There have been many theories and tests regarding the 12VHPWR connector disaster and why the connector is either getting burned or damaged. Alongside many independent testers, Nvidia is also investigating the issue independently to get to the bottom of it, and it seems we finally might have an answer.
According to Gabriele Gorla (Director of Engineering at NVIDIA), there are currently two manufacturers for the 12VHPWR connector. Furthermore, there are also differences in the connector between the two manufacturers. These companies include Astron and NTK, both of which are based in Taiwan.
From his testing on the 12VHPWR connector, Igor also discovered that the connector manufactured by NTH is indeed better. NTK 12VHPWR connector is equipped with a better latching system that relies on one spring contact compared to the two-spring contact design that Astron is using.
NTH and Astron are also competing against each other; maybe that is why both are using different latching designs for the 12VHPWR connector.
Aside from the above changes made to the 12VHPWR connector, NTK and Astron use the same Tulip connector design. However, the connector made by NTK does require more force to attach itself to the GPU fully. Compared to NTK, the 12VHPWR connector from Astron is also said to have higher resistance and lower durability, according to @Igor’s Lab.
Currently, Igor is not blaming Astron for its defective 12VHPWR connector, though Nvidia can easily test it by measuring its durability after the 10-rated connection cycles with proper equipment.
The 12VHPWR connector has been a real disaster, and many interested in getting their hands on the GeForce RTX 4090 are staying away for now. It’s also rumored that the upcoming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti might come with the 16-pin power connector instead used on the RTX 3000 Founder series, and it also confirmed that Nvidia would not be dealing with Astron going forward.
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