Nvidia's 12VHPWR power adapter saga continues, now with a suspect identified. These power adapters are being supplied to Nvidia by two manufacturers, but it seems the melting issue can be isolated to one of them.
This testing was conducted by Igor'sLAB, which has been working with R&D teams from various board partners, Christian Rex from be quiet!, and Gabriele Gorla, director of engineering at Nvidia. According to the latest findings, the GPU manufacturer is getting its power adapters from two manufacturers, NTK and Astron. However, only the latter seems to be problematic.
Image credit: Igor'sLAB
Both are indiscernible to the naked eye and use the same “tulip” connector design, but a closer look will help find the differences. While NTK adapters come with a better latching system and use a one-spring contact design, Astron adapters are easier to plug and come with a two-spring contact design.
Despite their issues, Nvidia's data shows that Astron cables are still within spec. After testing the cables through 10 connection cycles using specific equipment, they were still below 1.5Ohm. However, that contradicts Igor's sources, leaving us uncertain regarding who the culprit is.
All this commotion wasn't enough to dissuade Nvidia from using 12VHPWR to 8-pin power adapters on the RTX 4080 and they will also reportedly be in use for the RTX 3070 Ti. Nvidia should use 12-pin to 3×8-pin adapters on the former and 12-pin to 2×8-pin adapters on the latter.
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KitGuru says: While one source points to Astron cables being problematic, Nvidia’s data suggests otherwise. It is taking quite some time to really find the root cause of this issue, but hopefully Nvidia will have something to publicly announce soon.