NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Reviews Go Live, Worth the Hype?

4K 144FPS Gaming Just Got Real

We finally have the official reviews of NVIDIA’s top-notch RTX 4090. With these GPUs retailing tomorrow, a summary regarding the performance can provide a better overview of what to expect. Starting off, all credits go to Gamer’s Nexus, Hardware Unboxed and BPS Customs for providing us with the necessary data and charts.

The Lovelace King

The RTX 4090 is built on the AD102 GPU, which is unparalleled in terms of performance, however it’s not the full-fat version of the chip. NVIDIA is saving that for later. Regardless, the GPU features a massive 24GB of Samsung-made GDDR6X memory running at 24Gbps, amounting up to an effective bandwidth of 1152GB/s across a 384-bit bus.

Packed with 16384 CUDA Cores, this powerhouse has 75 billion transistors in total, more than 2.5x than the RTX 3090 Ti

All this power does come at the cost of, well, power. The RTX 4090 has a TDP of 450W and will require at least a 850W power supply to boot. Arriving on the 12th of October, the RTX 4090 is all yours for $1599

Gaming Performance

Jumping straight to the gaming metrics, we have the RTX 4090 rightfully claiming the throne of the ‘Fastest Gaming GPU’.

In Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Extraction, the 4090 overtakes the Ampere kingpin by a whopping 60%

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Extraction 4K Very High | Hardware Unboxed

In Far Cry 6 at 4K High settings, the RTX 4090 surpasses the 144FPS threshold without breaking a sweat. At lower resolutions, the difference does decrease. Although, for such a GPU, 4K is considered modest.

Far Cry 6 4K High | Hardware Unboxed

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a game that requires raw raster performance. The RTX 4090 does lose its lead as compared to other benchmarks. However, a 100FPS+ experience is no where near slow. Do bear in mind, at slightly tuned down settings, you can achieve a much higher framerate.

Assassins Creed Valhalla 4K Very High | Hardware Unboxed

Moving over to Hitman 3, the RTX 4090 flexes its muscles as it surpasses the RTX 3090 Ti by 60%

Hitman 3 4K Ultra | Hardware Unboxed

The raw raster performance of the RTX 4090 in Cyberpunk 2077 stands out to be around 50%. With the added DLSS 3.0 and RTX Overdrive support, this lead increases to the 3 digit territory. Still, for a once-unplayable game, the RTX 4090 delivers quite respectable performance.

Cyberpunk 2077 4K High | Hardware Unboxed

You asked, and they delivered. Using the new DLSS 3.0 technology exclusive to the RTX 4000 lineup, we are seeing the RTX 4090 pull ahead by ….. 145%. That is one of the largest leaps we have witnessed from generation to generation. For Ray tracing improvements, the 4090 boasts 45 FPS, which for the sake of comparison is an 80% uplift from its predecessor.

Cyberpunk 2077 4K High with DLSS 3 Comparisons | Hardware Unboxed

Synthetic Workloads

In heavy and synthetic workloads, the RTX 4090 leaves no loose end. By scoring 20,263 points in TSE (Time Spy Extreme), this GPU has already claimed a world record title. That’s literally twice the performance of an RTX 3090

RTX 4090 in TSE | BPS Customs

Port Royal sees the RTX 4090 crush all other offerings by scoring 27,014 points. For reference, that’s around 80% more than what an RTX 3090 Ti offers. Do note that since some overclocking was done by BPS Customs, your mileage may vary.

RTX 4090 in Port Royal | BPS Customs

Thermals & Power Consumption

As of now, reviewers can only benchmark the RTX 4090 FE (Founders Edition). The reviews for the AIB variants are expected to go live tomorrow. Gamer’s Nexus tested the RTX 4090 for around 90 minutes and the GPU core remained at 65-70C. The hot spot is slightly higher, reaching the mid 80s but nothing too dangerous. 

(During this test, the ambient temperature remained in between 20-25C)

RTX 4090 FE Thermals | Gamer’s Nexus

The RTX 4090 consumes round about 496.2W of power which is lower than a few custom 3090 Ti variants. Lovelace really does bump up the power consumption. The higher end GPUs in this lineup may consume something around the ballpark of 700W based on the variant used.

RTX 4090 Power Consumption | Gamer’s Nexus

A New Power Supply?

Gamer’s Nexus investigated a slight variation in the transient spikes on the RTX 4090. The longest spike lasted for around 1010 microseconds (1.1ms) which is capable of shutting down a low end/mid ranged power supply. With the added 800-1200W PSU requirement, one should factor in the cost of a new power supply. The last thing you’d want is for a cheap PSU to ruin your day.

RTX 4090 Transient Spikes | Gamer’s Nexus

Price-To-Performance

Hardware Unboxed showed a few charts displaying the price/performance ratios of the 4090 against its last-gen competitors. The RTX 4090 at MSRP offers a reasonable cost efficiency ratio. Albiet, if you do not need the 4090’s horsepower you can opt for something like an RTX 3070 or even an RX 6800 XT, the latter of which is slightly more expensive.

RTX 4090 1440P Cost Per Frame | Hardware Unboxed

The RTX 4090 is overkill for 1440P and 1080P gaming. Such a behemoth has been made to fuel much more demanding scenarios such as 4K Ultra or even 8K gaming if one so desires. In the 4K price-to-performance category, the RTX 4090 provides really good value. Against a 4K capable GPU, such as the 3090 or the 6900 XT, the RTX 4090 is ahead in the the price/performance ratio.

RTX 4090 4K Cost Per Frame | Hardware Unboxed

Worth Your Money?

The RTX 4090 initially on-paper looked too good to be true. However, these benchmarks speak for themselves. The $1599 price is oversimplified. Add a new case and a new PSU to the equation and you’ll find yourself much higher than the specified MSRP. Although, even at such prices, the 4090 still offers a massive uplift.

For casual gamers, 4K 144FPS may sound intriguing. Although, in most titles (AAA), a 60FPS+ experience is what the majority prefers. For e-sports titles, the Ampere based 3070 and 3060 Ti GPUs still pack a punch. 

All in all, this situation is the same as;

I paid for the whole Speedometer, I’m gonna use the whole Speedometer

But in reality, you won’t

This article would not have been possible without the figures and benchmarks from Gamer’s Nexus, Hardware Unboxed and BPS Customs.

Abdullah Faisal
With a love for computers since the age of give, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.
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