NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Review: Ada Dominates PC Graphics


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090: In Game Performance, DLSS 3 And Latency Tests

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launched at the end of last year, and as usual, Square-Enix updated its free character creator and benchmark tool. The free utility checks in at approximately a 2.21GB download. It will test your PC's ability to run the game at various settings, and presents a final result with an overall rating upon its conclusion. We tested Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker at 1440p and in 4K UHD, with maximum image quality settings.

Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Benchmarks

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Final Fantasy Endwalker

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ff 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

As an older game, the Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker benchmark is somewhat CPU-bound at both resolutions. Even still, the GeForce RTX 4090 manages to pull well out in front of every other graphics card we tested, once again, roughly doubling the performance of the Radeon RX 6900 XT.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Benchmarks

The open-world Assassin's Creed Valhalla is an action-adventure game in which the player controls Viking raider Eivor Varinsdottir as he and his compatriots battle Anglo-Saxons through various regions. The games uses the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, which requires DirectX 12...

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K

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At this point we're probably starting to sound like a broken record, but the numbers don't lie. The GeForce RTX 4090 significantly outpaces all of the cards in Assassin's Creed, at both resolutions. The GeForce RTX 4090's minimum framerate at 4K actually beats the RTX 3080's average. Wow.

Forza Horizon 5 Benchmarks

Forza Horizon 5 is the latest edition of the popular racing game franchise. The game features much larger maps than its predecessors, with more detailed models, and higher graphics fidelity in general. Forza 5 leverages the proprietary ForzaTech engine and DirectX 12...

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Forza Horizon 5

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K

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forza 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

The GeForce RTX 4090 continued to crush the competition in Forza Horizon 5, roughly doubling the performance of the Radeon RX 6900 XT and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an action-adventure game where you play as Star-Lord and lead the rest of the Guardians from mission to mission. The game’s minimum requirements call for a Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 1060-class GPU, but it also supports some of the latest graphics technologies, including DXR and DLSS.

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Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K

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guardians 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

When running at 1440p, without any Ray Tracing effects, Guardians is mostly CPU bound on the highest-end cards. With the resolution cranked up to 4K though, the GeForce RTX 4090 is able to stretch its legs a bit and blow past all of the other cards we tested.

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K w/ RT


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Enable ray-tracing and the GeForce RTX 4090 pulls well ahead of all of the cards at both resolutions. At 4K, the GeForce RTX 4090's minimum framerate is better than every other card's average number.

Far Cry 6 Benchmarks

Next up, we’ve got some benchmark scores from Far Cry 6, the latest installment in the storied franchise. Like its predecessors, Far Cry 6 is a fast-action shooter set in an open world environment with lush visuals and high graphics fidelity. The game is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara, ruled by dictator "El Presidente" Antón Castillo, famously played by actor Giancarlo Esposito. We tested all of the graphics cards here at multiple resolutions using Ultra Quality settings to see how they handled this AAA title.

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Far Cry 6

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K

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fc6 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

FarCry 6 doesn't reveal any particular surprises. The GeForce RTX 4090 once again beats all comers at both resolutions we tested, by a wide margins.

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GeForce RTX 4090 Details @ 4K w/ RT

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fc6 4 geforce rtx 4090 performance

With DXR effects enabled in FarCry 6, the overall trend remains the same, with the GeForce RTX 4090 clearly taking the pole position at both resolutions with a much higher minimum frame rate at 4K.

F1 2021 & F1 2022 Benchmarks

F1 2022 is Codemaster’s latest Formula One racing simulation, and like previous version of the game, it sports impressive visuals. This latest addition to the franchise supports DirectX 12 with ray tracing, and it incorporates support for a number of AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and NVIDIA technologies (like DLSS). We tested the games with its Ultra High graphics preset, with ray-tracing and TAA enabled at a couple of resolutions to see what the graphics cards could do.

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F1 2021 / F1 2022

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f12021 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

We tested both F1 2021 and a beta release of F1 2022, which has support for NVIDIA's DLSS 3 technology, including AI Frame Generation. In the older F1 2021, the GeForce RTX 4090 clearly outran all of the other cards by wide margins, doubling the performance of Radeon RX 6900 XT at 4K. We then tested F1 2022 without DLSS, to see how things shook out.

f12022 1 geforce rtx 4090 performance


f12022 2 geforce rtx 4090 performance

In the newer, more taxing F1 2022, the GeForce RTX 4090's performance is even more dominant. Here, NVIDIA's new flagship nearly triples the performance of the Radeon RX 6900 XT when running at 4K. Though, keep in mind, these tests were run with a beta build that's been updated to support DLSS 3. It's possible AMD still has some work to do to fully optimize its cards for this version of the game.

NVIDIA DLSS 3 And Latency Testing With The GeForce RTX 4090

We also tested F1 2022 and a couple of additional games -- namely A Plague Tale: Requiem, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Fortnite -- with the various DLSS 3 modes available. Please note, all of these games were also tested with beta builds, updated to support DLSS 3 with resolution scaling and AI Frame Generation.

dlss f1 2022 geforce rtx 4090 performance

DLSS resolution scaling in its various modes has a huge impact on performance in F1 2022, with even the best "Quality" mode offering big performance boost over native. Image quality remains good in this game with all modes, save for Ultra Performance, which introduces some aliasing and specular shimmering is some sections. Though, Ultra Performance is really targeted for 8K resolution on the GeForce RTX 4090. With AI Frame Generation also enabled, performance is cranked up another notch, with Balanced mode more than doubling the GeForce RTX 4090's performance at 4K.

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The beta build of Flight Simulator we tested only works properly on Ada-based GeForces, hence the GeForce RTX 4090 appearing on its own here. This game is an interesting case, because it is essentially CPU bound, so increasing framerates with traditional rasterization isn't going to happen until we get faster processors. However, NVIDIA's AI Frame Generation technology doesn't rely on CPU performance. As such, effective frame rates increase dramatically, more than doubling performance of the native rendering at 4K.

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A Plague Tale: Requiem falls somewhere in between F1 2002 and Flight Simulator. In this game, the GeForce RTX 4090 clearly outruns the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti with native rendering, though 1% low framerates are roughly flat with DLSS using only resolution scaling. Enable AI Frame Generation, however, and the GeForce RTX 4090's effective performance jumps significantly, both in terms of 1% low and average framerates.

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We also snapped off a few screenshots in this game to try and illustrate how the various DLSS modes impacted image quality. As you can see from the slices above, an argument could be made that DLSS Quality and Balanced modes actually bring out more fine detail than even the native rendering. Some detail is lost in Performance mode (which is to be expected), but Ultra Performance mode introduces significant anomalies, mostly in the leaves at the top of the trees where light is shining through.

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latnecy fortnite 1 geforce rtx 4090 performance1

Finally, we did some DLSS and Latency testing with Fortnite. Please note while looking at these two charts, that the scales are completely different. Framerates are off to to the right, and latency at the various modes are to the left.  As you can see, the GeForce RTX 4090 once again clearly outruns the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti with much better 1% low and average framerates. And the various DLSS modes only increase performance over native. Despite the additional processing going on with DLSS, however, the increased framerates also end up reducing overall latency. The GeForce RTX 4090 was not only faster here, it offered much better system latency as well.

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