It’s a busy time in Ars Technica GPU salt mine testing (not to be confused with mining GPUs were known as). After we finished taking on Intel Arc A700 seriesNow, back to the GPU test we’ve had for a few days now: NVIDIA RTX 4090.
This GPU beast, which Nvidia provided to Ars Technica for review purposes, is priced well outside of the average consumer, even for a product category where the average price continues to rise. While we’re not allowed to reveal anything about our tests as of press time, our upcoming coverage will reflect the reality of this GPU of $1,599 and up. Meanwhile, we thought Nvidia’s “Founders Edition” box opening for the 4090 would start telling the story of who exactly this GPU might be. Not be to.
On paper, the Nvidia RTX 4090 is poised to overtake its Nvidia predecessors, with specs that easily outperform RTX 3090 Ti Overproduction Early 2022. The 4090 comes packed with about 50 percent of CUDA cores and between 25 and 33 percent of the top count in other critical classes, particularly cores for tensor computations and ray tracing (which are also Updated to new specifications for Nvidia’s new 5nm process). However, one specification of the 3090 and 3090 Ti remains identical: the type of VRAM and its capacity (again, 24GB of GDDR6X RAM).
However, despite surpassing the 3090 Ti on several specs that affect performance, Nvidia sticks with a maximum power of 450W – still a power-hungry card for sure, but the results could push a new level of efficiency for such a high-end product. Obviously something has to offer if the power limit doesn’t change, and that comes in the form of a massive new chassis, which now requires three full PCI-e slots of space in your favorite game case, along with the extra length.
You can appreciate this extra size in your particular case by comparing its 12″ (304mm) length and 5.4″ (137mm) depth with a standard-sized GPU like the new Intel Arc A770 (in the final gallery photo above). You’ll also need to make room for at least three standard 8-pin power connector cables in the case of your choice, which can be connected to the 12-pin ATX 3.0 adapter (pictured in the second-to-last gallery). Our size comparison gallery goes everywhere, from a plastic Yoshi to a banana and from an Xbox console to an entire Xbox console.
If there’s anything you want to know about the RTX 4090, whether you specifically want to buy it or because you’re wondering how its launch will affect other future GPU technologies, let us know in the comments section. This dump can’t get out of the box on performance questions like a new DLSS or cheaper models in the Ada Lovelace GPU line, but our upcoming review, scheduled for next week before the GPU’s October 12 launch date, will go much further than that.
This article has been updated since it was published to correct a bug about the included 4090 . power cable.
Menu photo by Sam Machkovich
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