Most Powerful Graphics Card Ever?
If you have a budget and stomach for a performance-rich gaming graphics card, then GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) offers silent operations, excellent cooling, feature-rich solution, and a powerful punch in every aspect of GPU performance.
Performance - 9.5/10
Design - 9.5/10
Features - 9/10
Value - 9/10
- Good Performance Gain over Ampere
- Ray Tracing Performance Boost
- Overclocked (+15MHz)
- DLSS 3
- 24GB VRAM
- Excellent Cooling
- Low Noise Output
- Dual BIOS
- AV1 Support
- RGB Lighting
- Anti-Sag Bracket
“Designed to deliver outstanding gaming and creating, professional graphics, AI, and compute performance”. This is quite a statement from Nvidia for ADA GPU architecture. Back in 2018, Nvidia launched its Turing architecture featuring Ray Tracing and DLSS. They then carried on and released much improved and performance-rich Ampere architecture, with GeForce RTX 3090 and 3090Ti being the showrunner. This time, Nvidia is back at it again with the nomenclature of Ada Lovelace.
So far, the Tensor Cores, RT Cores, and improved FP32 performance using refined SM architecture provided efficiency and performance in 3D graphics applications as well as PC Gaming. On top of Ray Traced graphics rendering, the main-stream rasterization models are very much in play, and improvements in rasterization alone are significant in the previous two generations. With the launch of Ada Lovelace, Nvidia is aiming to boost this performance with more refined architecture. Nvidia has a bold claim that its Ada Lovelace is twice faster in rasterized games and four times faster in ray-traced games compared to Ampere.
Last but not least, we are taking a look at the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OX 24G graphics card. It took us some time to have our first take on the Ada Lovelace-based SKUs. Before moving to the graphics card, let us first take a quick look at the major improvements in the Ada Lovelace. There are 4x key innovations according to Nvidia which provides a huge improvement boost in this generation over the previous ones. These are:
- New SM Architecture
- New Ada RT Core
- Shader Execution Reordering
- Nvidia DLSS3
AD102 GPU is the enthusiast-grade graphics solution from Nvidia in Ada Lovelace. A single fully loaded AD102 GPU pack:
- 12 Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs)
- 72 Texture Processing Clusters (TPCs)
- 144 Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs)
In terms of memory, the AD102 has a 384-bit memory interface with 12 32-bit memory controllers.
The above picture shows a single Graphics Processing Cluster. We can see a total of 6x TPC (Texture Processing Clusters) per GPC node. Each TPC has dual SM nodes. SM stands for Streaming Multiprocessors. There are a total of 12x SM nodes per GPC cluster. In AD10x family, the Graphics Processing Cluster is the main executioner of Rasterization and graphics processing. Each GPC has a single Raster engine and two Raster Operation Partitions (ROPs).
Each SM node has the following:
- 128 CUDA Cores
- 1x RT Core (3rd Gen)
- 4x Tensor Cores (4th Gen)
- 4x Texture Units
- 1x 56 KB Register File
- 128 KB L1 Cache/Shared Memory
The RT Core in Ada Lovelace is based on Ada’s third generation. There are two important implementations or functions in each RT Core to deliver a powerful ray tracing experience and computing:
- Box Intersection Engine
- Triangle Intersection Engine
These functions help in the acceleration of the Boundary Volume Hierarchy data traversal structure.
In addition, there are two dedicated units known as:
- Opacity Micromap Engine
- Displaced Micro-Mesh Engine
The Opacity Micromap Engine is used for alpha traversal, whereas Displaced Micro-Mesh Engine is responsible for ray tracing complex geometrical objects. Both engines are related to Triangle Intersection Engine.
The above picture shows a block diagram of a single Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) in the Ad102 architecture.
Like the previous two generations, Nvidia has focused on improving the DLSS further, and this time around, we see DLSS3 with Optical Flow Acceleration (OFA). In Ampere architecture, each GPU has a standalone Optical Flow Acceleration that uses advanced algorithms to ensure smooth quality results. In Ada, a single OFA unit delivers up to 300 TeraOPS (TOPS) of optical workflow, which is twice faster compared to the Ampere architecture, providing necessary input to the DLSS 3 network. DLSS 3 combines motion vectors with the OFA engine’s optical flow field. According to Nvidia, DLSS 3 can improve graphics processing where GPU is bottlenecked by a CPU.
AD102 packs fourth-generation Tensor Cores (4x Tensor Cores per SM). These cores are responsible for matrix and mathematical computations which are necessary for deep learning neural network training. AD102 packs double the FP16, BF16, TF32, INT8, and INT4 Tensor TFLOPS. There is also a Hopper FP8 Transformer Engine that can deliver over 1.3 PetaFLOPS of tensor processing.
Ada-based GPUs have taken the streaming game one level ahead. There are 2x NVENC which are eight-generation hardware encoders. These have support for AV1 video encoding. AV1 is said to enable the streamers to up their resolution up to 1440P by still using the same bit rate and quality. With 2 NVENC encoders, Nvidia has provided a powerful encoding at 8k/60Hz or 4k/60Hz (up to 4x). This would be helpful for simultaneous sessions from the same hardware. Ada GPUs also have an EVDEC (decoder) which is based on the fifth generation. This decoder supports hardware-accelerated video decoding of various formats, including MPEG-2, H.264, H.265, etc.
Taking the full leverage of new innovations, the AD102 is the prime chip powering the most powerful gaming graphics card in the market at present, GeForce RTX 4090. The below table compares the most advanced and powerful gaming graphics cards from Turing, Ampere, and now Ada Lovelace:
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080Ti||GeForce RTX 3090Ti||GeForce RTX 4090|
|GPU Architecture||Nvidia Turing||Nvidia Ampere||Nvidia Ada Lovelace|
|CUDA Cores / SM||64||128||128|
|CUDA Cores / GPU||4352||10752||16384|
|GPU Boost Clock (MHz)||1635||1860||2520|
|Tensor Cores||544 (2nd Gen)||336 (3rd Gen)||512 (4th Gen)|
|Tensor TFLOPS (FP8)||N/A||N/A||660.6/1321.2|
|RT Cores||68 (1st Gen)||84 (2nd Gen)||128 (3rd Gen)|
|Texture Fill Rate||444.7||625||1290.2|
|Pixel Fill Rate||143.9||208.3||443.5|
|Memory Size and Type||11 GB GDDR6||24 GB GDDR6X||24 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory Clock (Data Rate)||14 Gbps||21 Gbps||21 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwith||616 GB/sec||1008 GB/sec||1008 GB/sec|
|L1 Cache/Shared Memory||6528 KB||10752 KB||16384 KB|
|L2 Cache||5632 KB||6144 KB||73728 KB|
|Register File Size||17408 KB||21504 KB||32768 KB|
|Video Engines||1x NVENC (7th Gen)
1x NVDEC (4th Gen)
|1x NVENC (7th Gen)
1x NVDEC (5th Gen)
|2x NVENC (8th Gen)
1x NVDEC (5th Gen)
|TGP||260 W||450 W||450 W|
|Transistor Count||18.6 Billion||28.3 Billion||76.3 Billion|
|Die Size||754 mm²||628.4 mm²||608.5 mm²|
|Manufacturing Process||TSMC 12nm FFN (FinFET Nvidia)||Samsung 8nm 8N Nvidia Custom Process||TSMC 4N Nvidia Custom Process|
|PCI Express Interface||Gen 3||Gen 4||Gen 4|
The above information is taken from the Nvidia website. It hardly even covers the very tip of the iceberg. For more details and an in-depth overview, click here to read more.
