October 25th, 2022 at 8:32 a.m. by Manuel Christa – The first manufacturer designs for the Geforce RTX 4090 have arrived at the PCGH editorial team. We take the sometimes gigantic graphics cards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit and Zotac under our wing to give you a first impression of what you can expect from the graphics cards of the board partners. In the following video we tested the first five graphics cards of the RTX 4090.
Of course, the size of the heatsink and thus the size of the graphics card affects the cooling performance. The TBP (Total Board Power) is 450 watts, which is required for most cards. The MSI Suprim X Liquid has a whopping 480 watts that have to be dissipated via AIO water cooling. Of course, the RTX 4090 also offers the option of manually increasing the power limit. The manufacturers are generous here and offer bulky cooling solutions. Gigabyte, Asus and MSI (in addition to Nvidia itself) offer models that allow up to 600 watts more power. The power limit can be increased by up to 33 percent with tools such as MSI Afterburner and Nvidia Inspector.
We tested each graphics card individually in our test system to capture the most important characteristics of the new designs. The system is an open design with an 850 watt power supply. Components like the CPU don’t play a role in our Ultra HD tests. That’s why it’s a Core i9-10900K. The tests mainly used the GPU, with no CPU influence. Waste heat from the processor is also kept away from the graphics card with the help of the AIO cooling. The temperature in our office where the tests were conducted was around 24°C.
RTX 4090: Custom designs of the currently strongest graphics card
Nvidia has officially unveiled the RTX 4090 with 24GB VRAM in the GeForce Beyond special at GTC 2022. This GPU is Team Green’s new rendering king. It offers a notable performance boost, even compared to the Ampere-based RTX 3090 Ti.
These performance improvements make the RTX 4090 a lucrative choice for enthusiasts. However, it is also associated with a hefty price of currently over 2,000 euros.
Immediately after Nvidia’s announcement of the new top GPU, several add-in board (AIB) partners presented their card designs for the Ada Lovelace GPUs. The list includes Gigabyte, MSI, Asus, Palit, Colorful, PNY, and others. Companies have gotten creative with both card designs and names. However, one trend continues with the RTX 4090 designs: All of these GPUs are massive and have even chunkier heatsinks.