GeForce RTX 4090 With A 2-Slot Blower-Style Cooler Emerges And It's Giving Us PTSD
Chinese graphics card maker Manli has prepared an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 design in a surprising form factor, producing a (relatively) slim blower cooled model. This is surprising on two fronts: firstly, the Ada Lovelace architecture RTX 4090 has pushed AIB partners to create some of the largest air cooling solutions ever seen, and secondly, NVIDIA appears to have prevented partners releasing blower-style RTX 3090 graphics cards to consumers during the reign of the Ampere generation.
While blower GPU coolers might not be a popular choice for the average consumer or gamer, they can suit workstation users where multiple graphics cards are used to accelerate workloads. With this sub-2-slot blower cooled form factor, users can stack multiple graphics cards in a line, all exhausting hot air out the back and not interfering (much) with each other's airflow. The PC case must be well ventilated and have great airflow for such systems to work well.
Manli's design for the GeForce RTX 4090 blower graphics card is quite compact, all things considered. It is said to be 268mm long, 111 mm tall, and just 38mm thick - perhaps the thinnest air cooled design to date. For reference, standard ATX slots provide enough space for add-in cards up to 0.8-inch (20.32mm) thick, so the 38mm thickness of these blowers make them a cinch to install side by side at 2-slot intervals.
Has Manli backed off on the GPU or memory clocks to facilitate the compact blower form factor? According to the spec sheet shared by Twitter's Zed Wang, the answer is no. The Manli card is reference spec throughout. How it would perform in practice, in a compact case, or even alongside a few other cards, is another question. It remains a 450W design, powered by one of the controversial compact 16-pin power connectors.
It is widely thought that previous gen GeForce RTX 3090 blower designs disappeared from the market due to pressure from NVIDIA. Some workstation system builders were stuffing systems with these powerful blower designs instead of stumping up for Quadro line professional graphics cards. Thus, it might not be very surprising if this Manli blower design get their wings clipped by the green team and don't reach the wider market. We don't have pricing or availability information at the time of writing.