GIGABYTE has launched multiple SKUs in the GeForce RTX 4090 series representing the high-performance segment edition of the new Ada Lovelace. These SKUs are:
- Extreme Performance (Premium Price Segment)
- AORUS GeForce RTX 4090 XTREME WATERFORCE 24G (rev1.1)
- AORUS GeForce RTX 4090 XTREME WATERFORCE 24G (rev1.0)
- AORUS GeForce RTX 4090 MASTER 24G
- High-Performance (Value Segment)
- GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0)
- GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming 24G
- GeForce RTX 4090 WINDFORCE V2 24G
- GeForce RTX 4090 WINDFORCE 24G
- Content Creation
- GeForce RTX 4090 AERO OC 24G
The above classification is our own and has nothing to do with how GIGABYTE would market these SKUs. A closer look would indicate that there are only two SKUs in AORUS branding. This could well mean that either there will be more releases or a more realistic thinking that GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC is sitting in the overlapping position from High-Performance to Extreme Performance.
We are taking a look at the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0) gaming graphics card, which you can say that it is more value-oriented compared to high-end AORUS branded SKUs. However, keep in mind that it is GeForce RTX 4090, so there is no cheaper graphics card in the 4090 series. Nvidia set the price tag of its Founder Edition at USD 1600, and this card is retailing at a price tag of USD 1700 at the time of this writing. Since we don’t have a Founder Edition card at hand, we can’t compare the sound level and thermals on both cards to give a verdict. But Gaming OC is mere +15MHz above the default boost clock of 2520MHz on GeForce RTX 4090 from Nvidia.
Coming back to the main subject, the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G is driven by AD102 GPU fabricated on a 4nm process having a die size of 608 mm² with a transistor count of 76300 Million or 73.6 Billion (to avoid confusion). This graphics card packs 24GB GDDR6X VRAM from Micron using a bus width of 384 bits with a bandwidth of 1008.4 GB/s. It has 16384 Unified Shaders or CUDA Cores. This graphics card uses a PCIe interface of Gen 4 utilizing 16 PCIe lanes. Here are a few salient features of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G:
- NVIDIA Ada Lovelace Streaming Multiprocessors:
- Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
- 4th Generation Tensor Cores: Up to 4x performance with DLSS 3 vs. brute-force rendering
- 3rd Generation RT Cores: Up to 2X ray tracing performance
- Powered by GeForce RTX® 4090
- Integrated with 24GB GDDR6X 384-bit memory interface
- WINDFORCE cooling system
- RGB Fusion
- Dual BIOS
- Protection metal back plate
- Anti-sag bracket
- 4 Years Warranty (Online registration required)
|Graphics Processing||GeForce RTX™ 4090|
|Core Clock||2535 MHz (Reference Card: 2520 MHz)|
|Memory Clock||21 Gbps|
|Memory Size||24 GB|
|Memory Bus||384 bit|
|Card Bus||PCI-E 4.0 x 16|
|Digital max resolution||7680x4320|
|Card size||L=340 W=150.2 H=75.2 mm|
|Power Connectors||16 pin*1|
|Output||HDMI 2.1 *1, DisplayPort 1.4 *3|
The above picture is taken from the GIGABYTE website. We can see that this graphics card has three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.1 port. There is no DisplayPort 2.0.
The graphics card is shipped inside a standard design packing box. The outer box is made of a paper board material. GIGABYTE has highlighted the following:
- Ray Tracing
- WINDFORCE COOLING
- OC Edition
- 4-Year Warranty
Looking at the backside of the packing box, we can see that GIGABYTE has focused on the following:
- WINDFORCE Cooling System with alternate spinning fan design
- Metal Back Plate
- RGB Fusion
Connectivity ports are also shown over here.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 text is on the sides of this box.
There is a cardboard made box inside the outer box. It is black in color and has a GIGABYTE name in the center.
When we opened this box, we found Styrofoam padding on the top with a black color container placed in the middle.
Removing the top cover, we can now see the contents of the box. The graphics card is placed inside an anti-static container. GIGABYTE has provided a GPU Support Bracket in this box. There is also a 12VHPWR adapter cable. All contents are tucked inside a thick Styrofoam container for safe and sound shipping.
What’s in the Box?
Let’s see what is included in the accessories:
- GPU Support Bracket Installation Guide
- Graphics Card Quick Guide
- Warranty Guide
Nvidia has switched to PCI-SIG’s new interface using a 12+4 pins connector cable. This connector can provide up to 600W. Much has been hyped about this connector and the burning issues. Since that issue has been put to rest, we are not going into the detail. Nvidia is providing 12VHPWR adapter cables to its AIB partners so that the same cable can be provided along with each custom graphics card from Nvidia’s partners.
GIGABYTE has also provided this adapter cable. It has one end with a standard 12VHPWR connector, and the other ends have a total of four 8-pin PCIe connectors providing up to 600W power in total. Please note that you can connect three PCIe 8-pin PEG cables from the PSU to this adapter, and the graphics card will still work just fine. This is because 450W is a typical onboard power draw provided by 3x 8-pin PEG cables. However, you can increase the power slider from 100% to 133% to unlock full 600W power delivery, for which a 4th 8-pin connector needs to be connected to the PEG cable from the PSU. The adapter cable is fine mesh-sleeved, and the build quality seems fine.
GIGABYTE has provided a GPU Support Bracket along with mounting accessories. This is due to the fact that these graphics cards weigh easily 2.2 kg and above, plus their behemoth sizes put more toll on the structural integrity of the motherboard. The support bracket provides extra support and eases off the stress. We will cover this bracket later in this article.
It is time to take a look at the graphics card. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0) is being driven by Nvidia AD102 GPU which at the time of this writing is the most advanced and extreme performance gaming and graphics solution. Despite being the value-oriented (per se) graphics card, this SKU does not seem to be missing key features and provides the users with efficient gaming performance and low noise operations at good thermals. Oh, and it has a nice touch of RGB lighting effect on the fans as well.
This card has a plastic made shroud on the front side. It has black and gray color texturing and stenciling all around. The overall design, despite being a simple layout, has a bold outlook. Much of the shroud space is actually occupied by three fans. This graphics card has a dimension of 340×150.2×75.2mm. Here the length of this graphics card is 340mm. 75.2mm is the height, and 150.2mm is the thickness of the card. This is a 3.5-slot design featuring an ATX-size PCB.
The above picture will give you an idea of the dimension of this card. You will have to check the clearance in your PC Case before pulling the trigger on this card or other GeForce RTX 4090 cards for that matter.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0) graphics card is still based on GIGABYTE’s WINDFORCE cooling system. The main components of this cooling system are:
- Three 110mm unique blade fans
- Alternate Spinning Fans
- 3D Active Fans
- 10 composite copper heat pipes,
- A large vapor chamber directly touches the GPU
- Screen Cooling
We mentioned above about the fans. This graphics card has three 110mm size fans. Each fan has 9x black color blades. There is a GIGABYTE branding in the hub of these fans.
