What you're asking (really!) is "why did PNY's circuit designers/EE folks change something". I don't think anyone on the Internet is going to know the answer. But I know someone who will have the 100% correct/factual answer.
It may have to do with PCB/circuit optimisation on the card itself (this is incredibly common and usually relates to cost savings -- this is done across hardware universally, not just consumer products), or may have done it citing concerns over noise picked up across nearby ports (i.e. moving the HDMI connection further away from the DVI ports, since DVI ports do offer analog output across some pins). It may be that the actual board layout differs from the nVidia reference model (if you were to remove the HSF you could probably tell -- I would not recommend doing it however). The list of possibilities are quite endless. For a comparison, take a look at Gigabyte motherboards sometime; version 1.0, version 1.1, version 2.0, version 2.1 -- then compare high-resolution pictures of all the boards. You'll find trace/layout changes, removal of circuitry/components, and in some cases actual changing of chip manufacturers. The same could be said about a video card; there is a lot more on a video card than just the GPU and RAM, you know.
So who is it that'd have the answer? PNY. Send them an Email or give them a phone call, provide them photos of their card vs. competitors cards or reference designs, and ask nicely if an engineer could explain the reason for the layout adjustment. Be sure to state that your inquiry stems purely from curiosity and that you're not having any technical issues with the card.--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.