PCI-SIG says it’s not to blame for melting 12VHPWR cables

Hot potato: Various organizations have been accused of melting power cable connectors on Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 4000 series graphics cards. The consortium that governs the PCI specifications is the latest to deny any issues with the completion of the manufacturing process, reminding manufacturers to take proper precautions.

Peripheral Component Interoperability Special Group (PCI-SIG) delivered official response to the press this week about melting power cables for Nvidia’s latest GPUs. The standard group security reminder suggests that the problem is not with the group or the end users, but with the producers.

PCI-SIG publishes and manages specifications for many aspects of PCs, including 12HPWR power cables, which have been the subject of recent controversy. He said his specs include all the necessary technical compatibility information, and the rest is up to manufacturers basing products on those specs—in this case, Nvidia alone. PCI-SIG suggested that Nvidia was responsible for properly designing, manufacturing, and testing products such as GPU power cable connectors.

Since late October, users have been complaining about melting power connectors on the Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card. They were quick to blame the adapters the company included to make the 12VHPWR 16-pin cables compatible with older ATX 2.0 power supplies. The cables natively only support the newer but less common ATX 3.0 power supplies.

One customer filed a class action lawsuit against Nvidia, calling its adapters dangerous and defective. However, separate investigations by Nvidia and Gamers Nexus show that only a small percentage of users are experiencing the issue and that it is due to improperly connected cables. PCI-SIG said it was aware of the lawsuit but only directed its security advisory to manufacturers, not customers.

The adapters appear to be safe for most users who follow the instructions, although Igor’s Lab thinks they can be a bit delicate. If you are unsure about the availability of power connector adapters for the RTX 4090 or 4080, you can purchase third party adapters or upgrade to an ATX 3.0 power supply to eliminate the need for adapters. Upgrading the power supply will only add a couple of hundred dollars to the price of any GPU, both of which are over $1,000.

All this confusion has given AMD more room to compete with Nvidia. The upcoming AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT GPUs are cheaper than their RTX 4000 equivalents and do not require adapters for ATX 2.0 power supplies. The company has not hesitated to highlight both benefits.

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