At least on paper, the RTX 3090 Hall of Fame Extreme is one of the most powerful graphics cards you can buy today. But for some people, that isn't enough. A hardware reviewer in China has managed to install a custom BIOS for the RTX 3090 HOF with a 1,000 watt power limit.
Specs-wise, the RTX 3090 HOF Extreme features a 1,800 MHz boost frequency, a 1,935 MHz base clock and a 450W TDP, along with one of the biggest coolers we've seen on a graphics card. The Extreme is only superseded by the HOF OC Lab Edition which boosts frequencies even higher and features a 500W TDP.
Even though the RTX 3090 Hall of Fame Extreme has one of the highest power limits of any 3090 on the market today, the GA102 GPU can still be bottlenecked by its power limit. This is why extreme overclockers might consider modifying the card's power limit to 1,000W to fully insure the card never hits a power limit when benchmarking.
Under the RTX 3090 HOF's standard BIOS, the card will hit a peak wattage of around 425W, a temperature of 69 degrees Celsius, and a sustained GPU frequency of 1,800 MHz flat.
With the new 1,000W BIOS installed, and a hefty overclock the RTX 3090 HOF reached a peak power consumption of a whopping 630W. But the extra 200W of power resulted in the beefy triple-fan cooler being completely overwhelmed and forced the GPU to sit at 96 degrees Celsius, which is the card's maximum temperature limit before it will shut down to prevent damage. However, the core clocks were very stable at 2,010 MHz.
This a terrible gain from an efficiency perspective; An extra 200 MHz with a whopping 200 watts more power consumption is horrendously bad. Most Nvidia GPUs can do this type of overclocking with just a slight boost to wattage.
But, the main problem is the card's ridiculously high temperatures with the 1,000 W BIOS in play. Nvidia GPUs are known to lose clock speed quite rapidly once you reach significantly high temperatures. If this RTX 3090 was equipped with a beefy liquid cooling solution (or an LN2 pot) we would probably see higher frequencies than this and a better efficiency curve.
Unfortunately, the terrible efficiency also translates into its performance, which is mediocre at best. In 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra and Time Spy, the RTX 3090 with the 1000W BIOS was just 3% quicker than the reference variant.
The same results translate into games, the reviewer tested a number of titles, like Cyberpunk 2077, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Wolfenstein Youngblood. All feature the modified RTX 3090 HOF either being 2% faster than the standard 3090 HOF or suffering a performance loss some of the time.
The reviewer also mentioned there are some issues with the 1,000 W BIOS that could also be hindering the card's performance, so take that into account as well.