NVIDIA RTX 4090 is arguably one of the best graphics cards on the market. It can run most titles at ultra-high settings and the highest refresh rate. However, the NVIDIA RTX 4090 isn’t faultless. And it’s not the most affordable graphics card you’ll find. So, should you buy it or find an alternative like the RX 700 XTX? Read on to find the answers.
Why Avoid an NVIDIA RTX 4090?
Surprisingly, there are plenty of reasons to avoid an NVIDIA RTX 4090. Some are serious, while others aren’t, depending on your needs, gaming PC configuration, and situation.
#1 – It’s Still Very Expensive
For the price of NVIDIA RTX 4090, you can build a whole new gaming computer. Many gamers feel the RTX 4090 is overpriced. However, this GPU is an absolute beast as it outperforms most other graphics cards within its category.
RTX 4090 costs roughly $1,600 but can go up to $2,500. Some stores sell it for a lot more, especially with the recent inflation that hit even gaming components. That’s much more than the recommended MSRP price. So, you’ll be overpaying its value from the start. This is where you might have to rethink your decision and ask yourself whether you’re getting a good deal. If not, you’re better off with a different NVIDIA graphics card.
#2 – It’s Often an Overkill
In some games, the NVIDIA RTX 4090 is the holy grail. However, this graphics card is often overkill for average or amateur gamers. NVIDIA RTX 4090 can quickly run the latest game titles at 1080p resolution with the highest in-game settings. However, you don’t need a graphics card of such a caliber to do that. Of course, this graphics card is ideal for 4K gaming. So, it makes sense to pair it with a high-end gaming PC. If you are a pro gamer and can raise $2 000, the NVIDIA RTX 4090 can be an excellent purchase. Unfortunately, NVIDIA RTX 4090 might be too much for most gamers.
#3 – Power Consumption
NVIDIA RTX 4090 is not power efficient at all. You need a 16-pin connector to connect it to the PSU. While idling it typically uses 18 watts on average. But while under load, it draws about 450 watts on average. Spikes (transients) mean this card can draw even more power on occasion. This will put a lot of strain on certain PSUs, especially if they’re older.
You’ll need four cables to connect and power the NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics card. 850W PSU is the bare minimum for 4090 graphics cards. So, keep the CPU’s power consumption in mind, and other components might draw more power.
#4 – Installing Issues
Another reason to avoid the NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics card? You’ll likely run into installation issues when setting up this graphics card. Typical of massive GPUs, NVIDIA RTX 4090 has a big cooler requiring significant space. On top of that, if you have an older PSU, you will need four cables to connect and power up this card. However, even with newer PSUs, a 16-pin connector could create severe issues for the graphics card.
#5 – Too Much Raw Power
Every avid gamer wants a powerful graphics card that can smoothly run the latest game titles. However, NVIDIA RTX 4090 tends to create bottleneck issues on specific processors. So, check whether this graphics card fits your CPU well.
If your CPU can’t handle the NVIDIA RTX 4090’s raw power, you can expect some bottleneck even in 1080p games. NVIDIA RTX 4090 can even bottleneck a 13900K processor, and you’ll most likely need a 12-core CPU. We advise you to take this seriously and look into it, especially if you plan to buy this graphics card. Check out all the processors NVIDIA RTX 4090 won’t bottleneck before making a move.
#6 – Won’t Fit Every Case
Do you want to pop out an old graphics card and then pop in a new one so you can run your games? Not so fast. As mentioned, RTX 4090 is a humongous card with a large cooler. You will need lots of space and neat, tidy cable management to create room for the RTX 4090. Is that all? No, you will also need a full-sized case that can accommodate the entire dimensions of your graphics card.
Some cases have more than enough room to hold the NVIDIA RTX 4090. You might consider upgrading your case if you want to replace your card and have the money. This will also help with the ventilation and improve your gaming PC’s airflow. Remember, this graphics card generates a lot of heat. So, any extra cooling on top of the integrated cooler is welcome.
#7 – Serious Cable Melting Issues (Dongle Requirement)
NVIDIA RTX 4090 also has a severe cable melting problem. While the card can manage heat under even the heaviest loads, the cable remains its weakest link. The graphics card sold out quickly after its release, but users started noticing the melting issue. The heat from this graphics card could melt the 16-pin cable at the soldering point. This can lead to problems and even cause a fire in the worst-case scenarios.
NVIDIA recalled the affected graphics card, issued refunds, and analyzed the problem. They discovered that the 16-pin cable was not properly seated due to its size. Some users bought the CableMod dongles that would extend the cable and have the 16-pin connector seat properly this time. This helped the case a lot but added to the costs of the graphics card. However, some NVIDIA RTX 4090 still managed to melt the cables, damaging the cards too. This a thorny issue considering the price of the NVIDIA RTX 4090.
#8 – Suspicious Failure Rate
The cable melting issue overshadowed the release of the NVIDIA RTX 4090, with the official failure rate at 0.04%. We believe NVIDIA should update it, especially after serious cable melting issues emerge. To prevent melting, ensure the 16-pin connector is placed correctly, fully seated, the clasp is secure, and not wiggling.
Despite being a powerful graphics card, the NVIDIA RTX 4090 has some flaws. As well as being unusually big, this card uses a lot of power, has potential bottlenecks, and is prone to cable melting issues. So, you have to think carefully about your purchase. It’s a good idea to check out other graphics cards available within this range. A good alternative is the RX 7900 XTX.
- Video Memory: 24GB GDDR6
- Stream Processor: 6144 Units
- Game Clock: 2300 MHz
- Boost Clock: Up to 2500 MHz
- Memory Clock: 20.0 Gbps