As someone with incredibly poor impulse control, I’m hugely relieved Nvidia hasn’t included an updated RTX 4090 GPU as part of its new 40-series Super range. And I say that as someone who absolutely loves obliterating my wallet buying shiny new graphics cards.
So, why am I not pining for an RTX 4090 Super GPU? The current edition launched back in 2022, and it still remains comfortably the most powerful consumer graphics card on the market. Obviously the new RTX 4070 Super, RTX 4070 Ti Super and RTX 4080 are of no interest to me as my current card is considerably faster than any of them. Yet my inner fps nerd really should want an RTX 4090 Super.
Luckily, my bank balance absolutely does not want one. The 4090 launched for an eye-watering $1,599, and due to high demand and limited stock at launch, I’d ended up buying one off eBay for £2,000. Doing some basic Count von Count Sesame Street math, that works out to $2,543 going by today’s currency rates.
Predictably, I’m not desperate to fork out for another two grand GPU.
So yeah, I’m not desperate to fork out for another two grand GPU. Yet that’s not the main reason I’m relieved Nvidia isn’t updating its most powerful card. The simple fact is, a 4090 Super simply is needed right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I love high-end PC gaming. I’ve spent an absurd amount of cash on my rig, and with the recent purchase of AMD’s Ryzen 7 7800X3D, my PC now houses both the best GPU and best gaming CPU in the world. And when this baby is running at the height of its powers (and not having to put up with crappy PC ports like Star Wars: Jedi Survivor), it predictably runs circles around both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. As it should, considering the sky-high costs involved.
Hell, my rig is so powerful, it would probably outgun a PS7 or an Xbox Series Z. I spent most of this past weekend playing Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077 and RoboCop: Rogue City at 4K on my LG G3 OLED, and thanks to Nvidia DLSS, I didn’t drop below 100 fps in any of those titles, not even once.
With the current upsampling techniques all 40-Series cards can tap into, not to mention the advances being made in fps-boosting features like we’re seeing with frame generation in DLSS 3, you don’t need a 4090 to achieve high frame rates in the best PC games. That’s another nailed on reason why we don’t need the 4090 Super right now.
The one contradictory caveat I’ll throw in is that the 4090 Super could be needed later in this generation, provided it offers enough of a power boost over a card that’s rocking 24GB of memory and 16384 cores. That’s primarily because of Unreal Engine 5.
We’ve already seen a cluster of titles released that use Epic Games’ latest Unreal Engine, and performance results on consoles have been mixed, to say the least. While RoboCop: Rogue City mostly runs fine on PS5 and Xbox Series X, performance in the likes of Remnant 2, Immortals of Aveum and Lords of the Fallen all provide rockier experiences.
While my PC can now beast Lords of the Fallen, that wasn’t the case back when my RTX 4090 was paired with Intel’s Core i5 12600K. On my old GPU/CPU combo, playing on my Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor at a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, the Soulslike action would often drop into the high 50s during more frantic battles. Yet with the addition of AMD’s astounding CPU, I can now run this very decent Dark Souls rip-off (sorry, “homage”) at well over 90 fps.
So yeah, it’s important you pair a 4090 with a suitably beefy processor, otherwise you’re going to struggle in games that are heavily CPU bound.
The reality is though, paired with even a half decent CPU, the RTX 4090 will slay most modern games with ease. And when you pair it with the best gaming processor around, it essentially crushes any title you put before it. Well, as long as said title isn’t blighted by Unreal Engine 4 shader compilation stutter; an annoying issue that persists in far too many modern PC ports.
"When I can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K/120 fps there's just no need for a 4090 Super in the here and now"
The Nvidia GeForce 4090 is by far the best graphics card on the market, and when I can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K/120 fps with ray tracing setting to “Psycho” levels, there’s just no need for a 4090 Super in the here and now.
Of course, circling back to my opening paragraph, I’ve got such hideously bad impulse control, I’d almost certainly buy the damn thing day one if Nvidia ever decides to release it.