The outer two fans spin in an anti-clockwise direction, whereas the middle fan spins in a clockwise direction. This alternate spinning produces effective airflow and reduces turbulence (according to GIGABYTE). GIGABYTE has a patent over Alternate Spinning technology. The major concern with using large-size 3x fans on the graphics card is turbulence. Since the fans rotate in the same direction, the airflow direction is opposite between the fans, which will cause turbulent airflow and reduce heat dissipation efficiency. GIGABYTE turns the middle fan in the opposite direction, so that the airflow direction between the two fans is the same, reducing the turbulence and enhancing the air pressure.
These fans have stripes on the blades. GIGABYTE refers to these stripes as a 3D Stripe Curve. The airflow is split by the triangular fan edge and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow. GIGABYTYE uses Graphene nano lubricant to extend the life of the sleeve bearing fan by 2.1 times, close to the life of a double ball bearing, and making it noise effective as well.
These fans have diffusers running on the inside frame which are not visible that easily. We can say that these fans have ring-based lighting. These fans have RGB lighting not on the blades but across the frame of these fans. This RGB lighting only works if fans are rotating. As soon as fans stop, the RGB lighting is turned off.
The above picture shows the diffuser with RGB lighting on one of the fans.
We can see that the fans have stopped spinning and the RGB lighting is off as well.
These fans feature the Auto Stop and Start function which GIGABYTE refers to as 3D Active Fan. The concept is simple. Under the defined temperature value (threshold), these fans would stop spinning, providing semi-passive cooling. As soon as the temperature reaches or crosses that threshold, the fans kick in and provide active cooling. It allows gamers to enjoy gameplay in complete silence when the system is running light or idle.
Since we are discussing the WINDFORCE cooling system, let us discuss the main cooling hardware on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0). There was a need for an effective cooling solution for this thermally dense GPU die packing 73.6 Billion transistors on 608 mm² die size using a 4nm fabrication process.
The result was a vapor chamber cooling for this generation of the graphics card from Nvidia. The traditional style of cooling uses copper heat pipes. These heat pipes can transfer the heat in one direction, whereas Vapor Chamber is planar in design, and it conducts heat in two dimensions. Their application is wanted for a small evaporator area on which high heat fluxes or high powers are applied.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev1.1/1.0) uses a large-size vapor chamber along with a standard convection method using copper heat pipes. This vapor chamber is making direct contact with the GPU, VRAM, and VRM MOSFETs of this graphics card. There are then 10x composite heat pipes made of copper to dissipate the heat out of the heatsink. The composite heat pipes combine thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the heat transfer between two solid interfaces which increases cooling capacity.
This graphics card uses a PCI Express Interface Gen 4 using 16 PCIe lanes.
There are two connectors right next to the PCIe connector. It seems like one connector powers the fans, and the other connector powers the RGB LEDs, or both connectors can power the fans. Since we have tested the retail version of this graphics card, we were not allowed to open the card due to a warranty void issue.
GIGABYTE uses gray color thick thermal pads which seem like 1.5mm or so between the important contact points across the PCB between the Vapor Chamber and the PCB. The backplate also has thermal pads since there are active circuit components on the backside of the PCB.
Looking at the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) from the top, we can see that the design aspect extends over to the covered area on the top. The gray and black color accents speak for it. GEFORCE RTX is in the middle, and it is not RGB backlit. The pipeline design on the shroud is also on the rear side of the cover. A 3.5-slot design is more apparent now.
There is a GIGABYTE branded plating towards the front end of the shroud. It is RGB backlit. There are two zones for the RGB lighting. One is the fan, and the other is this plating.
The above picture shows the RGB lighting on the shroud of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) graphics card. This zone is not bounded to the fans and it remains illuminate even if the fans stop spinning.
Looking at the backside of the graphics card, we can see a gray color large size metallic backplate covering the majority of the PCB area. GIGABYTE is written in white color. There are black color lines or patterns or stenciling adding more to the aesthetics. GEFORCE RTX is also written in white color. One of the spring-loaded screws has a white color sticker pasted over it.
GIGABYTE QUALIFIED is written over this sticker. I am not sure what exactly is meant by this text. There is a large size uncovered portion towards the left side of the metal backplate exposing the heatsink. This is what GIGABYTE refers to as Screen Cooling. Since some of this area extends the actual PCB, this allows air to run through the exposed portion that would contribute towards better heat dissipation from the heatsink out in the ambiance.
The above picture shows the backside of the graphics card with the PCIe connector facing the opposite side now. Did you spot BIOS OC/SILENT text towards the lower edge or border? We are coming to this part shortly. The metal backplate provides more structural stability.
There is a button (more of a slider design) on top of the PCB of GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0). This graphics card has two ROM or BIOS onboard. The default is OC. There are OC and SILENT labels. Switching to SILENT will make the card more noise efficient compared to OC mode. Having two BIOS is always beneficial. In case of any issue, one can switch to the secondary BIOS and then can load the original ROM on the other BIOS, etc. You can save both BIOS files using GPU-Z.
The above picture shows the BIOS switch button in clarity.
We mentioned in the unboxing section above that Nvidia is using a PCI-SIG 12VHPWR connector on the Ada Lovelace graphics cards. Maybe the lower-end SKUs get an exception from this interface. This connector is a 12+4 pin interface capable of delivering up to 600W power. This connector has an LED indicator as well which could help troubleshoot the power-related issues on this graphics card. The smart power LED indicator alerts the user when a power supply is abnormal. It has three modes:
|Power LED Mode||Description|
|Light On||The power cable is not connected|
|Light Off||Stable power connection|
|Light Blinking||Shows some issues with the power source|
We have mentioned above that there were multiple reports of connector and/or graphics cards burning. The initial investigation pointed towards the bad design of these 12VHPWR connectors. However, later a general consensus was that this connector needed to be plugged in properly. Otherwise, a loose connection could result in burn damage to the graphics card. The above picture shows the provided adapter cable connected to the graphics card.
Here is another angle showing a proper connection where the connector is fully seated. A proper click is what should be there confirming that connected is fully in.
The above picture shows a top view of this installed cable.
The above picture shows the bottom side or PCIe connector side of this graphics card. We can see that the cooling solution runs beyond the PCB’s actual length towards the left side. The exposed portion on the backside of the graphics card provides more ventilation.
The above picture shows the front side of the graphics card. We can see that the shroud portion extends over and almost forms a connection with the extended portion of the metal backplate. There is a certain gap between both.
Here you can see the terminating ends of the copper heat pipes. Even there is a gap between the tips of these copper heat pipes and the border of the shroud and metal backplate for more ventilation.
The following connectivity options are available at the user’s disposal:
- 1x HDMI port 2.1
- 3x DP ports 1.4
I am testing a retail unit that has a warranty on it. I was not allowed by the source to open the card as it could void the warranty. Thanks to the good peeps over TechPowerUp for allowing the high-resolution pictures of the graphics card’s PCB; we are showing the pictures here. Click here to check the in-depth content of this graphics card on their website. This graphics card uses 20+4 power phases. 20 phases are for the GPU power, and the 4 phases are for the VRAM.
