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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090: a new level in graphics performance



The embargo lifts today on Nvidias GeForce RTX 4090 and its a phenomenal achievement in graphics performance – as you might hope and expect from a $1600/£1650 GPU. The full Eurogamer review will follow as soon as possible but so much work in Digital Foundry has been poured into this project that weve only just managed to finish the video review in time. With minutes left until the embargo lifts, I wanted to share the review with the Eurogamer audience – and to offer up some personal thoughts on the product.

First of all, I think it is important to stress that the power level of this product shows a leap in performance that surrounding components within a gaming PC may struggle to fully access. 1080p and 1440p metrics with this product are essentially meaningless – even with my Core i9 12900K overclocked to 5.2GHz on all performance cores, Im finding frame-rates hitting the CPU limit. This happens even on some 4K benchmarks without ray tracing in the equation. And even if you are using RT, opting for DLSS performance mode (with an internal 1080p base image) can again see you hitting the limits of your processor.


Watch on YouTube

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 – the Digital Foundry video review.

Over the last few weeks, its been really interesting just to live with the card for PC gaming – I use a 4K 120Hz LG OLED CX display, and its a good fit for the RTX 4090. I dont need to worry about settings, I dont need to worry about performance. Id venture to suggest that for non-RT gaming, the graphics problem is solved. Ray tracing? No worries there either, thanks to DLSS. However, if I did not have a 4K 120Hz display, I do wonder whether Id need the 4090. Thats my subjective opinion on gaming with the card, but heres the full video review where you get all the numbers you need.

Since the performance data is done and our video capture analysis fully input into the Eurogamer system, heres how some of the benchmarks play out. RTX 4090s biggest generational leaps are best seen at 4K with ray tracing workloads ramped up to the max, so heres a few RT benchmarks across all major resolutions to look at.

Dying Light 2 Ultra RT, TAA, DX12















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Cyberpunk 2077, Ultra RT, DX12, TAA















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Control, High, High RT, DX12, TAA















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Theres an interesting spread of results here with Dying Light 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 at ultra RT settings delivering big, big generational gains. The Techland showcase sees a good 74 percent performance increase for the RTX 4090 over the last-gen champion, RTX 3090 Ti. This increases to a 94 percent gen-on-gen boost up against the RTX 3090. The figures also demonstrate the challenge facing AMD in terms of ray tracing performance – theres a mountain to climb there.

Cyberpunk 2077? A nigh-on 86 percent boost vs RTX 3090 Ti – and the new GPU is over twice as fast as RTX 3090. On the flipside, Control sees more modest gains in the Corridor of Doom stress test, in line with some of the boosts seen in non-RT titles.

The Eurogamer review is a whopper, currently standing at nine pages! We hope to bring it to you soon – and itll also be followed by a deeper dive into Nvidias disruptive DLSS 3 technology. Its content weeks in the making and Im really looking forward to sharing it with you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the video review.


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