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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 vs Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 – Which Card is Better?

Nvidia has been the most reliable and prominent supplier of desktop as well as laptop graphics cards for decades now and there have been a lot of releases from Nvidia over the years that have proven their worth through the test of time. There are some half-a-decade-year-old cards designed by the brand which are still powerful enough to compete with the new arrivals and offer an enjoyable gaming experience with new game titles. So, it can be safe to say that the top-of-the-line options released by Nvidia right now are going to be the perfect option for a future-proof PC build or gaming laptop.

If you are also looking for the best options from Nvidia right now, you will come across 2 promising choices from the brand that is the RTX 4090 and RTX 3090. The RTX 4090 is the latest and most powerful option from the brand sitting at the top of its 40 series cards, whereas the RTX 3090 is the best option from the 30 series of cards which also turned out to be a game changer for its price. In order to choose the right option between the 2, you need to go through our guide today where we will compare both of these options in detail and offer you a comprehensive review of both graphics card options.

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090?

Before we move onto the technical specifications of both options, let us first take a look at what these options are and what they have to offer individually. As for the RTX 4090, it is right now the most powerful GPU commercially available on the market and you simply won’t find any compromises in terms of power output or the performance of the card if you go with the RTX 4090.

Released in Q4 of the year 2022, this GPU is barely 4 months old right now, and it seems like it won’t have any competitor anytime soon from Nvidia. This GPU is developed with the new Ada Lovelace architecture, which also promises significant improvements in the build quality and performance of the 40 series cards.

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090?

The RTX 3090, on the other hand, is the best option that you can get right now from the Nvidia 30 series of graphics cards. This GPU was released in the Q4 of the year 2020, making it about a 2-year-old option right now. But still, there is barely any task that this graphics card cannot perform efficiently.

Gaming aside, the RTX 3090 is also a viable choice for many other professional applications even right now, such as AI applications, machine learning, video rendering, animation, designing, and much more. This GPU features the Ampere architecture similar to other options from the 30 series, which has already proven its worth throughout the years and a lot of upgrades are brought to these cards in terms of software upgrades.

Technical Specifications of RTX 4090 and RTX 3090

If you wish to compare both cards in detail, you will have to go through the technical specifications of the card. Otherwise, both of these options would appear quite similar, especially if you only compare the FPS for the gaming performance of the card. This is because the comparison and the results are largely affected by the game you are testing rather than that card’s build quality or specifications. For example, if a certain game is designed to utilize only a certain set of resources that both cards can easily handle, you wouldn’t notice much difference in the output.

Therefore, we will first look at the technical specifications of the RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 and compare the 2 options based on what they offer instead of what you get from the card during a certain test. And to understand the comparison better, you will first need to acknowledge what these specifications are and how they affect a GPU’s general performance. Learning the importance of these factors will help you compare any 2 GPUs available since these are the most basic aspects of any graphics card.

1. Architecture

A graphics card, or GPU, has a lot of important features. Most of these features are related to the design of the card and the components installed on it. The complete set of all the components and their ability to perform a certain task can be categorized as the card’s architecture. The architecture of a graphics card typically includes the following key components:

  • Processor: This is the main processing unit of a graphics card, responsible for performing complex mathematical operations required for rendering graphics. This is similar to the CPU we install on your computer’s motherboard. The only difference here is that this is a much more powerful processor specifically designed to handle the graphical processing of any program or video game.
  • Memory (VRAM): This is a specialized type of memory used to store data that the GPU needs to access quickly, such as textures, 3D models, and other data related to the rendering process. As you can imagine, getting a high VRA capacity or a faster memory interface is definitely important on a GPU if you want the card to perform well under a heavy load.
  • Memory interface: The memory interface, on the other hand, is a bridge between the graphics card and its memory. This component connects the GPU to the VRAM and manages the data transfer between the two components. Just like the VRAM itself, the memory interface should also support faster data transmission capacity to avoid any form of a bottleneck in the system.
  • Display output ports: This component handles the output of the graphics card to the display device, such as a monitor or TV. Currently, DisplayPort and HDMI are the most popular display output options available on a GPU, and you will find them on almost all options these days, whether you are getting a premium option or a budget one. Still, you need to check what version of the output port you are getting with the card as it changes the bandwidth capacity of the port, affecting the output resolution as well as the refresh rate.
  • Cooling system: A graphics card generates a lot of heat during operation, so it requires a cooling system to keep the temperature under control. This typically includes a fan or other cooling mechanism.

