Zotac has launched a new flagship graphics card dubbed the GeForce RTX 4090 PGF OC. It teased this launch event earlier in the week and chose the date today to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the birth of the Zotac brand. In addition to the official announcement from Zotac to pick through, China's ITHome managed to rustle up a day-one review (both links open Chinese language sites). However, before we go on, it must be asked whether Zotac intentionally designed this card to look like a sneaker.
Let us first look at the key features of the Zotac RTX 4090 PGF OC. You may have heard of the Zotac PGF series before, as these are the firm's 'Prime Gamer Force' products which represent the pinnacle of its wares. In its press release, Zotac says that the "unique design language" represented by the new PGF was designed in collaboration with Morale Group. Having said that, it is apparent that this Zotac RTX 4090 PGF OC shares a lot of the same curves seen in the company's Amp Extreme AIRO model but with more of a sneaker feel overall. It certainly isn't in any way representative of "minimalism," as asserted by Zotac's marketers.
The Zotac PGF design isn't without appeal, the largely white curved cooling shroud, matching backplate, and four RGB LED lighting zones could work well in the right build. On the topic of construction, Zotac says this PGF card features "a newly upgraded high-efficiency ice core VC cooling system." Cooling is vital for consistent RTX 4090 performance, so it is reassuring to hear about this cooler with its triple 110mm fans (with double ball bearing design), large contact plate, "ice-vein heat pipes," high-density nickel plated fins, and high convection design. Later on we will look closely at the ITHome review for any evidence of this cooler's quality.
With a flagship card like this, you should expect a dual-BIOS, and Zotac delivers with a default BIOS GPU clock setting of 2,580 MHz, and 2,625 MHz in extreme speed mode. The default clocks are only a smidgeon better than reference, and you can check our Nvidia RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics card review, for some perspective.
As an ultimate flagship, users should expect to be able to overclock these cards quite well, and Zotac has prepared for it. In addition to the advanced cooler which we outlined above, we have yet to mention the size of this product. At 381 × 154 × 74 mm, it is the biggest RTX 4090 we know of, 77mm longer than the Founders Edition, and 23mm longer than the chunky Asus RTX 4090 ROG Strix OC. Another info nugget that will be of interest to overclockers is that the PGF features a 24+4-phase power design, which the sole review says should not be troubled by OC efforts pushing power above 500 W.
We know how a GeForce RTX 4090 performs in games and applications without diving into the ITHome review of this new flagship Zotac graphics card with its quite standard custom design clocks. The GeForce RTX 4090 is one of the best graphics cards available in 2023. However, we looked through the data to see some information about how well the custom cooler held up in terms of temperature and noise. These are things that could set the Zotac RTX 4090 PGF OC apart.
ITHome is impressed by the temperatures measured using the Zotac PGF card under load. It says that the card's core temperature stabilized at around 67.8°C (pulling 450 W) and that the VRAM stabilized at 76.6°C. Moreover, synthetic testing showed the card performed highly consistently under sustained load. These are decent numbers, but sadly we didn't see any evidence of ITHome testing noise levels for this card. The most recent Zotac card in the Tom's Hardware labs, the Zotac RTX 4070 Ti — Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Edition (which we looked at just four days ago), offered middling noise performance for its class. Moreover, the ITHome reviewer seemed pretty pleased with the PGF, so we wouldn't expect any nasty, noisy surprises with this new flagship.
Zotac certainly looks like it is asking for a premium for the new RTX 4090 PGF OC card. In China, it is listed at 16,999 yuan, which is equivalent to approximately $2,385 today.