The fact that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 will need high-powered hardware is no news. Following in the footsteps of the RTX 3090 Ti, it is expected to become the fastest of the finest graphics cards and the leader in GPU benchmarks. Yet, Nvidia’s AIB (add-in board) partners propose quite different power supplies for the many RTX 4090 models they support.
While Nvidia recommends a relatively modest power supply unit (PSU) of 850W, a handful of AIBs mention 1000W, and a few even go as high as a stunning 1200W. In order to gauge how far each company is willing to push the RTX 4090 and Nvidia Ada Lovelace, we have included references to all of Nvidia’s partner cards below, focusing primarily on each AIB partner’s flagship card.
How much power does GeForce RTX 4090 need from the power supply?
|GeForce RTX 4090 Models||GeForce RTX 4090 Power Supply Target||GeForce RTX 4090 Power Supply Power Requirements|
|Asus RTX 4090 ROG Strix OC||750W||1000W|
|Aorus RTX 4090 Master||750W||1000W|
|750MSI RTX 4090 Suprim X||550W||850W|
|PNY RTX 4090 Verto Epic-X||550W||850W|
|Zotac RTX 4090 AMP Extreme||550W||1000W|
|Galax RTX 4090 SG||550W||850W|
|All Colored RTX 4090 Models||750W||1000W|
|Inno3D RTX 4090 X3 OC iChill Black||550W||850W|
|Palit RTX 4090 GameRock OC||550W||1200W|
|Gainward RTX 4090 Phantom GS||750W||1000W|
To begin, Asus suggests a 1000W PSU for its ROG Strix model. Asus said it expects consumers to raise the clock speeds of the CPU and graphics processing unit, which would naturally increase power consumption. Over Nvidia’s Founders Edition test, the recommended maximum power consumption is 150W higher. Gigabyte’s Aorus Master and Zotac’s AMP Extreme/Trinity RTX 4090 graphics cards both suggest a 1000W power supply.
Each of MSI, PNY, Galax, and Inno3D’s top-end 4090 GPU models adheres to Nvidia’s standard PSU requirement of 850W. That makes more sense, however we still wouldn’t suggest attempting to utilise any model. Power supplies with 80 Plus Gold certification or above are recommended for GPUs of this level, however a cheaper 850W one would suffice.
However, Palit is undoubtedly the main attraction, or maybe the supernova, due to their GameRock RTX 4090 graphics card, which requires an enormous 1200W PSU. till now, while the current quad-SLI GTX 980 Ti might need more power, is the most impressive thing we’ve seen from a graphics card manufacturer. Although, obviously, it has four GPUs rather than one.
Palit didn’t explain why he recommended a massive 1200W PSU, but he may have left out that information for any number of good reasons. An overclocked Core i9-12900K or other power-hungry processor in the testbed might make 1200W seem necessary. Perhaps it’s inspired by outlandish atlases like the Galax Hall of Fame (HOF). However, Palit’s boards have a TBP (Total Board Power) rating of just 450W.
As of this writing, neither Gainward nor Colorful have provided any power recommendations or graphics card power requirements. Keep in mind that Palit is Gainward’s parent business (and Galax, KFA2 and a few others).
How much power do you need?
Consumers can find it difficult to make sense of all these different power ranges. Using the incorrect power source may cause a variety of issues, and in the worst-case scenario, it can even cause the system to become inoperable. Because of this, manufacturers of power supply units (PSUs) prefer to market products like 1550W PSUs (opens in a new tab). But how much electricity do you really require?
The majority of the RTX 4090 models that were mentioned above are flagship GPUs that were intended to push the RTX 4090 GPU core to its limits while adhering to Nvidia’s stringent power and temperature requirements. These cards are intended to push the 4090 beyond the “default” or “reference” specs that it was built with. In most cases, this is accomplished using a power supply that is far larger than necessary, very big coolers, and greater power limitations. As a direct consequence of this, power needs will need to rise. Considering that a typical GPU consumes 450 watts of electricity, this might indicate that RTX 4090 graphics cards would routinely use 500 watts of power or more.
Fortunately, practically all of Nvidia’s AIB partners are able to provide “normal” RTX 4090 SKUs, all of which are compliant with Nvidia’s benchmark power supply requirements and just need an 850W power supply. However, it is important to note that the power supplied by the PSU is not the whole story.
The suggested wattages must to be regarded with a pinch of salt since they won’t apply to the individual rigs of every user. Others could utilise a Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which consumes less than 100W of power while gaming but has a lower peak power draw than a Core i9-12900K overclocked to 5.5 GHz and using nearly 300W of electricity at its highest point. In the meanwhile, a Core i9-10980XE that has a complete RAID 10 setup and 10 hard drives can use a lot of electricity. No matter what the AIB partner says, each of these combinations will result in a different amount of power supplied by the PSU.
It is also possible that an attempt will be made to cut down on support calls by suggesting a far larger quantity of PSUs than the vast majority of customers would really need. Under stress, a 450W graphics card paired with a high-end central processing unit (CPU) and the rest of the system might easily reach 750W. This is presumably where Nvidia derives their suggestion of 850W from. However, power supplies with 850 watts are not created equal, so recommending a power supply with 1000 or 1200 watts offers some wiggle room.
And just in case you thought that wasn’t enough, there is now the brand-new ATX 3.0 power supply standard to take into consideration. These brand-new power supplies are built from the ground up to be compatible with next-generation graphics processing units (GPUs), such as the RTX 40 series. They should be able to deal with those really strong GPUs and be equipped with new technological standards to deal with things like extremely high transient spikes. They should also incorporate the new 12VHWPR connection, which can deliver up to 600W over a single cable. In addition to this, they should do rid of the terrifying 4-tentacle octopus adapters that come with 4090 cards. This will open in a new tab. (If you really want to impress people with your cable management skills, give this adapter a go!)
If you are thinking on purchasing a new RTX 4090 the following week, it is highly recommended that you also invest in a reliable power supply. Anyone who has the financial means to purchase a GPU that costs at least $1,600 should not have too much issue acquiring a power supply that costs between $200 and $300 to go along with it. If you are not utilising a high-end desktop (HEDT) computer, then you should be OK with any of the finest power supplies that have a rating of 850 watts or above (rest in peace).