Do you even need an RTX 4090 for gaming?

The Nvidia RTX 4090 is the most powerful GPU today (Image via Sportskeeda)
The Nvidia RTX 4090 is the most powerful GPU today (Image via Sportskeeda)

Nvidia's RTX 4090, launched back in 2022, is filled to the brim with hardware and can run pretty much any game you throw at it. This GPU is significantly faster than the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti, and its performance is yet to be bested.

However, I must admit that the card feels a bit extra. It's priced at an eye-watering $1,599 and consumes up to 450W under full load. So, do you even need one of these for gaming? After spending quite some time with the RTX 4090, along with some others from both AMD and Nvidia, my deduction is that the GPU is only good for those who don't want to settle for anything less than the absolute best. If you're looking for something practical and care about value for money, consider another model.


The RTX 4090 is a beast of a graphics card

The Nvidia RTX 4090 is a powerful GPU for all kinds of workloads (Image via Sportskeeda)
The Nvidia RTX 4090 is a powerful GPU for all kinds of workloads (Image via Sportskeeda)

For starters, the RTX 4090 is a technological marvel. It's based on the flagship AD102 graphics processor from Team Green and fully utilizes the latest Ada Lovelace architecture. The GPU packs 16,384 CUDA cores, 512 Tensor cores, and 128 RT cores.

You also get 24 GB of GDDR6X video memory based on a 384-bit bus that delivers a total bandwidth of 1.01 TB/s.

Below is a detailed specs list of the card:

GPU Name

AD102

CUDA Core Count

16,384

Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)

512

Render Output Units (ROPs)

176

Ray Tracing (RT) Core Count

128

Tensor Core Count

512

Video Memory Size

24 GB

Video Memory Type

GDDR6X

Video Memory Bus Width

384 bit

Base Clock Speed

2235 MHz

Boost Clock Speed

2520 MHz

Memory Clock Speed

1313 MHz

MSRP

$1,599

All of these specs deliver superb graphics performance in the latest titles. If you are a competitive gamer, expect 240+ FPS at the highest settings at 4K. At lower resolutions, you are looking at 500+ FPS in DirectX 9-based games.

Some games can be demanding though. Fortnite, for instance, has gotten quite graphically intensive at the highest settings. Other than this, I recorded over 60 FPS at the best settings without DLSS and ray tracing in every title at UHD.

The RTX 4090 is stupendously fast in video games (Image via Sportskeeda)
The RTX 4090 is stupendously fast in video games (Image via Sportskeeda)

Even with ray tracing, you can expect an unmatched gaming experience with this GPU. The card can push out playable framerates in almost every game without relying on any upscaling tech. In some older titles, you can get over 100 FPS.

The RTX 4090 is quite fast with ray tracing turned on (Image via Sportskeeda)
The RTX 4090 is quite fast with ray tracing turned on (Image via Sportskeeda)

The 4090 is capable, there's no doubt about it. However, it will require an incredibly expensive machine to use it optimally. The rig I used to record the benchmarks cost over $3,500, and it still leaves some room for improvement.


The RTX 4080 Super and RX 7900 XTX deliver superb gaming experiences

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a capable 4K gaming GPU (Image via Sportskeeda)
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a capable 4K gaming GPU (Image via Sportskeeda)

For most gamers, something less ultimate than the 4090 is more practical. If you are looking for a capable graphics card that isn't as expensive, you have the RTX 4080 Super and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX. Both GPUs are scary fast at 4K, just not as good as the 4090.

I have tested the RX 7900 XTX, which impressed me as well, consistently recording 4K 60 FPS in most video games at the highest settings. The framerates were just not as good as the 4090.

The RX 7900 XTX is a fast 4K gaming GPU (Image via Sportskeeda)
The RX 7900 XTX is a fast 4K gaming GPU (Image via Sportskeeda)

GPUs like the RTX 4080 Super and the 7900 XTX can pump out impressive performance. For most high-end gamers, these will suffice. On average, they're about 20% slower than the 4090 and still faster than the last-generation RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti.


Even the RTX 4070 is enough for most gamers

The RTX 4070 is quite capable for 1440p and 4K gaming (Image via Sportskeeda)
The RTX 4070 is quite capable for 1440p and 4K gaming (Image via Sportskeeda)

The much cheaper RTX 4070 is enough for the casual gamer. In my testing, the graphics card pumped playable framerates in most resolutions at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions. At higher resolutions, you might need to crank down the settings for a smooth experience. However, this trade-off makes sense given it costs less than half that of the 4090. You can pick up the 70-class GPU for just $549 today.

Benchmark scores of the RTX 4070 graphics card (Image via Sportskeeda)
Benchmark scores of the RTX 4070 graphics card (Image via Sportskeeda)

If you don't want to spend north of $1,200 to $1,500 on a gaming rig, the 4070 is your best bet. The graphics card brings all of the latest technologies along with superb gaming performance at a more affordable price point. The RTX 4090 simply loses in terms of value for money when compared to this GPU.


Check out more about graphics cards on Sportskeeda:

Why the Nvidia RTX 4090 is not worth buying over the RTX 4080 16 GB for gaming || Can you play 8K games with an RTX 4090? || Should you wait for Nvidia RTX 5090 or buy the RTX 4090?

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Edited by Angad Sharma
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