The exact architecture of a graphics card can vary depending on the specific model and the series of graphics cards you are going for. However, these key components are typically present in most graphics cards, and they work together to provide the high-performance graphics processing required for gaming, video editing, and other demanding applications.

2. Ada Lovelace (AD102)

If you are comparing the RTX 4090 and the RTX 3090 graphics card, the only 2 architecture models that you need to focus on right now are the Ada Lovelace and Ampere architecture. The Ada Lovelace architecture was first introduced with the release of the 40 series graphics card from Nvidia and it promised and delivered a wide age of upgrades to the design of these cards. There are a lot of benefits to going with the Ada Lovelace architecture right now. Apart from being the most future-proof option, it also brings 4th Gen Tensor cores, 3rd Gen RT cores, shader execution reordering, DLSS 3, and many other benefits.

3. Ampere (GA102)

The ampere architecture, on the other hand, is a much more reliable option from Nvidia, which is implemented on all 30 series graphics cards, including the Nvidia RTX 3090. The main reason for it being a comparatively more reliable option is that it has gone through a lot of tests and bug fixes over the span of the last 2 years, making it a much better system than it was at the time of its release.

And with the significant software upgrades, it is offering a much more stable performance on a lot of games, including the latest games available on the market right now. This architecture supports 3rd Gen Tensor cores, multi-instance GPU features, 3rd Gen NVLink, and 2nd Gen RT cores. Without going into too much detail, it would be safe to say that this card is still more than enough as far as gaming and requirements of current-gen games are considered.

4. Process Size (nm)

The processor size, measured in nanometers (nm), is an important factor to consider when evaluating a graphics card’s performance. The size of the processor, or more specifically, the distance between the transistors on the processor, directly affects its power consumption and performance. The smaller the processor size, the better its results will be as it allows for more processing power and faster clock speeds due to the increased number of transistors.

In this case, the RTX 4090 would be a better choice as it comes with a 4nm processor compared to the RTX 3090, which operates on an 8 nm processor. This is because a smaller processor can handle more instructions per clock cycle, resulting in faster rendering of graphics and even offering lower heat generation. This is why many modern graphics cards use processors with smaller sizes such as 4nm or 8nm. But, it does not mean that the RTX 3090 performance is not on par with its competitors around the same price point. In fact, the performance upgrade from 8 nm to 4 nm is much smaller than that of the 14 nm processors used on the 20 series Nvidia cards.

5. PCIe 4.0

As you may already know, the PCIe or peripheral component interconnect express is a port available on your motherboard where you install your graphics card or any other PCIe-based PC component. Right now, PCIe 4.0 is the latest version of the interface standard. PCIe 4.0 offers several improvements over its predecessor, PCIe 3.0, including faster data transfer rates and increased bandwidth.

The importance of PCIe 4.0 on a graphics card lies in its ability to deliver faster data transfer rates and increased bandwidth, which can significantly improve the performance of the graphics card. With PCIe 4.0, graphics cards can transfer data to and from the CPU and memory much faster than with PCIe 3.0, which can result in the faster rendering of graphics, higher frame rates, and better overall performance.

Fortunately, both RTX 4090, as well as the RTX 3090, supports PCIe 4.0 interface to offer optimal performance in all conditions. And both of these options are backward compatible with the older PCIe 3.0 interface. So, even if you are simply upgrading your GPU and using the same motherboard, you don’t have to worry about the PCIe interface generation. However, both GPUs will be limited to operating at the speeds available at the PCIe 3.0 Gen interface, so keep that in mind.

6. CUDA Cores

CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) cores are a special type of parallel processing unit available on graphics cards developed by Nvidia. The importance of CUDA cores on a GPU lies in their ability to accelerate compute-intensive tasks, such as rendering graphics, video encoding, scientific simulations, and machine learning.

CUDA cores work by dividing a computational task into smaller parts, which are then processed simultaneously by multiple cores in parallel. This allows for much faster processing times than traditional CPUs, which typically have fewer cores and are optimized for serial processing. The number of CUDA cores on a GPU can have a significant impact on its performance. GPUs with more CUDA cores can handle more parallel tasks and process data more quickly, resulting in faster rendering times. So, you need a large number of CUDA cores on a graphics card for the best performance. Fortunately, the CUDA core count for premium-end GPUs from Nvidia is always far too high to be a cause for concern.

