Nvidia investigates melting graphics card cable reports

Graphics card-maker Nvidia is investigating reports its latest cards may be causing power cables to melt.

Social-media users posted photos online appearing to show damage to the cable used to power the Nvidia RTX 4090, launched in October 2022.

They claimed the graphics card, which retails for £1,699, was “melting” the adapter supplied in the box.

Nvidia said that it was looking into the claims.

“We continue to investigate the reports – however, we don’t have further details to share yet,” it said.

It was “committed to supporting our customers” and would provide an expedited return service.

Maxed-out settings

The graphics card is the most powerful yet from Nvidia – but this comes at a cost of drawing 450W of power – about half that of a typical microwave.

It allows gamers to play the latest releases at the highest fidelity yet – with 4K resolution and maxed-out settings.

The graphics card proved popular at launch, with UK stock selling out on Nvidia’s website within 10 minutes.

The adapter has 12 pins, arranged in two rows of six.

In the photos posted online, one or more of these pins appear malformed.

Image caption,

A photo posted online showing damage to the Nvidia graphics-card adapter

Jonathan, based in Sweden, one of the people who shared pictures of his graphics card on social media, told BBC News he had been “really surprised and mad” when he discovered the issue.

“I really need the graphics card for my work,” he said. “I cannot do any work without it.

“After the damage, I made a Reddit post, out of frustration – and later, Nvidia contacted me personally. The only thing they did was ask me to [return the card].

“Nvidia should make a public announcement about this issue.”

Image caption,

A different user shares their adapter – with the top-right pin appearing to be affected

Another user, Nicholas, felt “unlucky and a little sad” when he checked his cable.

“Before I even saw the damage, I actually heard it as I was pulling the adapter out,” he said.

“The sound of plastic breaking was pretty bad – the top six pins were melted.”

Image caption,

This photo provided, by Nicholas, shows the slot where the cable is supposed to enter – affected by “melting”

Gordon Fitzsimmons, based in Glasgow, told BBC News he had thought the photos he had seen saw online were a result of user error – until he had received his card.

“You think these people must be abusing the cable,” he said. “They must be bending it really badly, or not plugging it in fully, so I was definitely blaming it on on the user – until, obviously, I opened mine up and [have] seen that one of the pins has just started to melt.

“It does make you very nervous, some of the posts I’ve seen, people are suffering real anxiety over this.”

‘Root cause’

Alex, based in Chicago, also said Nvidia’s response after he discovered the fault in two separate graphics cards had been “unacceptable”.

“The issue has not been resolved,” he told BBC News.

“It is evident by the fact that the replacement graphics card I received is also showing signs of melting.

“There has been no official statement from Nvidia on the matter.

“Nvidia and their partners should make a recall.”

Electrical Safety First product-safety engineer Giuseppe Capanna said: “Issues surrounding melted plastic are indicative of a build-up of heat that should otherwise not be occurring to this level.

“Where plastic is melting, temperatures may be exceeding an acceptable level – and the root cause should certainly be investigated by any manufacturer with haste.”

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