to see if there are any visible gaps).
  10. Realign the cables and once you are sure everything looks right, boot up your PC.

We have also seen issues with people installing the same cable on an ATX 3.0 PSU and we have to point out that the same problem can occur on the PSU side as the GPU side. A loose connection can appear at both ends and in the case you are running a native ATX 3.0 PSU with a Gen 5 cable, you should follow the same steps as we mentioned for the GPUs above.

Following are some examples of how the cable looks at various angles when it is fully seated or pulled to the sides.

NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Cable:


PSU Manufacturer 16-Pin Cable:


The reason why checking the connection on both ends is very important compared to an 8-pin connector is because the new 16-pin 12VHPWR cables come with a buckle-less design which is resistant to high-pulling force and bending. Plus, it latches to the anchor firmly & won't come out. The 16-pin cable has a small latch mechanism underneath the anchor which doesn't seem to do the job well. It is easy to come out and even when fully plugged in, the connection can come out loose in certain cases.

This shows that despite your best efforts, there's still a chance that an improper connection will occur sometime and in that case, it is just better to check your connector periodically. It also shows that the design of the cable in general isn't as user-friendly as the existing 8-pin plugs & a redesign or a revision is the best option that we can hope for.


We want to tell our readers and anyone reading this post that this guide is to help you out and mitigate the issue. We aren't saying that this will fully solve the problem as NVIDIA still has not confirmed what's the root cause but since most tech outlets have pointed this out, we can only provide the resolution we see fit for now.

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