EVGA’s lost RTX 4090 prototype shows us what could have been


EVGA left the GPU market with a bang, citing the poor partnership with Nvidia as the reason. Before it was abandoned, it looks like it managed to build one final RTX 4090 GPU, or at least a prototype of it.

This early prototype of the card shows us what could have happened had EVGA still made the GPU. Surprisingly, it appears that this model may have been able to survive the RTX 4090 melting debacle.

EVGA gave this initial prototype to YouTuber JayzTwoCents. The fact that this prototype, which is fully functional, even exists, proves how sudden EVGA’s decision to build a GPU must have been. Ultimately, what we’re looking at here is a proper flagship EVGA FTW3 GPU; If it were ever mass-produced, it would certainly have made our best GPU ranking. Due to the lack of a contract with Nvidia, EVGA does not officially label it as an Nvidia card, instead putting “Next Gen Graphics” on the shroud.

The shroud is quite elegant and not overly spacious for an RTX 4090. The card itself is matte black and silver, with three large fans that lack the distinctive “gamer aesthetic”. Despite only running the “homemade” version of vBIOS, the card is functional, but it does not support GPU core overclocking; The card’s power limit cannot be increased above 100% in typical overclocking software.

The card’s rear I/O backplate screwed directly into the shroud doesn’t cause sag—even though it’s such a heavy card that it takes up about four PCIe slots. Another interesting thing to note is the placement of the 16-pin power connector, which was relocated to the back of the card and means the power cable is located there as well.

This is especially interesting because the RTX 4090 is an ongoing saga of power connector melting. Although Nvidia has yet to take an official stand on the matter, all indications point to the fact that twisting the cable can cause thermal problems which then lead to melting. Given that EVGA placed the power cable in a different position, this could have helped – provided users had extra space in their case.

EVGA's prototype RTX 4090 graphics card.
JayzTwoCents

As far as performance is concerned, Jay was impressed with Card’s performance. It apparently only reached memory frequency rivaled by MSI’s RTX 4090 Suprime, and that’s with a locked power limit. If not for him, the EVGA RTX 4090’s performance would have been even better.

We’ll never know if EVGA could have avoided the melting problem, but it’s certainly good to see what could have happened. It’s only a shame that this prototype will never make it to market.

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