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.