GeForce RTX 4090 Blower GPU Blows Hot and Loud

GeForce RTX 4090
GeForce RTX 4090 (Image credit: BottleneckEvader/Reddit)

The GeForce RTX 4090, which tops our list of best graphics cards, is a 450W graphics card. Considering the latter, it doesn't sound like a good idea to slap a blower on the Ada Lovelace flagship. But it looks like one brave graphics card vendor went ahead and did that anyway, and now a Redditor has brought us the first evaluation of a GeForce RTX 4090 with a blower cooler.

The mysterious GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card sports a dual-slot design with a blower-style cooling system. Besides the GeForce RTX logo and its model name, the graphics card lacks any logos that might give us a clue as to its manufacturer. However, an interesting piece of Morse code translates to "AI Edition," which alludes to the reason behind the blower design. According to the GPU-Z screenshot, Nvidia is the sub-vendor for the graphics card. However, the GeForce RTX 4090 looks almost identical to a Manli Geforce RTX 4090 blower graphics card that surfaced a few months ago.

The owner recounted in the Reddit thread (opens in new tab) that he bought the GeForce RTX 4090 in Japan from an unmentioned vendor for the equivalent of $2,675. The graphics card arrived in an obscure white box with no marketing or branding. Aside from the foam to hold the graphics card in place and the triple 8-pin to 12VHPWR adapter, nothing else was inside the box. It didn't even include a user manual or warranty card.

The GeForce RTX 4090 blower shares the exact specifications as Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition. The power limit is locked down to 450W. Nonetheless, the Redditor still managed to put an extra 1,800 MHz on the memory. Despite relying on a blower cooler, the performance didn't appear to be compromised. The benchmarks showed the graphics card's performance was within the margins of other GeForce RTX 4090 models.

Under a heavy workload, the GeForce RTX 4090 sounds like a jet engine. According to the owner, the cooling fans ramp up to a whopping 5,200 RPM. The default fan curve allows the GPU temperature to hit 78 degrees Celsius (C) and the memory to scale to 96 C. Using a custom and more aggressive fan curve, the GPU temperatures drop to 67 C while the memory comfortably sits around 88 C.

In addition to hardcore gamers, Nvidia has positioned the GeForce RTX x090-tier SKUs to creators and researchers. However, the chipmaker isn't very fond of manufacturers that put out blower-type models because they cannibalize the brand's A-series models, which have replaced the Quadro lineup. 

For example, some system integrators favored the GeForce RTX 3090 blower graphics cards over Nvidia's more expensive A-series offerings, such as the A100, in their server products. Although we never got an official statement from Nvidia and its partners refused to comment on the reason, GeForce RTX 3090 blower graphics cards magically disappeared without a trace.

Unlike the typical GeForce RTX 4090 with a 3.5-slot design (which can sometimes cross over to the 4-slot domain) this blower variant only utilizes two slots. This design enables the GeForce RTX 4090 to fit into very compact cases and lets professional users install multiple (sometimes up to four) graphics cards into a single system. 

In addition, given the GeForce RTX 4090's specifications and generous 24GB VRAM with ECC support, it's a capable graphics card for specialized workloads including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The GeForce RTX 4090 is practically a poor man's A-series, so to speak.

We've seen zero announcements for GeForce RTX 4090 blower graphics cards — the Manli one is only on our radar courtesy of a hardware leaker. So perhaps Nvidia is still against the idea of vendors releasing blower versions of its flagship GeForce RTX gaming products, which would explain why the GeForce RTX 4090 from the Reddit thread doesn't carry branding.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • RichardtST
    Blowers just make too much sense these days with all the high wattage. I picked up a 3080 turbo blower for my son's micro-atx case because how the heck would you cool off a standard 3080 in such a small space without just taking all the sides off? No problem with a blower-style gpu. Heat goes out. Done. Too bad if NGreedia and AMD don't like consumer-facing blowers. We do. Maybe some independent company should start making blower kits? Turn your re-circulating case heater into a blower for a couple hundred extra? Maybe... Certainly better than paying 5x the price for the exact same thing as a "professional" version.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    Blower card with a triple slot design will be great little card. Nvidia don't make anymore blower card because has fear someone put on hack, farming or other ia project. But you can get a "pro version" with a pro tag price. Consumer version 2000+ / pro version 7000+
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    If you cut the power in half you lose 8% performance. https://www.techpowerup.com/301649/nvidia-geforce-rtx-4090-with-nearly-half-its-power-limit-and-undervolting-loses-just-8-performance
    That looks to me the card has been overclocked from what it should have been for little gain. The card has little reason to be feed so much power for so little gain.
    Reply
  • metalmachine467
    Why would you want a blower cooler got to be the worst of them
    Reply
  • mpotma
    metalmachine467 said:
    Why would you want a blower cooler got to be the worst of them
    They're mostly useful if you're stacking them next to each other. If you want to fit 4 4090s in a desktop rig, your only choices are water cooled or blower
    Reply
  • Eximo
    For a couple hundred extra, water cool.

    Usually the only regular customers for blower style cards are OEMs and workstation builders for the reasons you mentioned.

    There were quite a few 3090 blower cards available retail, so they aren't unheard of. I think they are just trying to get as much as possible with the upmarket add-in coolers before making a cheap version to sell at MSRP.
    Reply
  • brandonjclark
    mpotma said:
    They're mostly useful if you're stacking them next to each other. If you want to fit 4 4090s in a desktop rig, your only choices are water cooled or blower

    Why would I stack a bunch of 4090's when for that cost I could afford to eat eggs for weeks?

    ;)
    Reply
  • Eximo
    Just reminds me of one of the funniest open mic instances. Playing WoW when we just heard at random in the background a wife yelling across the house to her husband to stop playing and go pick up some eggs. And then his response that he can pick up eggs later or in the morning, and her just saying, "But we are out of eggs!" repeatedly.

    This devolved into a series of more and more absurd fictitious reasons to be AFK. "hold on, the dog's on fire". "Just a moment, octopus on the ceiling." Or just the occasional "Hmm, must be out of eggs" when someone didn't make it back when everyone else was ready to go.
    Reply