The above picture shows the backside of the PCB. This PCB is made in China. Look at the length of this PCB. It is much shorter than the overall cooling solution employed on this graphics card.
GIGABYTE has employed its Ultra-Durable technology in the power delivery design with these salient features:
- Highest Grade Metal Chokes
- Lower ESR Solid Capacitors
- 2oz Copper PCB
- Lower RDS (on) MOSFET
- Over-Temperature Design
GIGABYTE has mentioned that they are using a fully automated production process to ensure the top quality of the circuit boards and eliminate sharp protrusions of the solder connectors seen on the conventional PCB surface. This friendly design prevents your hands from getting cut or inadvertently damaging components during handling.
Before we move on to the Testing of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) graphics card, let’s take a look at the provided GPU support bracket or Anti-Sag bracket.
This bracket consists of two main items. One bracket is installed on the graphics card, whereas the second bracket or holder mount is installed on the motherboard. Yes, you heard that right. You would need to install a mounting arm on the motherboard. This reminds me of the Lian Li GPU support bracket that comes with the Lian Li O11 Dynamic Xl PC case. It is also installed on the motherboard.
GIGABYTE has provided:
- 2x M3 Standoffs
- 2x 6-32 Standoffs
- 5x Screws
- 1x Thumb Screw
- 10x Washers
The above diagram shows the basic installation of the mounting arm on the motherboard. You would need to use the two lower right-side mounting holes of the motherboard. First, install 2x M3 standoffs on the PC case through the motherboard’s mounting holes. Don’t forget to use 2x washers between the M2 standoffs and PC Case’s standoffs. Then place the mounting arm by aligning the rail on the arm with the holes on the standoffs. Use 2x screws to secure the arm.
The above picture shows the mounting arm installed on the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX motherboard.
The above picture shows the 2x M3 standoffs up close.
The above picture shows the clearance of the arm for the PC Case. There must be a 0.5cm gap between the arm and motherboard tray with a total length of 14cm.
The above picture shows the alignment of the PCIe slot with the mounting arm. The slot should remain below the arm of the bracket.
You would need to install the bracket on the GeForce RTX 4090, as shown in the above picture. Please note that there can be multiple designs and sizes of this bracket, subject to the graphics card in question. Refer to the installation manual for more details.
Install the graphics card so that a single hole on the GPU bracket aligns with the rail on the mounting arm. Use a thumb screw to secure this installation and you are good to go.
The above picture shows a close-up view of the installed bracket.
GIGABYTE has given compatibility notice for this support bracket. We are reproducing the text below.
“To ensure the best fit for the anti-sag bracket, please make sure your components are within the specs below:
- The system chassis supports the mounting of ATX-size motherboards or above.
- The area around the screws (the two bottom right-most screws on the ATX motherboard) of the anti-sag bracket is not covered or blocked by any peripheral components (e.g. front panel USB type-C, SATA…).
- There is at least 14 cm of clearance from the chassis front panel to the right-center screw lock point of the anti-sag bracket, and 0.5 cm of clearance from the backside of the chassis to the anti-sag bracket, to ensure there is enough room for installation
- The PCIe slot must be slightly below the bracket’s arm (Typically the second PCI slot for standard ATX motherboard).”
We have used the below-mentioned test build for this particular test:
- Intel i7-13700K [5.5GHz P-Cores, 4.4GHz E-Cores]
- GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX
- Kingston Fury Renegade DDR5 32GB kit 6400MHz CAS 32
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB Gen4x4 NVMe SSD [For OS]
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB Gen4x4 NVMe SSD [For Games]
- GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G [rev 1.1/1.0]
- MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G
- Alphacool Eisblock XPX Pro Aurora – Full Brass Black
- Alphacool Eisbecher Aurora D5 Acetal/Glas – 150mm incl
- VPP APEX Pump
- Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 1260mm Radiator
- 9x be quiet! Silent Wings 4 140mm PWM High-Speed Fans
- NZXT RGB & Fan Controller
- Alphacool EPDM 16/10mm Black Tubing
- Alphacool 16/10 Straight and Angled Rotary Fittings
- Be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum PSU
- CORSAIR AX1200i Platinum PSU
- Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition in an open frame layout
The above picture shows a run from TechPowerUp GPU-Z confirming the specifications of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0).
Here are a few pictures of the test build:
- Nvidia driver 528.49 [Latest at the time of this testing]
MSI Afterburner 4.64 was used to monitor and record the FPS for the games that don’t have in-built benchmarks.
The following synthetic benchmarks have been used:
- 3DMark Fire Strike
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
- 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
- 3DMark Time Spy
- 3DMark Time Spy Extreme
- 3DMark Port Royal
- 3DMark Speed Way
- 3DMark Nvidia DLSS Feature Test
- 3DMark DirectX Raytracing Feature Test
- 3DMark VRS Feature Test
- Unigine Superposition
The following games have been used in the testing:
- Battlefield V (DX12, DXR]
- Metro Exodus [DX12, DXR]
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla [DX12]
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX12, DLSS]
- Far Cry 6 – [DX11, RT]
- The Witcher 3 [DX11]
- DOOM Eternal [Vulkan]
- Control [DX12, DXR]
- Red Dead Redemption 2 [Vulkan]
- Cyberpunk 2077 [DX12, DXR]
- Forza Horizon 5 [DX12]
- Death Loop [DX12]
- Hogwarts Legacy [DX12]
GPU Compute Tests
We have used the following benchmarks to measure the GPU Compute performance:
- Blender Benchmark 3.4.0
- AIDA64 GPGPU
- GeekBench 5
Our testing includes the Ray Tracing and DLSS tests as well. There is a separate section for that. We will start with synthetic benchmarks first.
When it comes to benchmarking the performance of your PC, be it a previous build or a new build, 3DMARK provides a comprehensive list of benchmarking tests that can measure the performance of your graphics card, CPU, mobile devices, and storage drives that allow an easy comparison with a similar spec system.
Fire Strike Series
There are three tests in this series, starting from a simple DX11-based graphical testing (Fire Strike) towards a multi-GPU system future hardware testing (Fire Strike Extreme) all the way to a 4K testing, letting you know how well your PC can handle 4K Ultra HD gaming.
I must say GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G has absolutely smashed the GeForce RTX 3090 in these tests with a performance gain like never before (67% in Fire Strike, 83% in Fire Strike Extreme, and 94% in Fire Strike Ultra).
Time Spy Series
With the release and advancement in DX12 API, 3DMARK released Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme tests that measure the performance of Windows 10-based PCs using DX12. The Extreme version tests the 4K performance of the PC.
We are seeing no different results here than on the Fire Strike series tests. The performance gain is huge, with 80% in Time Spy and 87% in Time Spy Extreme.
Port Royal was the first Ray Tracing performance measuring benchmark from 3DMARK. It uses Microsoft DXR to measure the ray tracing performance of the graphics cards for comparison.
96% is the performance gain in the Ada Lovelace over the Ampere in this benchmark, showing a significant improvement in ray tracing performance.
