MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X Review: Ada Chills Out

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X: A Powerful, Cool And Calm NVIDIA Ada Lovelace Unleashed

msi suprim liquid x rtx 4090 angle 1

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X: Starting At $1,749
This liquid-cooled GeForce RTX 4090 from MSI is smaller, quieter, and runs cooler than NVIDIA's own Founder's Edition, but it's also more expensive.

hot flat
  • Class-Leading Performance
  • Premium Build Quality
  • Bleeding Edge Features
  • Runs Cool & Quiet
  • Easy Overclocker
not flat
  • Pricey
  • Chunky Power Dongle
  • Mounting May Be Cumbersome

We were able to take the wraps off of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090 Founder’s Edition card yesterday, and came away thoroughly impressed. If you haven’t read our deep-dive review of NVIDIA’s own GeForce RTX 4090 (and our previous coverage of the Ada Lovelace GPU architecture) we strongly suggest doing so right now, if only to glean as much technical information about NVIDIA’s latest wunderkind as possible. Today, as cards begin to go on sale, we get to fill in another piece of the Ada Lovelace puzzle and show-off an RTX 4090 from one of NVIDIA’s key partners, MSI – more specifically the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X.

If you follow the GPU space at all, over the last few weeks you will likely have seen an array of interesting, and sometimes massive, third-party GeForce RTX 4090 cards. While NVIDIA’s Founder’s Edition is only slightly wider than the previous-gen RTX 3090, some of NVIDA’s partners have gone buck-wild, and produced gargantuan, slot-crushing, PCB sagging beasts. While MSI does have some beefy air-cooled RTX 4090s coming down the pipe, the RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X we’ll be showing you here today takes a different approach. As its name suggests, the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X is (mostly) water-cooled and features a standalone AIO setup pre-installed on the GPU and memory. The whole assembly still requires some special accommodations inside a chassis, but the card itself is much smaller in every dimension over the Founder’s Edition and most other partner boards, and it offers another additional advantages too.

Check out the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X’s in our quick unboxing video, check out the specs, and then we’ll dig in a little deeper and see what the card can do. Quick tease: this one’s a barn burner…

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X Features & Specifications

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
PCI Express Gen 4
CORE CLOCKS Extreme Performance: 2640 MHz (MSI Center), Boost: 2625 MHz (GAMING & SILENT Mode)
16384 Units
21 Gbps
OUTPUT DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a), HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz HDR, 8K@60Hz HDR, and Variable Refresh Rate as specified in HDMI 2.1a)
POWER CONSUMPTION Silent mode: 450W, Gaming mode: 480W
16-pin x 1
1000W (Min. 850W)
CARD DIMENSION (MM) Card: 280 x 140 x 43 mm, Radiator + Fan: 274 x 121 x 55 mm, Tube length: L470 ± 10 x D11.2 mm
2353 g / 3837 g
Find MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X Cards @ Amazon

At its core, the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X doesn’t stray far from any other GeForce RTX 4090. All of the main features and technologies supported by the Ada Lovelace architecture are present, and it features the same 24GB GDDR6X memory configuration, though the out-of-box clocks on this card are somewhat higher than NVIDIA’s reference specs.
msi suprim liquid x rtx 4090 style
The MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X can actually operate in three different modes. There is a dual-BIOS switch on the top edge of the card that gives users the ability to choose between “Gaming” and “Silent” modes (which boost up to 2,625MHz) and if you install the MSI Center app, and “Extreme Performance” mode is also available that allows the card to boost up to 2,640MHz. In practice, all of these modes performed similarly, though the fan speed curve is somewhat more tame in Silent mode. Even still, the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X is super-quiet in Gaming mode and the GPU runs exceptionally cool – there’s really no reason to run in Quiet mode in our opinion. And even without MSI Center installed, we routinely saw boost clocks much higher than the rated specs. As thoughtful as it is that MSI provides users some choice regarding clocks and cooling, the overall experience isn’t much different between the modes being offered.

msi 4090 bios switch

The MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X card measures 280 x 140 x 43 mm and the 240mm radiator and fan assembly are 274 x 121 x 55 mm. The sleeved tubing is 11.2 mm in diameter and is about 470mm in length (or roughly a foot and a half). All told, the card is much more manageable than any air-cooled GeForce RTX 4090 we’ve seen. Obviously, the radiator will require mounting in a couple of fan locations and your chassis will need to have the space for it, but just about any modern enthusiast-class chassis should have the necessary accommodations. In terms of actually setting it all up, however, there’s nothing special required – the AIO cooler and card are all powered by the slot and 12-pin power connector. There are not additional power feeds or fan connections necessary. Like NVIDIA, MSI also included a 4 x 8-pin PCIe power adapter with the card, that’s kind of unruly, but next-gen power supplies with the mini 12-pin feed are coming that will eventually negate the need to use the adapter.
msi suprim liquid x rtx 4090 back
The liquid-cooler consists of a micro-fin copper base and black, aluminum radiator. Two 120mm fans are preinstalled on the radiator and there is and additional fan on the card, along with some heatsinks to help cool the VRM. All told, this cooling assembly works great for the RTX 4090. The fans spin down completely when idle or under a light load, and even when fully loaded for long durations, the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X remains cools and quiet. As you’ll see a little later, temperatures on this card are far lower than NVIDIA’s Founder’s Edition.

The physical design of the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X features lots of silver, textured / brushed aluminum and sharp angles. There’s a full aluminum backplate on-board that adds rigidity and aids in cooling, and configurable RGB lighting shines through the one side of the fan shroud and through a diamond-shape cutout at the rear. It’s a good looking setup overall, if you dig AIO liquid cooling setups for GPUs.

msi suprim liquid x rtx 4090 ports

Outputs on the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X are identical to other 4090’s (triple DisplayPorts and a single HDMI port), though the case bracket is obviously smaller. Whereas all air-cooled GeForce RTX 4090’s require three slots, the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X requires only two.

With all of that out of the way, what do you say we see how this card performs?

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