Nvidia Releases New Flagship GPU: Is it Worth Buying?


RTX 4090 Promotion Image, Courtesy of Nvidia

On October 12, 2022, Nvidia released their newest and most powerful GPU yet; the RTX 4090. With more of the 40 series still to come, lots of people are wondering if it is worth the money to upgrade their 30 series cards. While it may be costly, there are a few significant reasons why this card will be beneficial to users who are building or upgrading their computer.

On the performance side, the 4090 is up to four times better than the previous Nvidia flagship, the RTX 3090 ti. However, the 3080, which is significantly lower spec is considered “overkill” by users for most tasks. If you are someone interested in gaming and this new upgrade, the 4090 is a poor investment of upwards of $1750 for performance boosts you won’t be able to take advantage of. However, if you are rendering video creations or using your computer for extremely taxing graphic based processes such as 3D models, the 4090 will give you a nice boost in terms of rendering speed.

Have you decided that the 4090 is a good investment and the right buy for you? Well, here are a few things to consider before buying. First, the rest of your system must be compatible and able to keep up with the beefy 4090, or else there is no point in purchasing it in the first place. Depending on which version you buy, 4090s could warrant a whopping 1200 watt power supply. Some cards consume upwards of 500w with occasional spikes. 500w for a single part is just ridiculous, especially when you consider the power consumption of the other high end parts that are needed to fully utilize the 4090.

The beast of a card cannot be inserted into just any system. The recommended PSU wattage for the 4090 founders edition is 850 watts, and it only gets higher with the third party models. Depending on the model you buy, you might have to sustain it with a 1200 watt PSU. In addition to being expensive, such a large power supply is not good for your electricity bill. When you upgrade to any newer graphics card a new PSU is usually required, but 1200 watts is wild.

The newest and greatest card in Nvidia’s collection is not available to just everyone – even if you have the money. The 4090 founders edition is out of stock in most online marketplaces, like Best Buy and Amazon. This issue is less prevalent for third party cards, but supply issues are still rampant among them. This is partially due to scalpers, people that snatch up products quickly and resell them for profit. Buying scalped cards is not recommended because scams are likely and it simply encourages scalping in the future. If you really want to get your hands on a 4090, buying a prebuilt computer with one inside is a viable option. These do not have as severe availability issues as cards alone, and there are plenty of great options out there. Make sure to do your research, because prebuilts can be low quality if the producer is banking off the consumer’s lack of knowledge about computers.