Speed Way is a relatively new benchmark from 3DMARK. This benchmark uses DX12 Ultimate (Mesh Shaders etc) to bench the gaming PCs in Windows 10 and Windows 11 environments by using DXR tier 1.1 for real-time illumination and raytraced reflections.
We are seeing almost double the performance lift (84%) by GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090 in this benchmark.
DirectX Ray Tracing Feature Test
Ever since the release of Nvidia’s Turing architecture, the new graphics cards from team blue carry dedicated hardware for ray tracing rendering. While ray tracing is demanding, the provision of dedicated hardware provides a performance gain over using traditional rendering techniques. The DX Ray Tracing Feature Test ray-traced the whole scene and drew in one pass. The result of the test depends entirely on ray-tracing performance.
The result of this feature test is in FPS (Frame Per Second). The higher FPS count indicates a better ray tracing performance by the given graphics card. The GeForce RTX 4090 is showing a 141% performance gain over the GeForce RTX 3090 in this test.
DLSS2 Feature Test
Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is an NVIDIA RTX technology that is using AI and neural networks to improve ray-tracing performance. It was a response to a performance hit that we saw with ray tracing gaming over raster-based gaming. Since the Ampere series graphics cards don’t support DLSS 3, we have used DLSS 2 performance test to compare both graphics cards at 1440P resolution.
We are seeing an improvement of 71% in this test.
DLSS3 Feature Test
We have measured DLSS 3-based performance tests on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) graphics card using multiple resolutions, including 8k.
Nvidia is showing a significant performance leap using DLSS 3.
VRS Feature Test
VRS stands for Variable-Rate Shading (VRS). This is a feature of DirectX 112 Ultimate API. This feature can improve the performance in rendering by reducing the detail of the scene, which is likely to be unnoticed by the gamer during gaming. We have tested both graphics cards in Tier 1 and Tier 2 performance testing.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) is showing significant performance uplift in VRS Tier 1 over the Ampere card. The Tier 1 testing is done on 1080P resolution. For 4k performance data, take a look at Tier 2 results below.
We see a solid performance gain by GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090.
SUPERPOSITION is a benchmark tool to measure the performance and stability of your graphics card. There are workloads that a user can choose from or use a custom run based on preference (if using a license version). The tool is a rendering of a scientific lab using Screen-Space Ray-Traced Global Illumination and lighting technology; hence it takes its toll on the graphics card.
We ran three presets; 1080P Extreme, 4K Optimized, and 8K Optimized. We can see that the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) is smashing the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio in all three workloads with significant performance gain.
Gaming (Rasterization) Benchmarks
We have tested the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) on all three popular display resolutions (1080P, 1440P, 2160P). I would use this graphics card for 4K gaming because it has a performance punch to deliver smooth gaming performance on that resolution, but there is no end to where the users would utilize this gaming GPU. Let’s see its performance in the Rasterization-based model first, and then we will take a look at Ray Tracing and DLSS performance.
Hogwarts Legacy is a 2023 release with high popularity. It is an immersive, open-world RPG game developed by Avalanche Software using Unreal Engine 4. This game is available for multiple platforms including PC, Play Station 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S as well as Nintendo Switch. This game takes a toll on a graphics card, and high VRAM graphics cards would come in handy for this game.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a solid performance in this game with easy 80+ FPS on 4K. We can see the performance gap increasing on higher resolution than on 1080P, where it seems like the CPU is bounding the graphics cards.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 took the gaming community by storm when it was released back in 2018. It is still a highly popular game coming from the Read Dead series. It was developed by Rockstar Studios and published by Rockstar Games using the RAGE engine. It is available on Play Station 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia platforms.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a rock-solid performance in this game. The performance gap between the GeForce RTX 4090 and GeForce RTX 3090 is over 46%. The 4K gaming performance margin is 55%.
Released in 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 is a quite famous title among the gaming community. This game is developed by CD Projekt Red and published by CD Projekt using REDengine 4. It is an action-role-playing game set in an open world. This game is available on Play Station 4 and 5, Stadia, PC, Xbox One, and Series S/X.
Once again, GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) is showing its absolute power punch with a rock-solid performance. However, it would be a different scenario using ray tracing, particularly DLSS. We will come to that shortly.
CONTROL is an action-adventure game released in 2019, developed by Remedy Entertainment, and produced by 505 Games. It is using NorthLight Engine. It is available on platforms like PC, Play Station 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, Stadia, and Nintendo Switch. Amazon Luna-supported version was released in 2020.
We are seeing a similar performance from GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) in this title.
Deathloop is a first-person shooter game developed by Arkane Lyon and published by Bethesda Softworks using Void Engine. It was first released in 2021, with subsequent support coming in 2022. It is available on platforms like PC, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Play Station 5.
Though GeForce RTX 3090 has a good performance overall in this title, the GeForce RTX 4090 is unmatched and unparalleled in this title, with an average FPS of 137 in 4K resolution.
Forza Horizon 5
This is a racing game released in 2021. It was developed by Playground Games and published by Xbox Game Studios. This is the 12th installment in the Forza series. It uses Turn 10 Engine. It is available on Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
We have tested this game using the Extreme preset. We are seeing a nominal difference between 1080P and 1440P gaming results, suggesting that the game is CPU-bound as well, but the story changes when it comes to 4K gaming, and GeForce RTX 4090 delivers a solid performance punch.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
This game was released in 2020 and it is from the famous Assassin’s Creed series of games from Ubisoft. It was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is available on platforms like PC, Play Station 4 and 5, Xbox One and series X/S, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna. It is using Ubisoft Anvil gaming engine.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has admirable performance in this title as well.
Far Cry 6
It is a first-person shooting game first released in 2021. It was developed by Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft. It is still using DUNIA Engine which we saw on the Far Cry 5 as well. It is available on Play Station 4 and 5, PC, Xbox One and Series X/S, and Google Stadia platforms.
This is another title where we can see that game is CPU bound on 1080P and 1440P. However, it changes with 4K gaming. GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a solid performance.
4A Games developed Metro Exodus which is the third installment in the Metro series. It was published by Deep Silver. This game uses 4A Engine. This game is available on PC, Play Station 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, Linux, macOS, and Google Stadia platforms.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) offers superb performance in this game though we again see closer performance metrics in 1080P and 1440P.
DOOM ETERNAL is a first-person shooter game. It was released in 2020 by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Id Software. It is using Vulkan and DX12 APIs. It is available on PlayStation 5 and 5, PC, Google Stadia, Xbox One and Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
The performance numbers are self-explanatory.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released in 2018 by Square Enix Europe. This is probably the 12th installment in the Tomb Raider series of games. It is developed by Eidos-Montreal, and it is using Foundation engine. It is available on PC, Play Station 4, Google Stadia, Xbox One, Linux, and macOS.
Well, the 4k gaming performance of GeForce RTX 4090 is similar to the 2K gaming performance of GeForce RTX 3090. This in itself speaks for the leaps and bounds in performance gain provided by Ada Lovelace.
The Witcher3 – Wild Hunt
This game was released in 2015 with the support of Nvidia Hairworks at that time. It was developed by CD Projekt Red and published by CD Projekt. It uses REDengine 3. It is available on Play Station 4 and 5, PC, Xbox One and Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
We are seeing a superb performance from GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) in this game.
