The RTX 4090 is begging for a game that can make it shine


The new Nvidia RTX 4090 sounds absurdly powerful. It’s also a hot and power-hungry card, and even without third-party benchmarks to confirm it, it’s already clear that the RTX 4090 is ahead of even the best cards from the previous generation.

But does all that power really mean anything? Sure you can play the current catalog of AAA games at 4K with ray tracing enabled at over 100 fps, but there’s nothing on the dock that actually pushes the 4090, and that’s a problem for Nvidia. Is. It may be a while before an exciting new game shows just how much the RTX 4090 can really do.

useless bang for that buck

Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card.
NVIDIA

According to Nvidia’s numbers, the RTX 4090 is almost twice as fast as the RTX 3090 Ti and four times faster in ray tracing games where DLSS 3 is enabled. It’s a huge leap forward, in line with the advancement of the older generation compared to recent generations, where incremental improvements and feature updates have been more of a selling point.

But it’s also clear from Nvidia’s own announcement that there’s really nothing that should prompt you to buy such a card. Higher frame rates and detail settings are always welcome, but if you’ve already played cyberpunk 2077and found out Microsoft Flight Simulator To your heart’s content, the RTX 4090 is just extra horsepower with no room to gallop.

Nvidia had to create a completely new demo environment of its own, racer rtx, to show anything new and exciting. Elsewhere, it almost exclusively used older AAA games to demonstrate the performance of its new card(s). Sure Microsoft Flight Simulator Impressive at 100 fps, but that game is already over two years old. cyberpunk 2077 The new RT Overdrive mode and improved ray tracing with DLSS 3 looks great, but the game was underwhelming when it launched from a pure fun perspective, and most of the people who were excited about it have already played it. Huh.

Nvidia Racer RTX | The Future of Graphics Powered by the GeForce RTX 40 Series

The only upcoming game Nvidia also mentions in its obscure benchmarks for the new card Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, Considering that 2018 is built on the same engine Vermintide 2And while not filled with elaborate environments or particularly detailed models, it’s not going to be the game’s most demanding.

Even taking a look at the proliferation of AAA games coming out this year there really isn’t anything that would blow anyone away graphically. It doesn’t particularly matter from a gamer’s point of view, and it’s certainly not something the primarily indie gamer cares about, but it makes the new generation of extremely powerful graphics cards a real hurdle for Nvidia. Especially when it is looking to simultaneously raise prices and demand for electricity.

The only new feature is even more performance

Nvidia DLSS 3 running in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Where the RTX 2000 Turing graphics card promised ray tracing and DLSS support as a reward for early adopters, and the RTX 3000 series promised comfortable frame rates in the most demanding games, the RTX 4000 did just that. And a little more. DLSS 3 is its only truly unique feature.

And while it’s not really exclusive to this generation, Nvidia has said it won’t run well on previous generations of RTX Tensor cores. While this claim may seem questionable at most, it gives at least a clear advantage to the RTX 4090 over its predecessors, but while the DLSS is intended to provide even more performance in a limited number of supporting games, a For a card that is already more than fast enough for its current function, it doesn’t do much to encourage early adopters. Moreover, its best feature, the frame construction, Is Exclusive to the new 40-series cards.

Ray tracing progress is good, as ray tracing has so far been nothing worth the performance hit. But as it is, it’s taken years for ray tracing to capture the gamer zeitgeist, and it still fails to do so.

Whether it’s because of its performance limitations, or its still relatively limited use in larger games, doesn’t really matter. The big selling point of Ada Lovelace, like Turing and Ampere before it, is that it does ray tracing really well, and doesn’t seem like something most gamers are excited about right now.

Maybe modders can save the white elephant

Screenshot of RTX Remix.

As if in a plea to the wider gaming community, Nvidia threw a bone to true RTX evangelists: RTX Remix. It’s a modding tool designed to make it comparatively simple to upscale and add ray-trace lighting to older games, even on older versions of DirectX. Considering the success of ray tracing on games like Earthquake II And minecraftSome of the most iconic old games have serious potential to be given a new lease on life with unofficial RTX remastering.

That’s a great thing, and I’m definitely excited for some of my favorite old games to still occupy too much of my time to be given the RTX treatment. Credits are also important for modders with creating some of the most successful game genres of recent years, including MOBA and battle royale games, so something like this has the potential to find new and exciting ways to play.

But — and that’s a big but — is Nvidia really expecting people to spend $1,600 just to play the ray-traced remaster. door, I certainly wouldn’t, but then I downclocked my RX 6950XT because it was too hot and fast, so I’m probably not the target audience for such a card. Then who is?

The RTX 4090 is going to be the most powerful graphics card for some time to come unless RDNA3 is a real surprise. Most likely at some point next year we’ll get some titles that can really push it – maybe a poorly adapted one. ark 2or maybe star citizen Will launch another alpha.

But that just isn’t good, and ultimately leaves anyone who decides to spend as much as a high-end gaming PC on a single GPU wondering what they can actually do with it that they already have. Can’t do the same with the RTX 3090 $500 less.

The answer, for now, is at least not much.

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