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Creator of spec for melting RTX 4090 cables urges Nvidia, others to 'ensure user safety'

Testing is your responsibility, not ours, says PCI-SIG

Nvidia and other GPU makers have been urged to "ensure end user safety" by the consortium that created the specification for the 12VHPWR connector used in Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090, which has been the subject of multiple complaints of melting cables.

The consortium, PCI-SIG, said it issued the recent statement to member companies partly in response to a lawsuit filed against Nvidia last month by a user whose RTX 4090 connector melted shortly after plugging the graphics card into his computer. The legal complaint claims the meltdown poses a "serious electrical and fire hazard" and seeks damages from Nvidia for alleged fraud, among other charges.

PCI-SIG said its message was also in response to a report from "one manufacturer" about potential issues with the 12VHPWR connector.

"PCI-SIG wishes to impress upon all Members that manufacture, market or sell PCI-SIG technologies (including 12VHPWR connections) the need to take all appropriate and prudent measures to ensure end user safety, including testing for the reported problem cases involving consumers as alleged in the above-referenced lawsuit," the organization said.

The statement added that PCI-SIG is responsible for providing "necessary technical information for interoperability" related to its specifications, leaving crucial steps of their implementation to member companies.

"When implementing a PCI-SIG specification, Members are responsible for the design, manufacturing, and testing, including safety testing, of their products," PCI-SIG argued. Unusually, PCI-SIG forwarded the message to The Register unprompted.

The consortium's statement comes after Nvidia said in mid-November that it believes RTX 4090 cables are melting because users are not fully plugging them in. The GPU maker suggests users plug the connector into the graphics card before slotting it into the motherboard to avoid such issues.

At the time, the GeForce designer admitted it was aware of 50 cases globally of RTX 4090 cables melting, and added it was "investigating additional ways to ensure the connector is secure." The company has vowed to expedite authorized returns of RTX 4090 cards made by Nvidia and partners, regardless of the cable used.

Nvidia spoke up after several complaints, including the lawsuit, piled up about melting or burning RTX 4090 cables following the October launch of its $1,599 graphics card.

Due to the card's extravagant energy requirements – 450 watts for regular power consumption and 600 watts for overclocking – Nvidia introduced the 12VHPWR power connector to maintain sufficient juice. ®

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