DICE developed Battlefield V, and it was released by Electronic Arts in 2018. This is a first-person shooter game and probably the first game to provide Ray Tracing and DLSS support. It uses Frostbite 3 engine. This game is available on PC, Play Station 4, and Xbox One platforms.
This game is pretty much saturated for high-end graphics cards like Grand Theft Auto – V except for 4K resolution and DXR with DLSS gaming. It is evident from the graphs. This game has a cap of 200 FPS, and GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) was doing 199 to 200 FPS. But 4K gaming shows a difference between the GeForce RTX 4090 and GeForce RTX 3090.
Gaming (Ray Tracing + DLSS) Benchmarks
In this section, we will see a ray tracing and DLSS performance of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) graphics card. Our main focus is on the performance of GeForce RTX 4090, and for that, we are showing the following:
- The first entry in the graphs will show the raster performance of the GeForce RTX 4090.
- The second entry in the graphs will show the ray tracing performance of the GeForce RTX 4090 without DLSS.
- The third entry in the graphs will show the ray tracing and DLSS combined performance of the GeForce RTX 4090.
- The fourth entry in the graphs will compare the ray tracing and DLSS combined performance of the GeForce RTX 4090 against the GeForce RTX 3090.
The only exception will be where only ray tracing performance is measured or where DLSS performance only is measured and reported.
Let’s start with the Battlefield V game. This was the first game to enable ray tracing and DLSS performance for the Turing series graphics cards from Nvidia.
In Battlefield V, the DLSS is only performed on 4K resolution and this is a true resolution to measure the DLSS performance given how the sampling is done on a lower resolution and then upscaled. We are still seeing a significant performance hit between raster and ray tracing only. However, despite this performance hit, the 115 FPS count shows a good improvement from previous generations. This gap is reduced by enabling the DLSS, and we saw that the hit or gap is reduced to 31%. Certainly, the DLSS game is beefed up. We are seeing a 58% performance improvement using ray tracing and DLSS together over the Ampere graphics card.
Metro Exodus was another title in the early adopters for ray tracing and DLSS. We see fewer performance hit using ray tracing over raster (28%). However, we do note that by enabling ray tracing, the game runs more CPU bound on 1080P and 1440P. Since DLSS results can only be truly measured using 4K resolution, we are seeing no performance gain on lower resolutions. However, DLSS is giving only an 18% performance gain here. However, when we compare the combined performance of ray tracing and DLSS for the two generations, we are seeing over 41% performance gain or improvement in the Ada Lovelace.
Cyberpunk 2077 is another famous title that has good support for ray tracing and DLSS. It is the first title that has got DLSS 3 support from Nvidia. However, initial reports were that it was taking a toll on performance. We did not test the DLSS 3 using DLSS Frame Generation as the update was not available at that time. We are seeing a performance hit of 60% coming from raster to ray tracing. However, this hit was reduced using DLSS. This is the first title where we saw FPS dropping below 60 on 4K gaming by enabling ray tracing. But it was reversed by enabling the DLSS, where DLSS gave a 58% performance gain on 4K. Comparing the combined performance of ray tracing and DLSS on two generations, we see a good lift-up on Ada Lovelace compared to Ampere.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is another title with limited support for ray tracing under shadows and reflections in the graphics settings menu. We have tested this game for ray tracing performance as well. Since this is not a full ray trace implementation, in my understanding (I may be wrong), the performance hit is not that high. There is roughly a 22% hit in this game. It is actually a good performance, as we are seeing 110 FPS on 4K gaming using ray tracing. The overall ray tracing performance gain of GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090 is marginal.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider has support for Nvidia DLSS. We have tested this game on 1440P and 2160P with and without DLSS to see the performance gain, if any. The 4K gaming has a significant boost using DLSS over non-DLSS performance by 42%. Though the FPS on GeForce RTX 3090 is low compared to the GeForce RTX 4090, the performance gain is actually better.
CONTROL also has ray tracing and DLSS support. We have measured the performance on 1440P and 2160P resolutions. We are seeing a performance hit of 34% in this game by using ray tracing. However, using ray tracing with DLSS provides up to a 42% performance boost, which is good. The GeForce RTX 4090 is way ahead of GeForce RTX 3090 in 4K gaming using combined ray tracing and DLSS features.
GPU Compute Benchmarks
We have also used a few benchmarking tools to measure the computing performance of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) and MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G graphics cards. Nvidia has mentioned that the AD102 GPU packs a powerful fourth-generation Tensor Core offering almost double the throughput for existing FP16, BF16, TF32, and INT8 formats.
Being a fourth-generation core, it is also equipped with an FP8 tensor format. FP8 halves the data storage requirements compared to FP16 while doubling the throughput at the same time, delivering up to 1.3 PetaFLOPS performance metrics. What all this means and how helpful this is can be obtained by checking the GPU Compute performance, and this will confirm the performance gain over the Ampere architecture.
IndigoBench is a standalone benchmark application. It uses Indigo 4’s advanced rendering engine, and it is useful in benching your CPU and Graphics cards, particularly when comparing the performance between the systems and components. This benchmark uses OpenCL API, majority of the graphics cards are supported.
This benchmark has two rendering scenes; Bedroom and Supercar. We are measuring the speed in terms of M Samples drawn per minute. The higher score shows better performance. The GeForce RTX 4090 shows a significant performance boost of 96% in the Bedroom scene and 57% in the Supercar scene over the GeForce RTX 3090.
This benchmark is a free application and it is widely used to measure the performance and compare it with a similar spec system to know how the system is performing relatively. This benchmark includes three render engine tests:
- V-Ray — CPU compatible
- V-Ray GPU CUDA — GPU and CPU compatible
- V-Ray GPU RTX — RTX GPU compatible
We have used V-Ray GPU CUDA and V-Ray GPU RTX to measure and compare the performance of GeForce RTX 4090 and 3090.
The GeForce RTX 4090 has a 103% performance boost over GeForce RTX 3090 in V-Ray GPU CUDA. This performance gain is 98% in the V-Ray GPU RTX benchmark.
Geekbench 5 Benchmark
Geekbench 5 is a popular benchmarking tool in the reviewers/testers community. It can measure the single-core and multi-core performance of your CPU. The GPU Compute benchmark is used to evaluate the gaming, image processing, and video editing capability of your graphics card. The Geekbench 5 supports CUDA, Vulkan, and OpenCL APIs. We have used all three APIs for this testing.
We are seeing a 148% performance gain in VULKAN API, a 57% performance gain in OpenCL API, and a 67% performance gain in CUDA API by GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090.
Blender Benchmark 3.4.0
Blender Benchmark is another popular benchmarking tool that renders various scenes using a CPU or graphics card and outputs the result in a score. A higher score shows a better performance from the rendering device. This version uses the following scenes to render:
The result is Samples per minute. More samples a device can render in a minute compared to other devices shows its better performance. We are seeing a 98% performance gain in the classroom, a 69% performance gain in junkshop, and a 132% performance gain in Monster by GeForce RTX 4090 over RTX 3090.
The AIDA64 has a useful benchmark name GPGPU. This benchmark measures GPGPU Compute performance using various OpenCL workloads. Each individual benchmark can be run on up to 16 GPUs, including AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA GPUs, or a combination of these.
