Nvidia will send us our review unit for the RTX 4090 very soon, so we are naturally very excited to get our hands on it and find out whether or not it justifies its High Price. Meanwhile, Nvidia was kind enough to gift us with some test footage of Cyberpunk 2077 running on the new GPU, specifically to showcase the new power of the DLSS 3.
The demo ran at 1400p resolution and max graphics settings (with Ultra Ray Tracing enabled), and Nvidia displayed some active GPU metrics on screen during the presentation, which revealed some interesting facts about how well the RTX 4090 was running. the game.
The first – and potentially the most interesting – information we got was that this RTX 4090 was running at clocks of up to 2,850MHz, which is actually 330Hz higher than the originally reported ‘official’ boost clock of 2,520MHz. Nvidia had previously mentioned that the GPU surpassed 3,000 MHz when overclocked during internal testing, so this isn’t entirely shocking, but it’s nice to see the card running heavily overclocked.
In terms of actual in-game performance, the RTX 4090 ran Cyberpunk 2077 at a medium frame rate only shy of 60 fps when using native resolution and with DLSS 3 turned off. Enabling DLSS 3 (in the Quality preset) took a huge leap in performance, raising the average frame rate to 171fps and reducing power consumption by over 110W.
That’s a huge performance improvement per Watt, which is exciting to see, as the new RTX GPUs are power-hungry components. It also goes beyond frame rates; Enabling Nvidia’s third-generation upscaling technology also reduced average latency by 29% and also slightly lowered the card’s maximum operating temperature, which was between 50C and 53C during the DLSS 3 demo.
Analysis: DLSS 3 will be more useful for low-end cards
DLSS 3 won’t be needed (or supported) for many games, and if you have an RTX 4090 you definitely won’t need it for most titles, due to the raw power of the GPU. In fact, it’s the lower spec GPUs like the suspiciously weak 12GB RTX 4080, and any cheaper future cards like the RTX 4070who will benefit most from it.
DLSS has made great strides since its introduction, to the point where it now allows lower spec graphics cards to run demanding games at higher resolutions without massively sacrificing frame rates. It’s also pretty much mandatory for games with resource-intensive ray tracing processes like Cyberpunk 2077 (which is presumably why Nvidia chose this game to demonstrate DLSS 3).
We’re a little disappointed to see that DLSS 3 is unlikely to make it to older RTX cards; at least not so soon. Some of best GPUs, like the RTX 3070 and 3060 Ti, it could be seriously upped by third-gen DLSS, but it looks like Nvidia wants to keep it as a main selling point of the RTX 4000 for now.
With RTX 3000 and older cards getting cheaper and cheaperhowever, the launch of the RTX 4090 may signal the perfect time to grab a good graphics card offer – especially if you don’t plan on playing in 4K Ultra. If you’re still using a 1080p monitor, grabbing a 3000-series GPU once the 4000-series arrives and the price drops that follow might be a smart move. Black Friday It’s getting closer after all…