Gigabyte has quietly released a revised version of its RTX 4090 Windforce graphics card. What's interesting about this card isn't anything to do with higher clocks or dramatic cooler changes, it's the positioning of the 12VHPWR power connector common to Nvidia's high end RTX 40 cards.
The change was spotted by Harukaze5719. They show the card's power connector has been repositioned away from the typical placement and shifted to a 90 degree position or facing what would usually be the front of the case.
It's so simple. I'm wondering why this isn't a far more common implementation. It's more aesthetically pleasing for a start. The recessed connector and resulting positioning of the cable length ways along the card gets rid of what can be a protruding eye-sore. The cable can then discreetly be routed out behind the motherboard tray leaving a cleaner looking build.
But there's another benefit. Following early reports of melting power connectors and the public relations blowback that came with them, Nvidia and third party suppliers including CableMod recommended users try to minimize the bending of the cables and connectors. This can be exacerbated if an outward facing connector is pressed up against a case side panel or window. Gigabyte's connector position removes that problem.
Though it turned out to be an overblown issue, anything that keeps your shiny and expensive graphics card purring along with a reduced risk of power connectors turning into molten plastic slag is welcome.
Surprisingly, a look at Gigabyte's RTX 4090 Windforce V2 product page shows absolutely no reference to the repositioned connector, despite it requiring a substantial design alteration. A large section of the heatsink has had to be removed to accommodate the change.
The loss of a chunk of heatsink will surely result in slightly higher temperatures, but luckily the RTX 4090 isn't the volcano we feared it might be, when rumors of insane 600W and higher TDPs were doing the rounds in the weeks and months prior to launch.
If you hate seeing ugly power cables sticking out the side of your graphics card, this Gigabyte model might be worth a look.
On a related note, if you're in the market for a new power supply, you could consider one of MSI's MEG power supplies. They've got ridiculously simple bright yellow plugs that makes it obvious to see if it's not plugged in all the way. Genius.