Don’t Buy an Nvidia RTX 4090 Until You Read This

NVIDIA Geforce RTX 4090 gpu

Don’t Buy an Nvidia RTX 4090 Until You Read This

Key Points

  • The Nvidia RTX 4090 is one of the most expensive GPUs on the market, retailing for $1,599 and potentially up to $2,500 due to supply shortages.
  • The RTX 4090 features Nvidia’s new Ada Lovelace architecture and offers improved ray tracing, DLSS, and DirectX 12 Ultimate support compared to previous models.
  • The RTX 4090 requires a 16-pin power connector and a minimum of 450W of power, making it a power-hungry GPU that may require a high-end power supply.
  • The RTX 4090 delivers impressive 4K gaming performance and rendering capabilities, with significant improvements in rendering speed compared to previous-gen RTX cards.
  • The RTX 4090 is compatible with PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 motherboards, but it requires a minimum of three PCIe slots and a large case due to its size.

The Nvidia RTX 4090 is one of the highest-end GPUs you can buy right now, but before you go ahead and buy one, wait! 

You should know a few different things before spending such a large amount of hard-earned cash. It is one of the most expensive GPUs on the market today, after all. 

But do you really get your money’s worth with this card?

This article will examine the advantages and disadvantages of owning an RTX 4090, highlighting the GPU’s performance, price-to-performance ratio, and power and space requirements for your gaming setup. 

High Efficiency
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
  • Has 16,384 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
  • Supports 4K 120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR
  • Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
  • Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores that offer 2x AI performance
  • Third-Gen RT Cores
  • AI-Accelerated Performance: NVIDIA DLSS 3
  • NVIDIA Reflex low-latency platform
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11/25/2023 10:30 pm GMT

Nvidia RTX 4090: Overview

Tech enthusiasts, hardcore gamers, and 3D artists swoon over the Nvidia RTX 4090 as it features Nvidia’s new Ada Lovelace architecture. Plus, it improved on many of the features we first saw in the RTX 3000 series GPUs, including ray tracing, DLSS, and DirectX 12 Ultimate support. 

But specs and performance aside, you can’t overlook your power and space requirements when looking at a 4090. This thing is a large triple-slot card requiring a 16-pin power connector and a minimum of 450W of power! 

Such a hefty card is overkill for almost anything, at least in regard to gaming. Still, the RTX 4090 provides dependable 4K gaming performance. But even with its performance chops, it might not be a good gaming card, if only due to its prohibitively high price. 

Release date and price

The RTX 4090 was initially promised to launch on September 20th of, 2022, but setbacks and delays caused Nvidia to miss that date by almost a month. Nvidia finally released the RTX 4090 on October 12, 2022, for an asking price of $1,599. It’s been at the top of the list regarding both price and performance graphics cards ever since.

Listening to the whispers coming from the gaming community, the RTX 4090 isn’t very competitive regarding price. Why? Well, it currently sells for almost $1,000 more than the RTX 4070, another one of Nvidia’s 4K GPUs. 

Supply shortages are also hitting the RTX 4090 at the moment, with the card retailing anywhere from its $1,599 MSRP point up to $2,500. 


Graphics ProcessorAda Lovelace
CUDA Cores16,384
Tensor Cores512
Ray-Tracing Cores128
Power Draw 450W
Base Clock Speed2,235 MHz
Boost Clock Speed2,520 MHz
Memory24GB of GDDR6X
Slots RequiredTriple Slot Cooler
Display Outputs1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a

Different Models

There are several models available of the RTX 4090. The specifications listed above are for what could be considered the ‘standard’ version of the RTX 4090: that of the Nvidia Founders Edition of the card. 

The other models of the 4090 available on the market are overclocked versions of the card, which provide higher boost clock speeds and more specialized cooling features. 

Brands like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and even Zotac offer modified versions of the RTX 4090 with even more design elements and thermal enhancements to take full advantage of this GPU’s horsepower.

Additionally, editions of the card add extra cores for ray-tracing or a slightly higher CUDA core count, but it comes at the cost of requiring more power. For an additional cost, there are also editions of the 4090 in both the standard and overclocked editions that provide users with RGB lighting. 

Budget 4090
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 Trinity
  • Speed: 21Gbps
  • Features IceStorm 3.0 Advanced Cooling
  • Includes RGB lighting (Spectra 2.0)
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11/27/2023 01:51 am GMT


The RTX 4090 is packed with cutting-edge features, utilizing the newest edition of Nvidia DLSS 3, which provides users with AI-accelerated performance. DLSS3 uses AI to create additional frames and utilizes the GPU’s 512 tensor cores. 

As a rendering technique, it boosts framerates by rendering at a lower resolution, which is then upscaled using AI deep learning in real-time to boost the frames to that of the native resolution. 

