NVIDIA confirms there are two manufacturers of 12VHPWR power adapter cables

Published: Nov 14th 2022, 09:16 GMT   Comments

There are two manufacturers of NVIDIA’s 12VHPWR connector, and you should probably avoid one

Igor’sLAB is working tirelessly to get to the bottom of the 12VHPWR ‘melting’ problem reported by many users already. The latest development is a discovery that there are two manufacturers of the NVIDIA official adapter cable and only one is showing problems thus far.

The discovery is a result of a long investigation that involved R&D teams from various board partners and NVIDIA themselves, as Gabriele Gorla (Director of Engineering at NVIDIA) was kind to share some further details. The company even provided a presentation that explains the differences between both types of cables.

It is said that the official NVIDIA 600W cable that is bundled with all GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards was either manufactured by a company called Astron or NTK, both are Taiwanese companies that compete with each other. Igor discovered that the NTK cable has a better latching system, and it uses one spring contact, as opposed to Astron’s two-spring contact design.

Astron x4 vs NTK x4 12VHPWR connector, Source: Igor’sLAB

Both adapters use the same ‘tulip’ connector design. The NTK connector requires more press-in force.

12VHPWR connector types, Source: Igor’sLAB/NVIDIA

The Astron cables are said to have lower durability and higher resistance than NTK cables, which is reportedly measurable with proper equipment after 10 connection cycles. NVIDIA is conducting their tests to measure how connection cycles affect the resistance, which should not exceed 2 Ohms.

12VHPWR resistance/connection cycles, Source: Igor’sLAB/NVIDIA

Igor is not pointing fingers at Astron (yet). The conclusion will require a test at a much larger scale than a single reviewer simply cannot do. So, Igor is doing the second-best thing he can right now, which is to provide a list of known issues, their causes and possible solutions. This is something that NVIDIA has thus far failed to do.

NVIDIA 12VHPWR Power Adapter Issues and Solutions (Igor’sLAB)
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 causesUse 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 designNone
Insufficient gripping surface for
the correct loosening of the
Connection without bending
Cooler designNone
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 weakReplace PSU

What is interesting to note is that NVIDIA reportedly will use a dual 8-pin to 16-pin power adapter for its upcoming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti (so a third variant following 3×8pin for 4080 and 4×8pin for 4090). However, in this case, NVIDIA will not use Astron as a supplier of the cable, confirms Igor.

Source: Igor’sLAB

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