PNY RTX 4090 XLR8 RGB Review: Stock Options

Basically a PNY reference design

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

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Dropping the resolution to 1440p improves overall performance by 37%. That might seem like a lot, but it's also another indication that we're starting to bump into CPU limits — which is certainly the case with Flight Simulator. But consider the 3090 Ti, which sees a 57% increase in FPS by dropping the resolution, or the 6950 XT, which improves by 74%. In other words, the slower the GPU is, the less CPU bottlenecks come into play at 1440p.

PNY still ends up about 1% faster than the Founders Edition, but again that's likely drivers rather than actual performance differences — Forza Horizon 5 shows a 15% advantage for PNY now. We'll see about retesting the Founders Edition with the new drivers in Forza and Warhammer to see if that fixes things — and then we'll have to retest a few other RTX cards with the new drivers as well, most likely. It's a never-ending process.

Since ray tracing hits the GPU so hard, even at 1440p we still remain almost entirely GPU limited. We mentioned above that going from 4K to 1440p improved performance by just 37% on the PNY card in rasterization games, but in our DXR suite, the same resolution drop increased FPS by nearly 80%. The 3090 Ti improves by 89% and the 6950 by 104%, but at least in AMD's case it's probably more a case of the Infinity Cache hit rates dropping more at 4K.

The gap between the 4090 PNY and Founders Edition cards remains about 3% in DXR at 1440p, with minor differences across the test suite. PNY has taken a more conservative approach than even the reference card, which is somewhat unusual, but then the 4090 Founders Edition isn't really the typical reference design — if anything, it's overbuilt compared to previous generation reference cards.

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.
  • 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.