On the Nvidia RTX 4090, there are 16384 CUDA cores which is quite an upgrade compared to the Ampere architecture RTX 3090 card, which consists of 10496 CUDA cores. While both of these options are good enough for gaming, having a higher number of CUDA cores makes the RTX 4090 much more powerful and capable of handling other heavy tasks without any problem. It also makes it possible for the GPU to perform much heavier multitasking without any noticeable drop in the FPS. So, you will definitely find it a much more reliable option for live streaming and content creation.

RT and Tensor Cores (Number/ generation {for both cores})

Unlike CUDA cores that have been a part of Nvidia’s architecture for a very long time, the RT and Tensor cores are more of a recent addition to the design after the unveiling of the RTX GPU cards, the 20 series to be precise. The RT (Ray Tracing) and Tensor cores are designed to accelerate specific types of operations commonly used in computer graphics and machine learning applications.

RT cores are responsible for accelerating the ray tracing process, a technique developed by Nvidia to simulate the behavior of light and shadows in a scene. Ray tracing is a computationally intensive process and requires a lot of processing power, but RT cores can perform ray tracing calculations much faster than CUDA cores, resulting in improved performance and more realistic graphics.

The Tensor cores however are designed to accelerate tensor operations, which are used extensively in machine learning algorithms, particularly in deep learning neural networks used by various AI models. These cores are capable of performing large matrix calculations at high speeds, which are essential for the training and inference phases of deep learning models. Tensor cores can perform these calculations up to several times faster than CUDA cores, making GPUs an ideal choice for such applications.

To compare the 2 models, the RTX 4090 GPU features 512 4th Gen Tensor cores and 128 3rd Gen RT cores, which makes it quite an upgraded choice over the RTX 3090, having 328 3rd Gen Tensor and 82 2nd Gen RT cores. As the difference between both core counts is so high between the 2 options, you will find noticeable differences in the performance of both graphics cards during the tasks that heavily rely on these cores.

7. Core Clock and Boost Clock Speed (MHz)

Just like your CPU, the GPU also has a certain clock speed that relates to its performance speed, or simply the time it takes to perform a certain action. Similarly, it has 2 different types of clock speeds that you need to understand, which are core clock speeds and boost clock speeds.

The core clock is the base clock speed at which the GPU operates. To put it in perspective, this is the speed at which your GPU is going to be working at any particular instance. It determines how quickly the GPU can perform basic operations, such as rendering polygons, shading pixels, and processing textures. The core clock is an important factor in determining the overall performance of a GPU, as it determines how quickly the GPU can perform these operations.

The boost clock is an increased clock speed that the GPU can achieve under certain conditions, or heavy load to be specific. It includes tasks such as when running a demanding application or when thermal and power limits allow. It allows the GPU to temporarily operate at a higher frequency, which can lead to improved performance in certain scenarios. This is highly beneficial for gaming as there are moments or levels in a game that increase the load on the GPU temporarily due to an increased number of polygons or shaders. So, any GPU with a higher boost clock speed can easily go through this conditioning without noticeable drops in the FPS.

Both of these speeds are calculated in Hz which makes it easier to compare the 2 options we are discussing today. The RTX 4090 offers a base clock speed of 2.23 GHz whereas the boost clock speed for the same goes as high as 2.53 GHz. The same for the RTX 3090 is about 1.3 GHz and 1.6 GHz respectively. As you can imagine, the RTX 4090 offers a generational leap in terms of both base clock speed and boost clock speed, making it a much faster option.

8. Memory

is also an essential component of a GPU. Just like the RAM of your computer, the memory on a GPU plays a critical role in determining the overall performance and capabilities of the card. The memory on the GPU is utilized for storing graphical data. Thus, it is called video memory or VRAM. The more VRAM a GPU has, the more data it can store, which allows it to render more complex images and videos at higher resolutions. A GPU with more VRAM can also handle more demanding applications, such as gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling.

Another important type of memory on a GPU is cache memory, which is used to store frequently needed data and instructions. Cache memory is much faster than video memory, which makes it essential for improving the performance of the GPU. The size and speed of the cache memory can have a significant impact on the performance of the GPU, especially in applications that require frequent access to data, such as gaming and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

There are a few important aspects of the memory or VRAM used on a graphics card that determines its overall availability to perform which include the type of memory, memory capacity, bus width, and bandwidth.

