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The 7 Biggest Complaints About the NVIDIA RTX 4090: A Comprehensive Analysis

The NVIDIA RTX 4090 is a behemoth of a graphics card, boasting unparalleled performance that pushes the boundaries of gaming and content creation. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and in the case of the RTX 4090, it also comes with a fair share of complaints. In this article, we‘ll take a deep dive into the seven most significant issues users have reported with this cutting-edge GPU.

1. Astronomical Power Consumption

One of the most prominent complaints about the RTX 4090 is its staggering power consumption. With a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 450W, this GPU alone consumes more power than some entire gaming systems. To put this into perspective, the RTX 4090 requires a power supply unit (PSU) with a minimum wattage of 850W, and NVIDIA recommends a 1000W PSU for optimal performance.

This power-hungry nature not only increases electricity costs but also necessitates a robust cooling solution to keep temperatures in check. According to a report by Tom‘s Hardware, the RTX 4090 can reach temperatures of up to 83°C under heavy load, which is significantly higher than its predecessor, the RTX 3090.

2. Sky-High Price Point

The RTX 4090‘s performance comes at a premium, with a suggested retail price of $1,599. This makes it one of the most expensive consumer graphics cards on the market, putting it out of reach for many enthusiasts and gamers. To give you an idea of how steep this price is, you could build a complete high-end gaming PC for the cost of this GPU alone.

While the RTX 4090‘s performance is indeed impressive, it‘s worth considering whether the price-to-performance ratio justifies the investment. For many users, the diminishing returns may not be worth the extra cost, especially when compared to more affordable options like the RTX 4080 or AMD‘s Radeon RX 7900 XTX.

3. Massive Size and Support Bracket Requirement

The RTX 4090 is a physically imposing graphics card, measuring 336mm in length and occupying three slots in a PC case. Due to its sheer size and weight, many users have reported that the card requires a support bracket to prevent sagging and potential damage to the PCIe slot.

While some AIB (Add-in Board) partners include a support bracket with their RTX 4090 models, others do not, leaving users to purchase one separately. This adds an extra cost and installation step to an already expensive and complex component.

Failure to use a support bracket can lead to long-term damage to both the graphics card and the motherboard‘s PCIe slot. In extreme cases, the weight of the GPU can cause the PCIe slot to break, rendering the motherboard unusable.

4. Melting Power Connectors

One of the most alarming issues reported by RTX 4090 users is the melting of the 12VHPWR power connector, which is designed to deliver the massive power requirements of the GPU. Multiple users have shared images of melted or burned connectors on social media and forums, raising concerns about the safety and reliability of this new connector standard.

According to a report by Igor‘s Lab, the root cause of this issue may be related to the design of the connector itself. The 12VHPWR connector uses a total of 12 pins, with four pins dedicated to sensing and communication. However, if these sensing pins are not properly connected or if the connector is not fully inserted, it can lead to overheating and eventual melting of the plastic housing.

NVIDIA has acknowledged this issue and is working with AIB partners to ensure that the connectors are properly designed and manufactured. They have also released a statement advising users to ensure that the connector is fully inserted and to avoid bending or twisting the cable excessively.

5. CPU Bottlenecking

Despite its incredible performance, the RTX 4090 can be bottlenecked by even the most powerful CPUs on the market. This means that the GPU is not being utilized to its full potential, as the CPU cannot keep up with the massive amount of data being processed.

This issue is particularly noticeable at lower resolutions and high frame rates, where the CPU becomes the limiting factor. For example, when paired with an Intel Core i9-13900K, one of the fastest consumer CPUs available, the RTX 4090 can still experience bottlenecking at 1080p and 1440p resolutions in certain games.

While this may not be a concern for users who primarily play at 4K or higher resolutions, it does highlight the fact that the RTX 4090‘s performance potential is not being fully realized in all scenarios. It also emphasizes the importance of pairing the GPU with a similarly high-end CPU to minimize bottlenecking.

6. Limited VRAM for Professional Workloads

Although 24GB of GDDR6X memory is more than sufficient for gaming, even at 4K and 8K resolutions, it may not be enough for certain professional workloads. For example, 3D rendering, video editing, and scientific simulations can easily consume more than 24GB of VRAM, especially when working with high-resolution assets or complex scenes.

In comparison, the previous-generation RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti both feature 24GB of VRAM, while the Titan RTX offers 48GB. For professionals who require even more memory, NVIDIA‘s workstation-class GPUs, such as the RTX 6000 and A6000, offer up to 48GB and 96GB of VRAM, respectively.

This limitation may not be a deal-breaker for most users, but it‘s worth considering for those who plan to use the RTX 4090 for memory-intensive professional applications.

7. Driver Issues and Stability Concerns

As with any new hardware release, the RTX 4090 has had its share of driver issues and stability concerns. Some users have reported crashes, freezes, and other anomalies when using the GPU, particularly in certain games or applications.

NVIDIA has been releasing regular driver updates to address these issues, but some users have continued to experience problems. This can be frustrating, especially given the high cost of the GPU and the expectation of smooth, reliable performance.

It‘s worth noting that driver issues are not unique to the RTX 4090 and can affect any GPU, regardless of manufacturer or model. However, the high profile and cost of the RTX 4090 have put a spotlight on these issues and made them more prominent in the public eye.

Alternatives to the RTX 4090

If the complaints about the RTX 4090 have given you pause, there are several alternatives worth considering. Here are a few options that offer excellent performance at a more palatable price point:

  1. NVIDIA RTX 4080: With an MSRP of $1,199, the RTX 4080 offers similar performance to the RTX 4090 at a lower cost. It features 16GB of GDDR6X memory and a TDP of 320W, making it a more power-efficient option as well.

  2. AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX: AMD‘s flagship GPU is a direct competitor to the RTX 4090, offering comparable performance at a lower price point. With 24GB of GDDR6 memory and a TDP of 355W, it‘s a strong choice for both gaming and content creation.

  3. NVIDIA RTX 3090 Ti: While it may not be the latest and greatest, the RTX 3090 Ti is still a formidable GPU that can handle 4K gaming and demanding workloads with ease. With an MSRP of $1,099, it‘s a more affordable option that still delivers top-tier performance.

  4. NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti: For users who prioritize gaming performance over professional workloads, the RTX 3080 Ti is an excellent choice. It features 12GB of GDDR6X memory and a TDP of 350W, making it a more power-efficient option that still delivers exceptional gaming performance.


The NVIDIA RTX 4090 is a marvel of graphics technology, offering unprecedented performance that pushes the boundaries of what‘s possible in gaming and content creation. However, it‘s not without its flaws, and the complaints surrounding its power consumption, price, size, and stability cannot be ignored.

For users who demand the absolute best performance and have the budget to match, the RTX 4090 may still be worth considering. However, for most users, the alternatives mentioned above may offer a better balance of performance, price, and practicality.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase an RTX 4090 will depend on your individual needs, budget, and tolerance for the potential issues outlined in this article. By weighing the pros and cons and considering your specific use case, you can make an informed decision that will provide the best value and performance for your needs.