Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition Review

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition Review


It’s fair to say that the GeForce RTX 3000 series was both a huge success and, thanks to circumstances beyond Nvidia’s control, a bit of a damp squib. The whole card range had massive amounts of performance and was set to conquer the world. However, the global pandemic appeared at exactly the wrong time and created a demand that totally out-stripped supply. With most of the world suddenly at home with nothing to do and no travel expenses, everyone wanted to get a new graphics card, and shelves emptied almost immediately. In a textbook example of Karl Marx capitalism, with supply grossly out-numbered by demand the price rocketed to levels that even the most money-rich baulked at. Even when things did return, somewhat, to normal the time it took to get production returned to pre-pandemic levels meant that many people either missed out entirely or were left saving for the next one. Most people, after all, understand the relatively short lifespan of new hardware.

Thankfully the production has returned to normal just in time for the next iteration of the Nvidia GeForce RTX cards. In this case it’s the RTX 4090, here in Founders Edition trim. We already know that the RTX 3090 was a blazingly quick card, and the RTX 3090 Ti that was the last hurrah for the Ampere GPUs went out in a blaze of glory. Nvidia now bring us the beautifully named Ada Lovelace architecture. If you were unaware, Ada Lovelace is the worlds first programmer. The daughter of the famous poet Byron, she worked in conjunction with Charles Babbage to start the revolution that had begun with the famous Jacquard Loom and took us to where we are today. Even if you only know of Babbage and Lovelace from 2DGoggles, it’s nice to have someone who is such a keystone in the foundation of computing be recognised.

Naturally there is only so much hardware that you can throw at the problem, and so Nvidia have designed the RTX 4090 to not only crush the RTX 3090 Ti with raw horsepower, but have further developed their AI and DLSS to the point that, in supported titles, it makes anything currently on the market become the equivalent of bringing a toothpick to a tank fight.

Technical Specifications

There is a whole lot to get through with the RTX 4090. Below is how it compares to the RTX 3090 Ti just in terms of the hardware available. If the move to 3rd Generation RT cores has the same effect as the move from the 1st Gen to the 2nd did, then the RTX 4090 promises to deliver much. That’s without taking in to account the massive increase in hardware alone, and that eye-popping boost clock speed.

  RTX 3090 Ti RTX 4090
Graphics Processing Clusters 7 11
Texture Processing Clusters 42 64
Streaming Multiprocessors 84 128
CUDA Cores 10752 16384
Tensor Cores 336 3rd Generation 512 4th Generation
RT Cores 84 2nd Generation 128 3rd Generation
Texture Units 336 512
ROPs 112 176
Boost Clock 1860 MHz 2520 MHz
Memory Clock 10500 MHz 10501 MHz
Memory Data Rate 21 Gbps 21 Gbps
L2 Cache 6144 KB 73728 KB
Total Video Memory 24 GB GDDR6X 24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth 1008 GB/s 1008 GB/s
Bilinear Texture Rate 625 GT/s 1290.2 GT/s
Fabrication Process Samsung 8nm TSMC 4nm
Transistor Count 28.3 Billion 76.3 Billion
Connectors 3x Display Port, 1x HDMI 3x Display Port, 1x HDMI
Form Factor Triple Slot Triple Slot
Power Connector 1×16 pin (3×8 PCIe) 1×16 pin (4×8 PCIe)
Minimum Power Supply 850W 850W
TGP 450W 450W
Maximum GPU Temperature 93°C 90°C
PCI Express Gen 4 Gen 4

Let’s see what’s new on the DLSS side of things.