PNY RTX 4090 XLR8 RGB Review: Stock Options

Basically a PNY reference design

PNY RTX 4090 Verto RGB
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The PNY RTX 4090 sports reference clocks with a custom cooling design that works well. Just mind the somewhat limited overclocking options, as maximum power consumption is locked down tight.

Pros

  • +

    Great cooling and noise levels

  • +

    Still the fastest GPU around

  • +

    Good build quality

Cons

  • -

    No real extras to speak of

  • -

    Power limited to 102 percent max

  • -

    Slightly slower than Founders Edition

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The GeForce RTX 4090 continues to reign as the fastest of the best graphics cards currently available, and even better: prices seem to finally be dropping below $2,000. Take the PNY RTX 4090 XLR8 RGB (opens in new tab), which you can pick up on Amazon — and there's the non-RGB variant for about $50 less (opens in new tab). We're still hundreds of dollars above Nvidia's $1,599 starting MSRP, but we're getting closer. Maybe by the time the 40-series refresh cards start to show up we'll actually see acceptable prices (but don't count on it).

A big part of the problem with the RTX 4090 is the exceptional performance. It's up to 50% faster than the previous generation RTX 3090 Ti in gaming performance, without using DLSS 3. It's also significantly faster in many professional workloads as well as AI tasks. And the next step down, the RTX 4080, is still expensive and noticeably slower, so those with deep pockets are simply opting for the top product.

Three months on, after the newness has faded a bit and things are starting to settle down, how does the RTX 4090 look? We're looking at PNY's reference clocked RTX 4090 XLR8 Gaming Verto Epic-X RGB to find out — and kudos for that adjective laden product name, which we'll just truncate to "XLR8 RGB" for the rest of this review. 

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Nvidia and AMD GPU Specifications
Graphics CardPNY RTX 4090 XLR8 RGBRTX 4090RTX 4080RTX 4070 TiRX 7900 XTXRX 7900 XT
ArchitectureAD102AD102AD103AD104Navi 31Navi 31
Process TechnologyTSMC 4NTSMC 4NTSMC 4NTSMC 4NTSMC N5 + N6TSMC N5 + N6
Transistors (Billion)76.376.345.935.845.6 + 6x 2.0545.6 + 5x 2.05
Die size (mm^2)608.4608.4378.6294.5300 + 222300 + 185
SMs12812876609684
GPU Shaders1638416384972876801228810752
Tensor Cores512512304240N/AN/A
Ray Tracing "Cores"12812876609684
Boost Clock (MHz)252025202505261025002400
VRAM Speed (Gbps)212122.4212020
VRAM (GB)242416122420
VRAM Bus Width384384256192384320
L2 Cache727264489680
ROPs17617611280192192
TMUs512512304240384336
TFLOPS FP3282.682.648.740.161.451.6
TFLOPS FP16 (FP8/INT8)661 (1321)661 (1321)390 (780)321 (641)123 (123)103 (103)
Bandwidth (GBps)10081008717504960800
TBP (watts)450450320285355300
Launch DateOct 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Jan 2023Dec 2022Dec 2022
Launch Price$1,599 $1,599 $1,199 $799 $999 $899

It's a bit strange to have a second reference clocked card, as most companies tend to send us overclocked models. Obviously, that means identical specs to the RTX 4090 Founders Edition, and potentially lower performance than competing cards — but even heavily overclocked cards only add a few percent to framerates, often with higher power draw. So if you want reasonable power consumption and don't care about the final 3–5 percent increase in performance, this could be just what you're after.

More likely is that people will be interested in PNY's card if they can find one in stock for close to MSRP. All other areas being roughly equal, saving a few hundred dollars is always appreciated, even for extreme performance graphics cards.

As for the competition, AMD basically stops at the RTX 4080 level with its new RX 7900 XTX and XT GPUs. There's a relatively large gap between the 4090 and the next step down, whether you're looking at Nvidia or AMD cards. Despite the lack of Titan branding and certain Titan features (like unlocked drivers in a few professional applications), we effectively have a Titan replacement — at least until the actual future Titan RTX arrives (assuming it ever ships). 

Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

  • colossusrage
    It would be great if you guys could include the RTX 3080 and RX 6800XT when comparing these top tier cards.
    Reply
  • Avro Arrow
    colossusrage said:
    It would be great if you guys could include the RTX 3080 and RX 6800XT when comparing these top tier cards.
    I agree. Those are easily the top two high-end cards when it comes to popularity.
    Reply