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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Zotac’s RTX 4090 smiles for the camera

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Images of what are purported to be production ready Zotac RTX 4090 graphics cards and boxes have appeared on Chinese social media site, Baidu. Either these images are world class photoshop fakes, or the RTX 4090 is getting very close to an official release.

Two words immediately come to mind when looking at the cards. Huge and curvy. The backplate and end of the shroud feature an unusual, almost aerodynamic looking design that will be sure to generate debate. Personally, I think it looks great. It appears to be a triple slot+ card, or effectively a four-slot card.

Though the card is very large, it appears as though the worst of the power consumption rumors didn’t come to pass. Assuming it comes with a 450W TDP, the 4090 is certainly a hungry card, but it’s the same as that of the 3090 Ti, and we know that these triple+ slot coolers are capable of keeping them cool. The Zotac has what appears to be a lot of cooling surface area, with plenty of cut outs and space for hot air to be exhausted out the side.

The power connector(s) aren’t visible. It’s likely the card uses the new PCIe 5.0 16-pin connector, likely positioned above the word GeForce on the side of the card. Will it include one, or two? Those little cut outs don’t appear to be large enough to accommodate the minimum three 8-pin power connectors that this card would require.

Looking at the box, unfortunately the resolution is too low to make out the text, though we have a pretty good idea of RTX 4090 specs of what they are already. We can see Zotac’s features though. These include the IceStorm 3.0 cooler, Spectra 2.0 RGB lighting, Dual BIOS, zero fan RPM mode and support for Zotac’s Firestorm GPU tweaking app.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang is set to announce the RTX 40 series at a keynote address at GTC 2022 on September 20. Nvidia is teasing something called Project Beyond, and since it’s Nvidia’s GeForce social media channels, it’s certainly a consumer-oriented announcement.

Expectations are very high. Rumors of 100% performance gains are surely too optimistic, but even a 50% gain over the RTX 3090 would be a fantastic achievement, and represent one of the biggest intergenerational performance leaps we’ve seen for a GPU. The hype is real for this one folks.


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