The ray-tracing cores are dedicated cores that handle the bulk of the rendering workload. These hardware-based cores improve rendering speeds, and the RTX 4090 has shown significant enhancement in rendering performance compared to previous-gen RTX cards.

For instance, the RTX 4090 has been able to complete the Blender rendering test in half the amount of time as the previous-gen RTX 3090 Ti. 

For both high-end gaming and rendering workloads, users will have everything they need with software features such as DirectX 12 Ultimate, OpenGL 4.6, and Vulkan 1.3. These are all vital technologies for taking advantage of the latest games and 3D software.

Nvidia RTX 4090: Review

Nvidia has dominated the graphics card market over the past few years, moving rapidly from generation to generation, offering impressive upgrades at every turn.

The newest GPUs released by Nvidia, of which the 4090 is the highest end, utilize ray-tracing cores and tensor cores to boost their overall performance and efficiency when rendering 4K visuals. 

The RTX 4090 is an impressively powerful graphics card that features the AD102-300 GPU on the Ada Lovelace architecture and comes with 16384 CUDA cores for blazing-fast 3D renders alongside the 2520 MHz base clock speed. 

These numbers might not mean anything if you don’t know what you’re looking at. But to put it simply, it makes the GPU around four times faster than its predecessor, the RTX 3090

It’s an overkill card at the time of writing but in the best ways possible. If you are a 3D artist or a tech enthusiast who loves to play games at their Ultra maxed out settings, you can’t go wrong with the RTX 4090 in terms of raw power.

In rendering tests using Blender, the RTX 4090 has shown a 105% improvement in rendering performance in tests conducted by several graphics card owners. There’s also a noticeable 85% increase in FPS over the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti in all rendering tests. 

The RTX 4090 can exceed or be matched with the performance of 3090 24GB cards, and this can particularly be felt in video editing, where users see nearly double the speed of the 3090 with a 4090 GPU. 

RTX 4090
The RTX 4090 is designed to take a high-end build to the next level, with cutting-edge graphics performance.


Graphics Quality

The RTX 4090 delivers a leap in performance for both gaming and rendering. It can achieve a high FPS during 4K resolution gameplay with maximum or ultra settings and ray-tracing enabled. In benchmark tests, it tests anywhere from 60% to 90% faster than the previous generation RTX 3090, and the speed boost and frame boost really shine with ray-tracing enabled in games. 

Color reproduction is excellent on the 4090, supporting HDR content and providing vivid and accurate colors, as long as you use the RTX 4090 with a 4K HDR-enabled monitor. With a good 4K monitor, the RTX 4090 provides some of the best graphical fidelity seen so far in the world of discrete graphics cards.

It’s truly an amazing graphics card in terms of quality, but as previously mentioned, it comes with a high barrier to entry.  If you can pay the price, you’ll join the upper echelon of GPU enthusiasts, touting the absolute bleeding edge of graphics quality.


As a high-end new graphics card, the RTX 4090 makes use of the new 12+4 12V power connector, but to make the card compatible with most users’ systems, the 4090 ships with a PCI-e 8-pin to 12V adapter. This is a welcome gesture from Nvidia. One less part to buy!

The 4090 is compatible with both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 motherboards, but it will require a minimum of three PCIe slots to fit, so make sure you have enough space both on your motherboard and also in your case if you are looking at buying an RTX 4090.

Remember that the RTX 4090 measures anywhere from 12 to 14 inches in length and 5.5 inches in width. That is massive for a GPU. So, always double-check your case clearance before purchasing a new GPU. In reality, you should probably just pick up a new PC case altogether to house this giant.

Power and Cooling

As we’ve previously mentioned, the RTX 4090 is a power-hungry beast of a GPU. The RTX 4090 has a total graphics power (TGP) of 450W, and Nvidia recommends that your power supply provides at least 850W minimum to use the RTX 4090 at its proper voltage. If you pair the RTX 4090 with a powerful processor and other high-end components, we suggest using at least a 1000W power supply with the RTX 4090. 

As you might expect from the power requirements of the RTX 4090, this GPU runs hot. Nvidia has provided the RTX 4090 with a few new cooling features designed to keep the card running cool and quiet, with a flow-through cooler design that allows the fans to stop operating when temperatures and loads are low. 

How hot the card runs are subject to various factors, including how spacious your case is, power allotment, other fans running, and whether you are using a liquid cooling solution. Typically, users have reported that their RTX 4090 runs anywhere from 65 degrees Celsius to 74 degrees Celsius during benchmark testing.

Gaming Benchmarks

Looking at various benchmark tests, we have noticed that while the 4K performance of the RTX 4090 is great, with extremely high frame rates at the highest settings, its performance isn’t as great when it comes to 1440p gaming, especially considering the price. If you plan on gaming with the RTX 4090, it’s imperative that you own a 4K monitor and are playing games at 4K resolution. 