9. Type

There are several types of VRAM used on GPUs, each with its own advantages. Here are some of the most common types of VRAM. Right now, you will find that both the RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 are paired with the latest GDDR6X memory type. It offers high bandwidth along with the advantage of low power consumption, making it ideal for gaming and other demanding applications. It is also designed to work with high-speed interfaces such as PCIe 4.0, which can further improve its performance.

10. VRAM Capacity

The capacity of VRAM available on a GPU also has a significant impact on its performance, especially in applications that require large amounts of memory. As you can imagine, almost all demanding applications can benefit from large VRAM capacity as these applications require a lot of storage capacity to store the graphical data. For example, when a new level of a game is loaded, all of its assets, shaders, and information about the objects in the scene are loaded into the VRAM before the GPU can send the data to the RAM of your computer. Therefore, having a larger VRAM capacity is always better for a GPU, as it can render more complex images and videos at higher resolutions.

The RTX 4090 comes with 24 GB and so does the RTX 3090. So, handling large processing data won’t be a problem for either of these cards. It also means that both of these cards can perform ideally on higher resolution gaming such as 4K or even 8K if you are gaming on an 8K TV. Since higher-resolution textures take up more space, you will need either of these cards for high-resolution gaming for a truly enjoyable experience.

11. Bus width

The bus width refers to the number of data lanes that a GPU uses to transfer data between its different components. A wider bus width means that the GPU can transfer more data at once, which can improve its overall performance. Wider bus width is especially important for applications that require high-speed data transfers. The RTX 4090 GPU has a 384 bit which is equivalent to what you get with the RTX 3090. So, there are no shortcomings in going with the older choice in this case.

12. Bandwidth

The bandwidth, just like the bandwidth of the internet connection we use,  refers to the speed at which the GPU can transfer data between its different components. Higher bandwidth means that the GPU can transfer more data per unit of time, which can also improve its overall performance. Bandwidth is usually measured in gigabytes per second (GB/s), and it depends on both the bus width and the clock speed of the GPU.

The RTX 4090 offers 1008 GB/s bandwidth capacity which is much higher than the 935 GB/s bandwidth offered by the RTX 3090. So in this case, the Nvidia RTX 4090 is obviously the better choice as it can transfer data at a much faster rate than its competitor.

13. Slot Width

The slot width of a GPU is basically the physical size of the PCIe connector used to connect the GPU to the motherboard of a computer. The most common PCIe slot for GPUs are PCIe x16, PCIe x8, and PCIe x4.

The PCIe x16 slot is the most common and ideal option for GPU connectivity as it has the largest amount of bandwidth, allowing the GPU to transfer data to and from the motherboard at high speeds. PCIe x8 and PCIe x4 slots provide comparatively lesser bandwidth than the PCIe x16 slot, but they are still capable of providing enough bandwidth for most GPUs to operate at a reasonable level of performance. It is also important to consider the slot width required by the GPU when selecting one for your system because the GPU must be compatible with the slot on your motherboard.

Since both RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 are high-end options from Nvidia, both of these cards work with the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. So, you should only connect either of these GPUs to the PCIe 4.0 x16 slots on your motherboard, which is usually the highest option available on the array of PCIe ports on the motherboard.

14. Output Ports

As we mentioned before, GPUs usually use an HDMI port or a DisplayPort for offering the output to a display device such as a monitor, TV, or even a projector. But, you will not only have to check the type and number of output ports available on the GPU but also the version of each output port to get an idea about its video connectivity and compatibility. As for HDMI, the best option right now is HDMI 2.1 which is available on both the RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 graphics cards. This port can deliver up to 8K60 or 4K120 video output with 48 GBps bandwidth. As for the DisplayPort, you will get the DisplayPort 4a on both of these cards offering 32.4 Gbps, allowing similar output capabilities as the HDMI 2.1.

15. Thermal Design Power

The importance of the TDP or thermal design power of a GPU lies in its relationship to power consumption and heat generation. A higher TDP generally indicates that a GPU will consume more power and generate more heat than a lower TDP GPU. This can have significant implications for the overall performance and stability of a system, as well as its power consumption and thermal management. But, it also means that the overall performance of the GPU is going to be better in comparison as it is operating at a higher power input.

Therefore, a GPU with a high TDP will require more power and cooling than a lower TDP GPU. This can impact the design and configuration of your system as well as the overall cost of the system. A high TDP GPU may also be more suitable for applications that demand high performance, such as gaming or scientific simulations, but may not be the best choice for a system that prioritizes energy efficiency or quieter operation.

