NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics card is broken by a bug - and we mean an actual insect

Strange goings on in the cleanroom, apparently, as a flagship Lovelace graphics card ends up failing to work due to a insect trapped inside somehow.

1 minute & 24 seconds read time

There are a number of reasons why a graphics card might give up the ghost, if you're unlucky, but this is a new one, with an NVIDIA RTX 4090 appearing to have died thanks to an insect introduced on the assembly line.

As highlighted by Ghost_motley on X (formerly Twitter), the discovery of the very literal hardware bug was made by NorthWestRepair and shared in a YouTube clip (see above).

The RTX 4090 in question would spin up its fans, but was producing no video output, with the monitor remaining blank.

On taking apart the graphics card, the repair shop found that a small winged insect was trapped between the GPU and PCB pads, which must have somehow flown in during the manufacturing process.

Surprising? Yes indeed, because graphics cards are manufactured in a cleanroom environment, meaning that there's even a strict limit on how many dust particles can be present in that space, let alone bugs.

Furthermore, after this incident occurred during the making of the card, you'd expect quality assurance would have picked up on the problematic RTX 4090.

The tale of the buyer of this RTX 4090 graphics card is that they purchased the 'as new' card at a resale price with no warranty (yikes), Tom's Hardware reports.

The good news is that the repair outfit managed to extract the bug, clean everything up, put the GPU back, and the RTX 4090 worked, producing an image output. Otherwise that bargain flagship graphics card would have been quite the money sink.

All's well that ends well in this strange tale, then, and we're betting that NorthWestRepair won't ever face this particular problem when dealing with troubleshooting graphics cards in the future.

In other recent NVIDIA news, Team Green has confirmed that DLSS 3 frame generation appearing to work on GeForce RTX 2000 and 3000 GPUs was a bug (not of the insect variety this time).

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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