The memory read and write results for both graphics cards are almost similar. However, in memory copy, the GeForce RTX 4090 shows its performance class over the Ampere card. There is more than double the performance gain in Single-Precision FLOPS and Double-Precision FLOPS by GeForce RTX 4090. Except for SHA-a Hash, every computational result is showing almost double the performance gain in GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090.
Now that we have checked the gaming and computing performance of the GIGABYTE GeForce RX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0), it is time to check the clock’s behaviors. This graphics card has a base clock of 2235MHz and a boost clock of 2535MHz. The reference card has a boost clock of 2520MHz. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a factory overclock of mere 15MHz over the reference card.
During gaming, this graphics card was doing 2715MHz on average, which is quite good compared to previous generations. This card managed to go beyond the 3000MHz barrier during our overclocking session. The 1935MHz boost clock on MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G is outclassed by the 2715MHz boost clock of GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0).
The ambient temperature was between 26°C and 27°C. All the testing was done on stock settings with fans running of factory settings (no user-defined fan curve). We have used GPU-Z sensors to record the values over time after gameplay of Hogwarts Legacy at 4K, Ultra settings.
The maximum GPU temperature was 67°C which is quite impressive, particularly on the default factory settings where we did not tweak the fans to generate more airflow for better cooling. This is because it would violate the idea of stock testing and the noise output would be of high decibels. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a thermal junction of 84°C at a stock onboard power limit of 450W. From this perspective, this graphics card has done an impressive job in the cooling department.
We have found both cards give almost the same noise output of 42 dB(A) at an ambient noise level of 33 dB(A). Subjectively speaking, I was sitting closer to the test rig during testing, and these fans ran silently even under load. This is quite good particularly when we know that MSI set the lower RPM on GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio due to which thermals on stock settings were high. MSI released an optional BIOS update to address this issue, where they tweaked the fans’ curves for high RPM generation on stock settings.
Overclocking and Power Consumption
TechPowerUp GPU-Z is used to record the sensors during a 4K gaming session of Hogwarts Legacy. Since we are playing on stock settings, the graphics card is at a default onboard power limit of 450W.
The above picture shows a run of MSI Afterburner on the stock settings. We can see that the thermal junction is 84°C at a 100% power limit which is 450W. The voltage slider is locked. Ignore the driver version as this picture was taken later on after the testing.
We are showing two readings here for the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0). One is the power draw under the synthetic load using the 3DMARK Time Spy Extreme stress benchmark. The graphics card drew a maximum of 434W during that session. Then we came to a real-world gaming workload. During gameplay on 4K, this graphics card drew 390W power which is slightly more than the 374W used by MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G.
We switched the be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum PSU with the CORSAIR AX1200i Platinum power supply and used CORSAIR iCUE to determine the system power draw, excluding the display under load. It was 687W maximum Power Out and 640W maximum Power In. This is with overclocked Intel i7 13700k and a plethora of custom loop-based cooling solutions using 9x 140mm fans, a pump, and a SATA-powered fan controller.
This should settle the query of how much Watts PSU is needed for the RTX 4090. Though 850/860W PSUs can easily handle the load, 1000W is usually recommended given that we don’t know the overall build configuration and power draw of the complete system accordingly.
Next, we attempted an overclocking on GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0). For that, we have used the MSI Afterburner utility. As we can see, setting the power limit slider to 133% would give us 600W of power draw or limit. This is why we can use 3x PEG connectors on the provided adapter cable and still can use the graphics card without any hitch because the onboard default power limit is 450W which can easily be handled by 3x PEG or PCIe 8-pin connectors in this case. With a 133% power limit, the thermal limit is increased to 88°C.
With a 600W power limit, the power draw was 462W under the Time Spy Extreme stress test and 398W under the gaming load.
Now coming to overclocking, we resort to our traditional way of doing it. We used MSI Afterburner and unlocked the voltage control, and set the slider at 100%. Similarly, we set the power limit slider at 133%. We started with memory overclocking going in increments of 50MHz to 100MHz at a time till we started getting artifacts, freezing, or crashing. At that point, we reduced the memory clock to the last stable value and used it as a reference point. The memory overclock was removed, and we repeated the same procedure with the core clock. Once the stable clocks for memory and core were determined, both were overclocked to those points, and we then ran a few games and synthetic benchmarks.
We managed a +250MHz overclock on the core and +1600MHz on the memory.
We ran Unigine Superposition 1080P Extreme. Here we can see a 6% performance gain from this overclock.
Next, we used 3DMARK Time Spy Extreme. Here we got an 8% performance gain from this overclock.
We also ran 3DMARK Fire Strike Ultra. Here we got an 8% performance gain from this overclock.
We tested the Hogwarts Legacy 4K Ultra gaming session and used the average FPS to be reported on the graph. Here we have a performance gain of 3.7%.
We have mentioned in the introduction and Design sections that GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has RGB lighting built right inside the fans’ frames. The lighting will work only when these fans will spin. This is zone 1. Zone 2 has RGB lighting on the front-facing shroud under the GIGABYTE text.
This lighting can be controlled easily using GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0 app from GIGABYTE CONTROL CENTER. You can also use a GPU Utility from GCC, for that matter, but we preferred MSI Afterburner.
Here are a few pictures:
Nvidia released third-generation ray tracing series graphics cards in 2022. The new generation is called Ada Lovelace after a mathematician who is often considered as world’s first programmer. The Ada Lovelace is taking the game ahead of Turing and Ampere graphics cards. When Turing was launched, we tested the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080Ti at that time, followed by GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2060 subsequently. However, during Ampere’s time, we only managed GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3070.
This time with Ada Lovelace, although a bit late, we are finally back at it as we took a spin on the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) graphics card. GIGABYTE has released a total of 8 SKUs in the GeForce RTX 4090 series, including the versions/revision. There are two SKUs in AORUS branding, two SKUs in the Gaming series, two SKUs in the WINDFORCE series, and one SKU in my personal favorite AERO series. We have pitched this graphics card against MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G graphics card.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G is driven by AD102 GPU fabricated on a 4nm process having a die size of 608 mm² with a transistor count of 76300 Million or 73.6 Billion (to avoid confusion). This graphics card packs 24GB GDDR6X VRAM from Micron using a bus width of 384 bits with a bandwidth of 1008.4 GB/s. It has 16384 Unified Shaders or CUDA Cores. This graphics card uses using PCIe interface of Gen 4 utilizing 16 PCIe lanes. This graphics card has a base clock of 2250MHz with a boost clock of 2535MHz, which is 15MHz over the reference edition graphics card. This is a custom PCB graphics card with a WINDFORCE-based cooling solution. This graphics card packs RGB lighting in two zones.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) packs 24 GB GDDR6X video memory from MICRON. The memory clock is 21 Gbps which is higher than the 19.5 Gbps memory clock on MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G. Both graphics cards use the same bus width of 384-bit, but the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) has a memory bandwidth of 1008.4 GB/s compared to 936.2 GB/s on MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G card.
The GIGABYTE graphics card comes with 3x DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.1 port. It is a bit surprising to see that Nvidia is still sticking with DisplayPort 1.4 even on new generation graphics cards where one would expect a minimum of DisplayPort 2.0 standard if not 2.1 standards, particularly at this steep price point. The maximum supported digital resolution is 7680×4320.
