In 1946, computer science pioneer Grace Hopper used the word “bug” to refer to a malfunction in a computer at the Harvard Computation Laboratory, which was caused by a moth trapped inside a relay. Engineers were already calling defects bugs at the time, building on the word’s connection to the same root as “bugbear” in the sense of an annoyance, but it’s a fun fact that the first computer bug was an actual literal insect. And so was the one recently found by YouTuber northwestrepair in an RTX 4090 Founders Edition.
The GPU was apparently bought at resale and so didn’t have a warranty, which is how it ended up in the hands of northwestrepair, AKA Tony, when it didn’t work. On testing it he found that the fan blew, though there was no picture. After thoroughly checking the card for short circuits, cracks, and activity around the BIOS chip, he eventually popped open the core and uncovered the culprit.
“I don’t know exactly what that thing was,” Tony said after extricating the dead insect. “It looked like it had wings.”
This isn’t the first time one of northwestrepair’s videos has traced a fault to a literal bug, with this Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Ti AMP Extreme Holo suffering a similar fate. “I think I found the bug,” Tony said while lifting that one’s remains. “Or what was left of it after trying to urinate on a powered device.”
Even when they don’t involve dead insects being liberated from their GPU tombs, the videos on nortwestrepair’s channel are enjoyably soothing. If you want to see chips being flooded with flux while some chill tunes play, you could do worse than checking them out.