NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Review: Ada Dominates PC Graphics

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090: Compute, Rendering And Encoding Tests

We tested all of the graphics cards represented in this article on a Gigabyte X570 Pro Wi-Fi motherboard, equipped with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 RAM clocked at 3,200MHz. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" defaults, then we disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use, and enabled Resizable BAR support. The memory clock was dialed-in to its optimal performance settings using its XMP profile and the solid state drive was then formatted and Windows 11 Professional installed and fully updated. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers, applications and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

geforce rtx 4090 angle 2

Our Test System Configuration:

Hardware Used:
AMD Ryzen 9 5800X3D
(3.4GHz - 4.5GHz, 8-Core)

Gigabyte Aorus X570 Pro Wi-Fi
16GB G.SKILL DDR4-3200
Samsung SSD 970 EVO
Integrated Audio / Network

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 12GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

Relevant Software:
Windows 11 Pro 22H2
AMD Radeon 22.9.1
NVIDIA Drivers v521.90
Benchmarks Used:
LuxMark v4
Blender v3.3.0
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test v2.6
IndigoBench v4.4.15

UL 3DMark
Unigine Superposition
CryTek Neon Noir
Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
FarCry 6
Forza Horizon 5
F1 2022 / F1 2021
A Plague Tale: Requiem
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Microsoft Flight Simulator

With its 24GB of RAM and massive compute resources, the GeForce RTX 4090 is well suited to high-end gaming and content creation workloads. As such, we wanted to run some compute and rendering tests to see how the card stack up with these workloads, relative to the competition. Don't sweat it though, we'll get to a bunch of game tests, including a slew with DLSS 3 frame generation soon enough...

LuxMark v4.0 Benchmarks

LuxMark is a cross-platform, OpenCL-accelerated 3D rendering benchmark. It's a tool based on the open source LuxRender physically-based spectral rendering engine, which accurately models the transportation of light and supports high dynamic range. LuxRender features a number of material types to allow rendering of photo-realistic and artistic scenes. LuxRender is free software, licensed under the GPL, that offers plugins for packages like Blender, Maya, Cinema 4D and 3DS Max.

luxmark geforce rtx 4090 performance

The GeForce RTX 4090 absolutely crushed the RTX 3090 Ti and Radeon RX 6900 XT with both scenes we tested in Luxmark. In the more complex "Food" scene, the GeForce RTX 4090 outperformed the 6900 XT by over 2X.

IndigoBench Rendering Benchmarks

IndigoBench is based on Indigo 4's advanced rendering engine and offers both CPU and GPU rendering modes for its two built-in models. The standalone benchmark is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux and outputs results in M/Samples per second.

indigobench geforce rtx 4090 performance

This rendering test also had the new GeForce RTX 4090 dominating the competition. The AD102's immense compute resources and memory bandwidth once again allow it to outrun the Radeon RX 6900 XT by over 2X, and it leaves the RTX 3090 Ti in the dust as well.

Blender v3.3.0 GPU Rendering Benchmarks

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. The developers offer a standalone benchmarking tool that will track performance while rendering a handful of models. We used all three of the default models for these tests...

blender geforce rtx 4090 performance

Blender can make use of the GeForce RTX 4090's (and RTX 3090 Ti's) RT cores using the NVIDIA OptiX framework, which give NVIDIA's architectures a huge boost here. That said, the GeForce RTX 4090's performance here is simply impressive to say the least. The GeForce RTX 4090 outperforms the RTX 3090 Ti by huge margins and makes the Radeon RX 6900 XT look like an entry level GPU.

Blackmagic RAW Speed Test Results

The Blackmagic RAW Speed Test is a CPU and GPU benchmarking tool that tests the speed of decoding full-resolution Blackmagic RAW frames. The tool can be used to evaluate the performance at various resolutions and bitrates on the CPU or using OpenCL or CUDA on a GPU. We're reporting two results here, both at an 8K resolution, but at differing bitrates and compression levels.

blackmagic geforce rtx 4090 performance

Once again we see the GeForce RTX 4090 pulling well ahead of the RTX 3090 Ti and dominating the Radeon RX 6900 XT, at least with the more compressed 12:1 8K video. In the more taxing 3:1 8K configuration, all of the high-end cards finish in the same ballpark, though the GeForce RTX 4090 technically pulls off another win.

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