One of the few drawbacks of the RTX 4090 graphics card is that it has a TDP of 450 Watts which is 100 Watts higher than most other previous-gen cards including the RTX 3090 which operates at 350 Watts TDP. So while you are getting more power output from the system, it also means that you will need more input for the card, making you upgrade to a higher wattage PSU.

GPU Specification Nvidia RTX 4090 Nvidia RTX 3090
Architecture Ada Lovelace Ampere
Processor Size (nm) 4 nm 8 nm
RT Cores 128 3rd Gen 82 2nd Gen
Tensor Cores 512 4th Gen 328 3rd Gen
CUDA Cores 16384 10496
Core Clock Speed (GHz) 2.23 1.3
Boost Clock Speed (GHz) 2.52 1.6
Memory Type GDDR6X GDDR6X
Memory Capacity (GB) 24 24
Memory Bus Width (bit) 384 384
Memory Bandwidth Gbits 1008 GBps 935 GB/s
Pcie 4.0 Support Yes Yes
Slot Width PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
Output Ports HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a
TDP (Watt) 450 350
Type of Power Connectors 16-Pin Connector 16-Pin Connector
Supported DLSS Version DLSS 3 DLSS 2

Gaming Comparison of RTX 4090 vs RTX 3090

1. 1080p Gaming (Ultra Preset)

Game RTX 4090 RTX 3090
The Callisto Protocol 201 FPS 132 FPS
Need for Speed Unbound 150 FPS 140 FPS
Spider-Man Miles Morales 176 FPS 169 FPS
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 257 FPS 283 FPS

2. 1440p Gaming

Game RTX 4090 RTX 3090
The Callisto Protocol 183 FPS 101 FPS
Need for Speed Unbound 152 FPS 132 FPS
Spider-Man Miles Morales 173 FPS 133 FPS
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 200 FPS 107 FPS

3. 2160p Gaming

Game RTX 4090 RTX 3090
The Callisto Protocol 127 FPS 62 FPS
Need for Speed Unbound 105 FPS 76 FPS
Spider-Man Miles Morales 129 FPS 80 FPS
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 133 FPS 68 FPS

DLSS and Ray Tracing Performance

If you are into gaming, then you probably know that Ray Tracing and DLSS are the 2 most important gaming-focused features developed by Nvidia that are simply a game changer for its new series of cards. Both the DLSS and Ray Tracing were introduced with the 20 series GPUs from Nvidia and upgraded with every new generation release of the card. So, you will get the latest and most powerful 3rd Gen RT Cores and 4th Gen Tensor Cores with DLSS 3 support on the Nvidia RTX 4090 thanks to the Ada Lovelace architecture. The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti on the other hand follows the Ampere architecture, offering 2nd Gen RT cores with 3rd Gen Tensor cores that are operating with the DLSS 2 technology.

Comparing the 2 cards based on DLSS and Ray Tracing is slightly difficult since both of these cards are the top-most option from the respective Nvidia 40 and 30 series graphics cards. But in hindsight, newer versions of any software feature are always better as developers always find out more attributes to the program along with an efficient output. The same goes for the DLSS 3 technology available on the Nvidia RTX 4090. The most important addition made to the DLSS feature is the frame generation technology which can add frames to your game for an FPS increase that is missing from the DLSS 2. However, this feature is just released and it might take months or years for Nvidia to perfect this feature. Still, if you are looking forward use the new RT cores and DLSS 3 technology, then the RTX 4090 would be a great choice for you.

1. Cooling

Cooling is extremely important on a graphics card because it helps to prevent overheating, which can lead to performance degradation, system instability, and sometimes, even permanent damage to the hardware. Since graphics cards are basically miniature computers installed on your motherboard for graphical processing, it can generate a lot of heat during demanding tasks such as gaming or high-resolution rendering. If the heat is not effectively dissipated, it can build up and cause the card to throttle its performance, reducing its clock speeds to avoid overheating.

This can result in lower framerates, stuttering, and other performance issues. In addition to performance issues, overheating can also cause physical damage to the components, such as the processor, memory, or PSU. This damage can lead to permanent failure or reduced lifespan of the card. To avoid these problems, both the RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 come with a reliable and impactful cooling system. The RTX 4090 comes with a triple-slot cooling solution that manages to keep the temperatures of the GPU below 83C, even when rendering a game at a high resolution with ray tracing and DLSS. This is possible with the 1600 RPM fans cooling the GPU and working under 42 dBA sound levels for silent performance.

