NVIDIA has announced that the new RTX 4090 graphics card will be launching in October, to be followed by the 4080 variant in November.
New graphics cards are always exciting – they offer promises of improved performance that could see our gaming machines create even more stunning visuals in the latest games – or at least make sure they run even smoother when playing in 4K.
And while NVIDIA is promising up to 4x better performance with its new card, there are also concerns about how much power these cards will draw – and whether users will be able to swap in the new card immediately, or if they’re going to also need a hefty new power supply to keep up.
Let’s take a look at the predicted power consumption of the RTX 4090.
How Many Watts Will An RTX 4090 Use?
NVIDIA has stated that the RTX 4090 will consume 450 watts of power, the same as the RTX 3090 Ti. Realistically you should expect it to exceed this – as the 3090 Ti often does – up to around 500 watts when gaming.
It’ll use much less power when it’s in an idle state – when you’re not using the PC for gaming or rendering video. The 3090 Ti used 21 watts of power when idle, so expect the 4090 to use a similar amount, probably slightly more.
The RTX 4090 was originally predicted to use up to around 600 watts of power when rumors first circulated about the card, so if it does max out at a peak of around 500 watts that’ll be some considerable improvement on that early speculation.
But it’s still a huge amount of power, and when you add it together with the power consumption of the rest of your PC, you’re looking at quite the power draw.
Because there’s no reason to pair an RTX 4090 graphics card with a mid-range PC. This is a top-spec graphics card designed for a top-spec gaming PC, where you want to get the absolute best frame rates and performance in every game you play.
This means that your entire PC is going to need a lot of power to run. And it’ll be costly, too.
Read more: How Many Watts Does A Gaming PC Use?
Even just the graphics card alone – an RTX 4090 will use around 4.5 kilowatt-hours per week for the average gamer, who spends 8.5 hours a week gaming. Over the course of an entire year, that’s 234 kilowatt-hours.
And with the average cost of electricity standing at $0.14 per kilowatt hour, that means your RTX 4090 graphics card alone is costing you $32.76 per year to run – and that’s without the rest of the PC.
As soon as we’ve been able to see the RTX 4090 put through its paces, we’ll take a deeper dive into the power consumption of the card.
What Power Supply Will I Need For An RTX 4090?
For an RTX 4090 graphics card, you’re going to likely need a 1000-watt power supply. You may get by with an 850-watt power supply if you aren’t using the very top-end components for the rest of your build. Anything less than this won’t be able to handle the high power draw.
Let’s assume that you’re running a high-end i9 processor from within the last year or two – that’s at least 150 watts of power. A gaming motherboard will probably require 80 watts of power. So with just the graphics card, processor and motherboard, you’re almost at 750 watts alone, and that’s without everything else.
Plus, you ideally want around 20% extra on top of the total wattage of your components, so that the power supply can cope with fluctuations and power spikes.
This is why ideally, you’ll want a 1000-watt power supply.
And when you’re dealing with a power supply at this level, you can’t choose anything worse than one rated 80+ Gold for efficiency. The efficiency rating refers to how much power is wasted, and the higher the capacity of the power supply, the more wastage there’ll be in an inefficient one.
Read more: Power Supply Ratings Explained
The Best Power Supply For An RTX 4090
The best power supply for an RTX 4090 would be a 1000-watt power supply rated 80+ Gold or better. With a power supply of this capacity, you should buy one from a reputable manufacturer with a good warranty, or you risk wasting a lot of money.
This EVGA Supernova PSU is a great choice for your RTX 4090 power supply. It has the power requirements you need and is rated 80+ Gold for efficiency. It also comes with a 10-year warranty, by which point you would definitely be looking to upgrade it anyway.
And it’s fully modular. Most power supplies at this capacity would be anyway, but it’s good to have still. This means you only need to plug in the cables you need, rather than finding space in your PC case to hide the ones you aren’t using.
This improves airflow too, helping to keep everything cool – which is good for your RTX 4090 graphics card, although you may want to consider water cooling it anyway to get the best performance.
RTX 4090 FAQs
The RTX 4090 has been announced with a retail price of $1,599. However expect there to be short-term shortages when the card is released, meaning that it will be resold for much higher prices at first. It’s not expected that this shortage will be long-term.
The RTX 4090 will be released on 12th October 2022. It’s anticipated that the card will sell out quickly, so anyone interested in upgrading should pre-order one immediately if possible. A restock is unlikely before the launch of the RTX 4080 in November.
It’s impossible to state how many frames per second the RTX 4090 will achieve as it depends on the rest of the build and the specific game, but it’s predicted that with the aid of DLSS it should be able to achieve over 160 FPS at 4K resolution in some of the latest games.