Custom printed board designs (PCB) and custom liquid cooling systems are pricey. Inno3D's GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Black and GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Frostbite boards have those features in an attempt to tame Nvidia's latest entry in our list of the best graphics cards, so expect them to be more expensive than typical AD102-based products. Yet the Frostbite version will likely be cheaper than buying an FE or a reference GeForce RTX 4090 board and an aftermarket waterblock from companies like EKWB.
Nvidia's AD102 graphics processing unit has been specially architected to hit very high clocks, but it needs decent cooling to push its way towards 3 GHz. To help the GPU to unleash its beastly nature, Inno3D teamed up with Arctic to build one of the industry's first GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card with a pre-installed all-in-one liquid cooling system. Also, Inno3D has a GeForce RTX 4090 with a pre-installed waterblock for custom liquid cooling systems.
Actually, Inno3D is the only graphics cards supplier that currently has two liquid cooling options in its GeForce RTX 4090 lineup. The Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Black comes with a custom closed-loop liquid cooling system from Arctic (via TechPowerUp), whereas the Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Frostbite is equipped with a specially designed waterblock for custom-built liquid cooling systems.
Both boards naturally carry Nvidia's AD102 GPU (with 16384 CUDA cores clocked at 2580 MHz boost frequency out-of-box) coupled with 24GB of 21 GT/s GDDR6X memory and features 12VHPWR (12+4-pin) auxiliary PCIe power connector designed to feed the board with up to 450W of power.
While the out-of-box GPU boost clocks of both cards do not seem to be too high (2580 MHz vs. 2520 MHz recommended by Nvidia is hardly a tangible increase), the highly efficient hybrid all-in-one liquid cooling system or a waterblock for a custom LCS promise to provide a very significant headroom both for higher boost clocks and for overclocking. Keeping in mind what typically can be done with GeForce RTX 4090, we are probably looking at 2.70 – 2.80 GHz boost clocks here without much hassle. With some additional luck and tweaking, some of these graphics cards may approach a 3 GHz GPU frequency (keep in mind that overclocking is a lottery).
Another advantage of Inno3D's GeForce RTX 4090 iChill boards is their dimensions. Unlike Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition as well as AD102-based add-in-board with air cooling, the Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Black and GeForce RTX 4090 iChill Frostbite are dual-wide graphics cards that can fit into any cases that can accommodate hybrid AIO or custom LCS. They are also shorter than air cooled boards, which will affect internal airflows within a chassis and will make it easier to install additional components after the boards are plugged in.