A hot potato: In a move that should come as little surprise, an RTX 4090 owner has launched a class-action lawsuit against Nvidia over the melting 16-pin power adapter issue. There is still plenty of debate over the root of the problem, but the plaintiff claims he is experienced in the installation of graphics cards, seemingly in an attempt to rule out the popular theory of user error.
The RTX 4090 owner (name redacted) filed the lawsuit on November 11 in California federal court. It claims that Nvidia sold its current Lovelace flagship cards with "defective and dangerous power cable plug and socket(s), which has rendered consumers' cards inoperable and poses a serious electrical and fire hazard for each and every purchaser."
Genova, who bought his RTX 4090 from Best Buy for $1,599.99, points to a Reddit thread that shows at least 26 other users who have experienced the same melting issue.
There have been numerous theories as to what's causing the problem. Igor's Lab reports that adapters made by supplier Astron are more likely to melt than those from NTK. However, Gamers Nexus did a deep dive and concluded that the melting occurs when the connector is partially unseated and the cable pulled at an angle. Foreign object debris, possibly caused by manufacturing error or a design flaw, can also play a part, but this is rare. The channel estimates that the failure rate for the cards is fewer than 0.1%.
While it does appear that the 16-pin adapters are melting because people aren't plugging them in securely enough, Genova claims he is "experienced in the installation of computer componentry like graphics cards" and followed best practices when installing the RTX 4090, but the adapter still melted.
The suit makes several allegations against Nvidia, including fraud, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.
Nvidia has not made any public comments on the melting adapters issue other than recently confirming that it is investigating the reports and has nothing to share at this time. It'll be interesting to see how it responds to something which, while impacting a tiny number of owners and appears to be caused mainly by users, has resulted in plenty of memes and mockery.
AMD's Scott Herkalman recently took the opportunity to throw some shade Nvidia's way with a tweet showing the dual 8-pin connectors on the company's upcoming Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card.