Well, we all knew this was coming. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Nvidia following numerous reports of melted RTX 4090 cables and cards. The company has yet to address the issue publicly, and the investigation has not yet yielded a specific cause. Still, it’s undeniable that some people’s cards have gone up in smoke. Now a California man is seeking redress through the courts. However, it is unclear at this time how many RTX 4090 owners will join the lawsuit. By our count, despite Nvidia selling over 100,000 GPUs so far, we’ve only seen a few dozen molten cards showing up online.
According to TechSpot, the lawsuit was filed on November 11 in the Northern District of California on behalf of a gamer named Lucas Genova. The lawsuit alleges that Nvidia is guilty of fraud for selling GPUs with known defects that cause cables and connectors to melt. He claims that Nvidia “sold defective and dangerous power cable plugs and socket(s), rendering customers’ cards inoperable and creating a serious electrical and fire hazard for every purchaser.” While some have theorized the meltdown was due to user error, Genova says that wasn’t the case in her case. He says he is “experienced in installing computer components like graphics cards.” It’s speculated that people aren’t plugging the power cable all the way in, partly because of the adapter’s design. Genova insists he followed best practices in installing his GPU and it still melted.
The case comes after weeks of online investigation and speculation about the cause. Even when online sleuths have tried to unravel an adapter cable, they have almost always failed. This has led to further confusion as to the root cause. Gamer Nexus did some deep dives, and reported that it’s only affecting a small number of users. With the Nvidia partner it spoke to, the failure rate is only 0.05 to 0.1 percent of all RTX 4090 owners. The results of all the various analyzes are summarized in a megathread on Reddit.
The YouTuber also said that any RTX 4090 can just fail, not just certain ones. However, he says it’s usually due to not being inserted properly with The wire is being pulled taut. This kind of supports what Corsair’s PSU chief said recently. He said the main reason for this is that the adapter cable is not inserted correctly. It is relatively simple visually due to the design of the connector. For some reason they are designed to require a lot of force to ensure a proper connection. People also tend to treat $1,600 GPUs with kid gloves.
Regardless, we’re still waiting for Nvidia to clarify the situation. This is affecting a minimal number of RTX 4090 owners, but it casts a shadow over Nvidia’s adapter design. It even allowed AMD to sink its rival using the current power cable on its RDNA3 GPU.
[Update: Just as we went to press, Nvidia delivered its verdict on the issue, which we will cover in a separate piece. TL;DR, the company also believes it’s due to cables not being fully inserted. — Ed]