NVIDIA Confirms 16-Pin ’12VHPWR’ Cable For GeForce RTX 4090 & RTX 4080 Comes In Two Variants

Hassan Mujtaba

As days go by, more mystery surrounding the melting NVIDIA 16-Pin '12VHPWR' cable unfolds and it looks like the company has made its first official statement on the matter besides just saying that they are still investigating the issues.

NVIDIA 16-Pin '12VHPWR' Cable For GeForce RTX 4090 & RTX 4080 Have Two Manufacturers With Vastly Different Designs

There have been various solutions and plausible explanations made by various tech outlets and experts including Igor Wallossek of Igor's Lab. The latest details have brought us a step closer to where the issues stem from and we also get a confirmation from NVIDIA itself on the supplier of these cables.

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“We continue to investigate the reports, however, we don’t have 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 soldering quality of the 300V cable, we have seen instances where that adapter has melted too. We have also seen ATX 3.0 PSUs melt and even fully-inserted cables melt. In our previous article, we also stated that despite the 16-pin connector being fully plugged in, resistance can cause the cable to come loose, and well, there's more to that.

NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Cable From Astron and NTK (Image Credits: Igor's Lab):

It seems like NVIDIA is relying on two different manufacturers with two vastly different latching mechanisms for the 16-Pin '12VHPWR' cable. According to the Director of Engineering at NVIDIA, Gabriele Gorla, it has been revealed that these two manufacturers are Astron and NTK. Both are situated in Taiwan and have their cables conform with the PCI-SIG standards but there's just one tiny little difference that may not be visible to most consumers at first but this could be a big deal based on the resistance and cable-pull issues that we mentioned above.

The NVIDIA 16-Pin '12VHPWR' cable from ASRon comes with a dual-slot spring contact while the NTK cable comes with a single-slot spring contact. Now you must think higher means better right? Well, not here. You see the single-slot spring design allows for lower resistance. AIBs such as Zotac and Gigabyte are using NTK cables and have stated that they are easier to detach & more reliable for longer life cycles whereas Astron's soldering quality is slightly poor and has a higher resistance.

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nvidia-16-pin-12vhpwr-cable-issues-rtx-4090-rtx-4080-_2

Meanwhile, both the Astron and NTK cable will have to be pushed in with force with NTK requiring a bit more for proper latching. Based on the findings by Igor, the 16-Pin '12VHPWR' cable shouldn't exceed a resistance of over 2 Ohms. Now there's no way to conclude that this is the primary issue as there have been multiple reports before that didn't turn out right. The problem could be a mix of various issues and there are also design revisions underway. It is likely that NVIDIA is waiting for the next revision to drop before providing a final statement on the matter.

NVIDIA 16-Pin 12VHPWR Resistance chart. (Image Credits: Igor's Lab)

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

Problem Cause Solution
Poorly fitting plug,
straight plugging impossible
Injection molding,
Protruding casting residues
Light chamfering
with cutter knife,
do not use contact grease!
Poor fitting connector,
no snap in at the end
Injection molding,
Protruding casting residues,
Poor locking mechanism
Visual control by user
Hot contacts,
Melting of the connector (1)
Bent up Tulip contact by
angled insertion or
moving the connector afterwards
Replacing the cable or adapter
Hot contacts,
Melting of the connector (2)
Bending the adapter or
power supply cable
Replacing the cable or adapter
Hot contacts,
Melting of the connector (3)
All relevant causes Use ATX3 power supplies
with native 12VHPWR connector
or spare PSU cables
(crimped in each case)
Insufficient gripping surface for
the correct insertion to the
end stop
Cooler design None
Insufficient gripping surface for
the correct loosening of the
Connection without bending
Cooler design None
Hot leads
between adapter
and PSU
Adapter with broken
solder joints or broken cable
Exchange adapter
Hot plugs/sockets
on the PSU side
PSU design too weak Replace PSU

News Sources: Videocardz, Tomshardware

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