Although, the RTX 3090 also has a highly improved cooling solution compared to its predecessors from the 30 series. In a lot of discussions, this card is considered to be virtually silent as its fans only work at about 1000 RPM speed under heavy stress. Still, the RTX 3090 operates at about 77C, which is almost identical to that of the RTX 3080 Ti. Plus, you get a massive jump in performance with the RTX 3090 and a much higher 24 GB VRAM capacity, making it more than just a fair trade.

2. Power Consumption

While you are looking at the specifications of a graphics card, it is also crucial to take a look at its TDP or thermal design power in order to understand its compatibility with your system. Not only will this factor affect the choice of PSU for your system, but also the case you are choosing, the cooling solution, and sometimes it also makes a difference in choice because of the average ambient temperatures of your room and TDP is related to heating of the graphics card.

The RTX 4090 has a much higher TDP of about 450 Watts, whereas the RTX 3090, being the top option from the 30 series, still operates at 350 Watts. This is because of the new architecture and new-gen RT and Tensor cores present on the RTX 4090 graphics card. Though the 100 Watts jump in the TDP may not feel like a lot to many gamers, we can assure you that it will be a deciding factor for a lot of buyers. If your PSU is unable to compensate for the power requirements of your GPU, it won’t be able to perform optimally in your system, especially when you are playing a high-end game. Therefore, choosing a lower TDP RTX 3090 GPU seems to be the better choice as it also brings down the heating and maintains lower running costs. But if you want the best performance without any second thought, then RTX 4090 is the best option for you.

3. Overclocking Performance

Just like budget graphics cards, overclocking is also not that uncommon for high-end options like the Nvidia RTX 4090 or the Nvidia RTA 3090 graphics card. However, the performance gains after overclocking these already powerful graphics cards are mostly so marginal that it does not justify going through the process or putting your GPU at risk by exceeding its design clock speed limitations.

When it comes to extended performance, again the RTX 4090 takes the lead as it is possible to overclock this GPU up to 2.8 GHz, offering a nearly 6% increase in the performance boost. In this case, the memory of the GPU also increases up to 24.5 Gbps, but with an increased power requirement of 470 Watts which is way too high over the already drastic 450 Watts factory requirement. In such a case, the average temperature of the GPU also increases by up to 5C, climbing up to 88C in heavy load.

As for the RTX 3090, the overclocking results are relatively better as the GPU already reaches a boost clock speed of up to 1.7 GHz which is quite higher than its 1.6 GHz rated speed. And after overclocking, you can effectively achieve up to 14% gains in speed, reaching up to 1.9 GHz, which is quite close to the base clock speed of the RTX 4090. It also increases the memory frequency up to 21 GHz, making all the processes on the GPU finish much faster than factory settings. However, we will still suggest you don’t overclock a high-end GPU like the RTX 4090 or the RTX 3090 as the stock performance of the cards is already good enough and it simply isn’t worth risking the expensive GPUs for a few additional frames.

4. Price

Talking about expenses, both the RTX 4090 and the RTX 3090 are some of the most expensive graphics cards on the market right now and you will find it pretty difficult to fit one in your budget as is, not even considering the momentary shortage of the cards in some regions. Unlike most other high-end cards, both the RTX 4090 and the RTX 3090 are about $100 apart in their respective MSRP at launch. So, for a lot of buyers, spending the extra $100 on a new GPU would be the obvious choice with the RTX 4090 as it ensures at least a couple more years of reliability and support for future games since it is a much newer model.

But, even though it might seem similar at the initial stage, the higher TDP of the RTX 4090 will end up increasing your overall expenses as you will have to get a high-wattage PSU  with your system. Or, you will have to downgrade other components such as the CPU or the RAM in order to lower the GPU optimally with a relatively lower wattage PSU.


We hope that you now have a clear idea about which of these cards is a better option for your build. To put it simply, irrespective of what type of PC build or laptop you are going for, it is always better to go with a powerful GPU option, which is the RTX 4090 in this case. And as this is the latest GPU on the market, it will surely be around for at least another decade and will barely have any games or programs for which it cannot offer a fulfilling performance. The RTX 3090 on the other hand is already 2 years older which puts it at a disadvantage. But, the highest advantage of the RTX 3090 is its price tag which is nearly 30% lesser than that of the RTX 4090. So for a budget gaming build, the RTX 3090 is hands down the best pick as there aren’t any problems with the card as far as gaming performance is considered.

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