While benchmarks are subject to various factors, these benchmarks have all been conducted with a computer utilizing 32GB of RAM, a 12th Gen Intel processor, and the RTX 4090. We’ve also only included bench tests in 4K resolution, as RTX 4090 is designed specifically for 4K resolution gaming and rendering. 

Game TitleAverage FPS (4K Resolution, High Quality)
CyberPunk 207795 FPS
Assasin’s Creed Valhalla106 FPS
Horizon Zero Dawn262 FPS
Watch Dogs: Legion165 FPS
Red Dead Redemption121 FPS
God of War130 FPS
Dying Light 2111 FPS
Counter Strike: Global Offensive481 FPS
Grand Theft Auto V124 FPS
Valorant134 FPS

Nvidia RTX 4090: Pros and Cons


  • Incredibly powerful 4K performance.
  • 24GB of dedicated VRAM
  • Efficient cooling system


  • Expensive
  • Power-Hungry

Nvidia RTX 4090: Is It a Buy?

Buy it if:

You want the most powerful GPU on the market.

If you are looking for the absolute best 4K graphics card for gaming or rendering workloads. It offers 4K resolution with high-frame rates and incredibly fast rendering speeds and will not become obsolete for a long time.

You have the power supply to handle the power requirement of a 450W power draw. Since this GPU feasts on energy, you’ll need a real juggernaut of a PSU to handle it. Your electric bill might even jump a bit after you buy this card!

You want to get the most out of new hardware standards, especially PCIe 4.0 motherboard slots. You would be leaving a lot of potential performance on the table if you were stuck with an older GPU while using such a nice motherboard. So, grab this card if the rest of your build is ready and able, with a PCIe 4.0 slot and plenty of free space.

Don’t buy it if…

You don’t already own a 4K monitor.

While the RTX 4090 can play games at either 1080p or 1440p resolution, it isn’t worth the money unless you play games in 4K resolution. You might look a little silly sticking with a raggedy old monitor while your PC is housing an RTX 4090. If you want to buy this card, upgrading your monitor should be on your to-do list.

You already have a high-end 3090 or 3090 Ti, as the performance gain doesn’t match the additional cost that the 4090 requires for purchase. If you just bought the high-end cards of the previous generation, you can comfortably sit this one out. Unless you like spending almost two thousand dollars to get some bragging rights, then it just isn’t worth it.

Lastly, don’t buy this card if the rest of your PC can’t handle it. In other words, if you don’t already have a high-end processor, a massive PC case, a new motherboard, and plenty of RAM, then this card won’t help much. The rest of your components will bottleneck the 4090 and hold it back.

So, make sure you have top-end components if you are eyeing an RTX 4090.

High Efficiency
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
  • Has 16,384 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
  • Supports 4K 120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR
  • Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
  • Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores that offer 2x AI performance
  • Third-Gen RT Cores
  • AI-Accelerated Performance: NVIDIA DLSS 3
  • NVIDIA Reflex low-latency platform
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/25/2023 10:30 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the RTX 4090 go down in price?

Graphics card prices have fluctuated wildly over the past few years due to supply shortages, bots buying in-stock cards at release dates, and a secondhand market that has evolved rapidly in recent years. However, we have noted that supply shortages are shrinking, and we are seeing more and more GPUs priced at or even below their MSRP today. If this trend continues, we predict the price of the RTX 4090 will gradually decrease over time, but for now, expect to pay at MSRP or even a little above.

What is the difference between the RTX 3090 and RTX 4090?

The RTX 4090 is the best-performing graphics card on the market at the time of writing, but the 3090 is a lot cheaper while still offering excellent 4K performance. Both the 4090 and 3090 come with 24GB of dedicated VRAM, but the RTX 4090 supports DLSS 3, while the 3090 supports DLSS 2.

What is ray tracing? 

Ray tracing is a rendering technique developed by Nvidia that simulates a scene’s lighting and objects by creating life-like reflections, shadows, and light refraction. Ray tracing is a large achievement within artificial intelligence, as the paths of light in a scene are traced by AI and then simulated.

Is the RTX 4090 overkill for 1080p resolution?

Yes, there is no need to spend the amount of money an RTX 4090 costs if you play games at a 1080p resolution. Instead, you should look for a card like the AMD RX 6600 or Nvidia’s RTX 3060.

What type of power connector does the RTX 4090 require?

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 draws power from a 16-pin power connector, with a power draw rated at 450 W maximum.

What are the display output options on the RTX 4090?

The GeForce RTX 4090 has 1x HDMI 2.1 and 3x DisplayPort 1.4a as display outputs.

What is RTX 4090 MSRP?

The RTX 4090 launched with an MSRP of $1599, but with limited supplies, many buyers are still paying this price or more, almost a year later.

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