Typically, the RTX 4090 GPUs cause various problems. The majority, as we know, are due to their high power consumption and the 12VHPWR connector, which ends up frying and even damaging the PSU cable on some occasions. Now, the famous YouTube technician and repairman, NorthridgeFix, is revealing another issue with these GPUs: 19 RTX 4090 units have arrived with very few days apart, all presenting the same problem – cracks in the PCB.
It is said that time puts everything in its place, and it might be true in this case. When the RTX 4090 was released to the market, one of the main criticisms, apart from the price and power consumption, was related to the heat sinks. These were very large, even larger than those in the RTX 3090. Some manufacturers included a support with their models, but others didn’t…
ASUS and GIGABYTE’s RTX 4090 GPUs have cracks in their PCB
From the outset, we stated that such heavy graphic cards require support, either external or from the case, as well as reinforcement. The heat sinks are so massive that they strain the PCIe connector of the motherboards to the point where reinforced slots are now a standard feature in many ranges, as manufacturers are wary of the trend.
Well, over a year later, this argument has its first example in quantity, thanks to NorthridgeFix, who shows another side of the reality that unfortunately falls out of the manufacturer’s warranty. The final part of the PCIe slot of the graphics cards, which serves as an anchor to attach the card to the motherboard and distribute some of the PCB’s weight to prevent damage in the data contact area, ends up cracking and, in some cases, even breaking.
This issue is not isolated
The technician points out that this is not an isolated occurrence, as GPUs with this problem have occasionally arrived. What is curious is that so many GPUs arrived simultaneously from the same user and two specific, well-known brands: ASUS and GIGABYTE.
Moreover, all of the affected models are RTX 4090s and exhibit the same cracks in their PCB. Specifically, the majority of faults are found in ASUS models, which is strange considering ASUS claims to use a 15-layer PCB. Can they be fixed? Some might be salvageable if the cracks have not damaged critical traces.
To repair this type of PCB, copper is applied to the internal side, while fiberglass is soldered externally to restore rigidity. This does not guarantee that the card will not crack again if it flexes or warps, but providing support or reinforcement after the repair should prevent this issue. However, the cost of such a repair is not cheap and might not be successful depending on the severity of the crack in the RTX 4090 because the PCB could be irreparably damaged.
How did 19 GPUs get damaged for one user?
Since a single user requested the repair of all these models, it is estimated that the individual might have purchased them at a significantly reduced price through various channels, hoping to repair them inexpensively and then sell them at a higher price for a profit. Another hypothesis suggested by the technician is that these GPUs belonged to pre-assembled systems and were damaged during transportation, causing vertical impacts on the PC cases and breaking the GPU slots or causing the cracks in the RTX 4090 PCBs.
In any case, some may be repairable, while others might not. To prevent further issues, users are advised to purchase a vertical support for their GPU if it did not come with one.
The original story, titled “ASUS and GIGABYTE’s RTX 4090 GPUs have cracks in their PCB due to the high weight of the heat sinks,” was first published on El Chapuzas Informático.