Gigabyte has fortified the printed circuit boards (PCBs) of its GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 GPUs, and the new RTX 40 Super models, in response to past issues. Last year, some owners of Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 30 series encountered cracking in the PCB where it is held in the PCIe socket.
Graphics card PCBs consist of many layers of conducting paths. Even slight bends can cause problems. Repairing damaged PCBs is possible but requires skilled professionals, and the venture is not cheap.
According to VideoCardz, the first versions of the GeForce RTX 40 series cards also had cracking issues around the holder that keeps the accelerator in the PCIe socket. The damage could occur from installation, removal, or even from the weight of the graphics card itself.
Importantly, this problem with cracking PCBs was not specific to Gigabyte, but also affected accelerators from other manufacturers. However, Gigabyte received attention as it was among the first manufacturers to face this issue. In some cases, owners of the affected cards were denied warranty repair, attributing the problem to user error.
A Reddit user noted in the new 1.1 versions of the RTX 4080 and 4090 Gaming series graphics cards, the PCB area near the PCIe slot is reinforced with an additional layer of laminate.
This update affects not just previously released Gaming models but also the newest Super cards. As seen below, the Super models (second image) have a notably different, lengthier PCB compared to their predecessors. Furthermore, the PCIe socket cutout in the new PCB is considerably smaller, which should significantly lower the risk of cracking in that area.