Christmas has come early for fans of high-end gaming PC because Nvidia has announced its latest flagship GPU: the RTX 4090. The announcement comes after months of rumors circulating on various websites and forums. Nvidia revealed the RTX 4090 arrives on October 12 with a recommended retail price of $1,599, while the RTX 4080 is due in November, priced at $899.
It is almost exactly two years ago since Nvidia launched the RTX 3090, the company’s flagship Graphics Processing Unit often referred to as an enthusiast’s GPU. The RTX 3090 succeeded the popular GeForce 20 series and was seen as one of the most significant jumps in GPU performance ever. All that extra power was pointless if you used your PC to browse a list of online sportsbooks but made AAA gaming titles come alive with Ray Tracing effects.
However, despite being amazing technology, many consider the RTX 3090 and the entire 30 series of GPUs to be something of a flop, although this is not Nvidia’s fault. There was no pre-order facility available at launch, which, when combined with a surge in demand exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in lengthy waiting times for the cards. Cryptocurrency miners and scalpers using bots grabbed stock as soon as it became available, pushing prices through the roof; some 3070, 3080, and 3090s sold for 2.5-times the RRSP during the height of the shortages. It is quite ironic that Nvidia has announced the new range of GPUs just as prices for the current-Gen are falling back into line.
On paper, the RTX 4090 is an absolute beast of a GPU and is easily, hands-down, the most powerful GPU Nvidia has created. The RTX 4090 and all other GPUs in the new series use Nvidia’s next-gen Ada Lovelace architecture. This new architecture, combined with a massive 24GB of GDDR6X memory, helps the RTX 4090 perform up to 4x faster than the 3090 Ti, all while consuming the same power as the previous generation card. Those thinking of getting their hands on an RTX 4090 may need to upgrade their power supply because it has a 450W power usage, but Nvidia recommends an 850W PSU requirement as a precaution!
The RTX 4090 boasts a staggering 75 billion transistors, almost three times the 28.3 billion in the RTX 3090. There are up to 18,000 CUDA cores, over 70 percent more than the last-gen model. Clock speed is boosted to 2.52GHz while using a 384-bit memory interface that has a bandwidth of an eye-popping 1018GB/s. To put that last figure into perspective, the PlayStation 5’s memory bandwidth tops out at 448GB/s. The figures Nvidia is talking about are nothing short of incredible.
The new cards feature DLSS 3, a new technique that gives a serious performance boost. DLSS 3 reduces input latency and loads on the GPU and CPU. Nvidia showed Cyberpunk 2077 running at 4K at under 22fps before seeing the framerate hit 100fps with DLSS 3 enabled.
It is not only the new RTX 4090 that has technology lovers tingling with excitement because Nvidia also announced the new system-on-chip (SoC) it calls Drive Thor. The chip is not available until 2025, but it is seen as a significant leap forward in the autonomous vehicle sector.
Thor Drive provides 2,000 teraflops of performance, all while keeping the production costs to a satisfactory level. Manufacturers can use Thor Drive for all functions of vehicles, from a digital dashboard, the various sensors and all autonomous operations. Furthermore, the chipset allows vehicles to run QNX, Android, and Linux simultaneously.