When Nvidia launched the RTX 4090, the card was almost universally praised for the performance uplift it offered while also being not much more expensive than its predecessor, the RTX 3090. In fact, the 4090 is probably the most recommended card among all the other top-end RTX 40-series GPUs.
The RTX 4080 16GB was also launched around the same time and while the press had no complaints about it, like those related to VRAM or other key hardware specs, both the premium 40-series GPUs had one major issue which was definitely making it hard to recommend them without a second thought. This was due to reports of melting, burning, and frying 12VHPWR 16-pin PCIe 5.0 connectors which powered these cards.
Testing and in-depth investigation suggested that improper contact and connection between the pins and the power socket was causing this and this scared a lot of potential buyers of these GPUs as it was seemingly much more difficult to ensure that the power connector was securely inserted properly and securely in its place. The problem generated so much buzz that AMD used it to favorably market its own RX 7900 series cards as they don't come with the new connector and instead carry traditional 8-pins. While such reports were first based mainly on GPU-side melting, earlier this year, a PSU-side melting case was also found.
Workarounds and solutions for this problem have been proposed and one of those was by MSI where the vendor proposed a simple yet effective solution with bright yellow colored 16-pin power connectors that will not be visible to the user once the connector is properly seated. However, this does not resolve the potential cause of the issue and is only a workaround that still relies on the user being careful and attentive when connecting the PSU cables.
Hardware Busters today published a video that shows a new breakthrough 12V-2×6 PCIe 12VHPWR connector that seems to perform near-miraculously, relatively speaking, as it functions within spec even when not seated properly.
As you can see in the images above (click on them to zoom in), when load-testing the 12V-2×6 cable using a Jartul JT6322A (1200W/150V/240A) DC electronic unit, the cable displays almost identical readings across voltage, current and power, and is able to sustain nearly 645W of load both times, despite one of them being not inserted properly. If you weren't able to guess which one that is, the one on the right is the correct answer.
Source and images: Hardware Busters (YouTube)