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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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Officially, the PNY 4090 XLR8 RGB is supposed to sell for $1,599, the same as Nvidia's Founders Edition. In practice, it's either out of stock or being sold by third-party resellers on places like Amazon and Newegg at $1,900 or more — just like the Founders Edition. It may be slightly less expensive than competing cards, so check around and see what's available if you're shopping for a 4090.

And that's really the major story here. If you're still trying to find an RTX 4090 card and you don't want to pay over $2,000, we've seen a few cards drop down as low as $1,700 — briefly — but supply still hasn't caught up with demand. And that demand isn't just from gamers, we'd wager.

The RTX 4090 might be the fastest card around for games, particularly if you want to play ray tracing games and you enable DLSS and/or DLSS 3. However, it's also equally performant in non-gaming workloads. In our initial review, the RTX 4090 in professional applications was around 80% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti in 3D rendering workloads.

That makes it a prime candidate for the "time is money" crowd, potentially cutting render times almost in half compared to the previous generation. The 4080 and 4070 Ti have since filled in some of the gap, but again, if you're waiting for 3D renders to complete and are willing to spend more money to get them done faster, the 4090 certainly fills that role as a prosumer card.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Sadly, even though GPU cryptocurrency mining is basically dead, it still feels like we're living in the world of 2021–2022 GPU prices. The new generation cards all cost more than their outgoing counterparts, and the cheapest RTX 40-series part right now, the 4070 Ti, costs more (in theory, anyway) than the old RTX 3080. Yes, it's 30% faster in our ray tracing suite, but MSRPs have gone up about 30% as well.

If you want the best graphics card, you'll need to decide what that means and how much you're willing to spend. For gamers, plunking down $1,600 for just the GPU feels outrageous, never mind spending $2,000 or more. Some people undoubtedly have that sort of pocket change available, but most gamers should look at the overall value instead.

And the best values are in the $300–$400 range, as usual. An RTX 3060 or RX 6700 XT might not win any bragging rights competitions, but you get over one-third the performance of the RTX 4090 for one-fifth the cost — that's according to our GPU benchmarks hierarchy. And if you're not aiming for 60+ fps at 4K, maybe you don't even need such an extreme GPU.

PNY doesn't break the mold when it comes to features and performance, but it does offer a solid product that runs cool and quiet — perfect for use in professional environments like an office space. It will also handle games basically as well as any other 4090, if that's your intent, and still keep noise levels down.

But as a value proposition? The RTX 4090 ranks dead last among modern GPUs right now. It would still be near the bottom of the stack even if you could buy it at MSRP, but at 25% over MSRP it's even worse. Maybe that will change in the future, but we wouldn't count on it.

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.