I remember Nvidia referring to the GeForce RTX 3090 as a “Titan Class Performer” and 8K playable. This was partly coming from a whopping 24GB video memory and powerful FLOPs and compute performance in addition to the gaming performance with DLSS 2. The GeForce RTX 4090 even takes this game further up with 24GB onboard memory and provides even more powerful architecture using 512 Tensor Cores (fourth-generation) and 128 third-generation RT Cores. Coming back to the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0), this card has a dimension of 340×150.2×75.2mm, where 340mm is the length, and 75.2 is the height of this card. This is truly a 3.5-slot design with a massive and beefy cooler employed by GIGABYTE. This card weighs approximately 2.2 kg.
Speaking of the cooling solution, this graphics card uses WINDFORCE cooling comprised:
- Three 110mm unique blade fans
- Alternate Spinning Fans
- 3D Active Fans
- 10 composite copper heat pipes,
- A large vapor chamber directly touches the GPU
- Screen Cooling
- Thermal Pads
There is a plastic shroud finished in black and gray colors with bold and beautiful textures and stenciling. Since this graphics card has three large-size fans installed on the shroud, the actual visible area of the shroud is considerably less compared to the last generation cards. Each fan has 110mm in size and has nine blades. The middle fan rotates in opposite directions compared to the left and right fans. This alternate spinning is said to produce effective airflow and reduces turbulence by GIGABYTE.
GIGABYTE uses an automatic fan stop function or feature that is termed 3D Active Fans. The fans will stop spinning under a set temperature point and will only spin when that set point is reached or crossed. There are stripes on the blades which are termed 3D Stripes. They are said to enhance the airflow through the fans as air is spilled by the triangular fan edge and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface. GIGABYTYE is using Graphene nano lubricant to extend the life of the sleeve bearing fan by 2.1 times.
This graphics card has a vapor chamber that makes direct contact with the GPU, VRAM, and VRM MOSFETs for effective heat dissipation. This vapor chamber is connected to 10x composite copper heat pipes and a heat sink for heat transfer. The thermal density of the new GPU dies comprising 73.6 Billion transistors over a die size of 608 mm² sounds like the base for this vapor chamber requirement. There is a gray color metallic backplate on this graphics card which has thermal pads sitting between the backside of the PCB and this plate. There is a large size opening on this plate, exposing the heatsink. This area provides ventilation and is referred to as Screen Cooling where the cooler has more area compared to the actual size of the PCB.
With Ada Lovelace, Nvidia has started using a 12VHPWR connector that is capable of delivering up to 600W power to the graphics card. I am not going into the burning issues reported earlier, as that issue has been put to rest after a thorough investigation. GIGABYTE has provided a 12VHPWR adapter cable that is actually provided by Nvidia to its AIB partners for inclusion with every SKU they sell. This cable has a 12VHPWR connector at one end and 4x PCIe 8-pin connectors at the other end. This single adapter cable can deliver up to 600W to the graphics card. The default onboard power limit on GeForce RTX 4090 is 450W. This power can be delivered using only 3x PCIe 8-pin connectors. You would need 4 PEG cables in case going for a 600W power limit. GIGABYTE has provided an LED on the connector area PCB to troubleshoot the power-related issue.
This graphics card has dual BIOS named OC and Silent. The OC BIOS is enabled by default. In silent mode, the fans run even quieter at the cost of more temperatures. In our testing, we have seen this graphics card doping 67°C in OC mode with fans operating at approximately 42 dB(A), whereas this temperature peaked at 71°C in OC mode with fans literally running silent. Having two BIOS on a graphics card is always beneficial and comes in handy in case of any issue, in which case the user can switch to another BIOS and troubleshoots the issue.
We mentioned above that there are zones on this graphics card having RGB backlighting. One zone is right in the fans’ frame, and the other is on the front side facing the user lighting the GIGABYTE text. The RGB lighting can be controlled using the GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0 app under the GIGABYTE Control Center. The graphics card utility software can also be linked to it. Please keep in mind that the RGB lighting on the fans will only work as long as the fans continue to spin. As soon as the fans stop spinning, the RGB lighting will turn off as well.
GIGABYTE has provided a GPU Support Bracket, also called an Anti-Sag bracket. This solution comprises two brackets or a bracket and a side arm mounting. The side arm mounting is installed on the motherboard using two lower right-side mounting holes. The bracket is installed on the graphics card. The arm of the mounting sits above the PCIe slot. When the graphics card is installed, the mounting hole on the bracket faces exactly the rail on the side arm and is secured using a thumb screw. There can be design differences among the SKUs depending on the design. This bracket prevents the graphics card from sagging and provides structural stability.
Coming to the performance of the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0), we segregated the performance metrics into 4 broad categories:
- Synthetic Benchmarks
- Gaming Benchmarks (Raster)
- Gaming Benchmarks (Ray Tracing and DLSS)
- GPU Compute
The GeForce RTX 4090 has outclassed the GeForce RTX 3090 in synthetic benchmarks with almost double the performance of the GeForce RTX 3090 in many benchmarks. The Nvidia game is quite strong, at least in the synthetic benchmarks. What about real-world testing? I would aim at 4k gaming with GeForce RTX 4090, and as such, it should be benched accordingly, but we have tested this graphics card on all three resolutions. We summed all FPS on each resolution and then determined the performance gain of GeForce RTX 4090 over GeForce RTX 3090.
|Display Resolution||Performance Gain|
We can see that this graphics card seems to be limited by CPU on lower resolution but the game changes when we upped the display resolution. In rasterization, this graphics card has a 61% performance gain over the Ampere card. This is quite a number! We repeated the same process for ray tracing and DLSS combined performance and found that GeForce RTX 4090 has a 58.10% performance gain over the GeForce RTX 3090.
It is clear Nvidia has delivered a solid performance punch with GeForce RTX 4090 compared to the Ampere and Turing cards. Yes, there is no RTX 3090Ti card in our graphs since we did not have any SKU from that GPU at the time of this testing. Even using a few benchmarks to see the performance of GeForce RTX 4090 in rendering and calculations, we saw almost double the performance gain over the GeForce RTX 3090. During testing, we noticed that the GeForce RTX 4090 is bottlenecked by the CPU on a lower resolution.
In my opinion, the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) is better utilized at a minimum 4K resolution for gaming purposes and even at 1440P with a high refresh rate panel. But we have seen that even on 1440P using a 165Hz refresh rate, there were a couple of titles where the CPU bottlenecked this card, but its sheer performance overcomes that bottleneck. We managed to push the graphics card to +250MHz on the Core and +1600MHz on memory clocks which resulted in up to 8% performance gain in synthetic benchmarks but 3.4% in a real gaming experience.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming OC 24G (rev 1.1/1.0) is listed on AMAZON at USD 1700, which is 100 bucks above the reference price from Nvidia. This is a steep price for sure, but the pricing of the GeForce RTX 4080, powerful performance with silent operations, and lower thermals make this GeForce RTX 4090 a better value. GIGABYTE is offering a 3-year warranty that can be extended to a total of 4 years by registering the product on their website.
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