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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Gigabyte graphics cards had a problem, but it’s now been fixed

There’s been a problem recently with Gigabyte graphics card cracks, with the company’s cards based on Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 GPUs suffering cracks around the PCIe connector. However, while users with these original versions of the cards are still stuck having to use the original board design, Gigabyte has at least taken steps to fix the issue for future buyers, by changing the PCB.

The new revision 1.1 versions of its RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 – along with new models such as the RTX 4080 Super – incorporate a wider PCB design around the PCIe connector. Whereas on the previous design, the PCB’s edge stepped in towards the GPU, creating a deeper cutout near the PCIe pins, the new board design steps out, reducing the depth of the cutout and in turn reducing the leverage on that section of the PCB. You can see the difference in the comparison image below where the old design is in the top left and the new design the bottom right.

This older design was also used on some RTX 30 series cards, with similar cracks reported by some users, but because of the age of those older cards, they won’t be receiving the revised PCB version. Indeed it’s only really the RTX 4090 that’s really relevant for this new design, as the RTX 4080 is being phased out anyway, along with most other non-Super RTX 40 cards.

Examples of cracked Gigabyte graphics cards - source: Louis Rossman/ebay

The redesigned PCB was spotted by a Reddit user who also reports that both revisions of the RTX 4090 will remain in production, with the revision 1.0 version also using a different power delivery design that happens to have significantly less coil whine than the new version. So, it sounds like you’ll have to choose between a card that’s quieter but more crack-prone, or a noisier but tougher card, if you even get the option to choose which version of the card you buy.

Gigabyte graphics card cracks comparison. Top left: old board design. Bottom right: new board design

Of course, the biggest takeaway from this news is that, regardless of which version of this card you buy, or which version of any large graphics card you buy, you should always use a graphics card support to reduce the risk of damaging your card or your motherboard. Any card smaller than an RTX 4070 Super is fine without one, but a colossus such as the RTX 4080 Super should be supported properly – or mounted vertically.

Have you ever had a problem with your giant modern graphics card breaking when trying to build a gaming PC? If so, let us know what happened and whether you managed to get a replacement on our Facebook and X pages. Meanwhile, head on over to our best graphics card guide for a current pick of the finest GPUs, big and small.



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