WTF?! We're used to reading about problems affecting the RTX 4090, but in all fairness to Nvidia, this latest incident could hardly be blamed on Team Green. It seems the culprit was a bug; the literal kind. A winged insect had made its way inside the graphics card, borking the expensive Lovelace product.
YouTube channel NorthWestRepair explained that they were contacted by a customer who wanted a repair for their "brand new" RTX 4090 Founders Edition that was bought at resale without a warranty.
Testing the card revealed that although the fans were blowing and reaching their max speed, no image appeared on the monitor.
What followed next were the standard checks for any obvious problems. It was then time to open up the card and conduct an in-depth examination of the PCB, looking for short circuits, cracks, and faults, checking the BIOS chip for activity, and so on.
Finding no apparent issues, NorthWestRepair moved on to the GPU itself. Desoldering the AD 102 chip revealed something unexpected: the carcass of a winged insect, which appears to have found itself trapped in the unfortunate, and unusual, position between the GPU and PCB pads while the RTX 4090 FE was on the assembly line. The body presumably affected some of the ball grid array (BGA) contacts.
Having discovered what was wrong, NorthWestRepair proceeded to clean and re-ball the GPU before refitting it. He completed the repair process by testing the now fully working card and running some 3Dmark benchmarks.
One might imagine that finding an insect inside a graphics card is a rare occurrence, but NorthWestRepair discovered the same thing inside a Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Ti AMP Extreme Holo he was repairing just three months ago. The repairer found "what was left" of the insect after it tried "to urinate on a powered device."
Nvidia can't blame bugs of the many-legged kind for every RTX 4090 problem. Last week brought news that one of the cards had self-immolated after proper installation and only one year of use for no obvious reason.