During the last Amazon Prime sale, I saw an Nvidia RTX 4080 drop to $900 range. After taking too much time convincing myself to pull the trigger, I missed out. In a fit of revenge, I pulled the trigger on a Galax Geforce RTX 4090. It’s totally overkill for my ultrawide monitor gaming, but I wanted that magic DLSS frame generation. It also helps the sheer power can brute force poorly optimized VR games.
Why I Finally Bought a Ridiculously Expensive RTX 4090
The Nvidia RTX 4090 is the most impressive consumer video card to date. Less of a secret is the ridiculous price. Hovering around $1600 to $2000, it’s multiple consoles worth of money. That price does buy a lot of power though. Looking at teraflops of computation, the 4090 is 8 times faster than a PS5. My 3090 still does a lot of heavy lifting (gifted to my son), but the 4090 can get up to 75% more performance over that.
With DLSS frame generation on and all Ray Tracing, things crank up even higher. With Cyberpunk 2077 full path tracing (ray traced global illumination) and Ray Reconstruction (DLSS 3.5) on my 3090, the visuals are impressive, but slug along just about 30fps. I wanted more power to handle the ray tracing, but the synthetic frames are like black magic.
Fast forward to when I found an RTX 4080 on sale during an Amazon sale. The cost for performance was still really high at $900 plus, but seemed a better value over the 4090. Based on tons of benchmarks and reviews, the 4090 is only a minimal upgrade at 1440p on my Alienware OLED Ultrawide. Once I decided on going with a 4080, the on sale card was sold out.
Plotting my Revenge
Once that happened, I was out for revenge and maybe I really wanted the RTX 4090 subconsciously anyways. After quite a bit of analysis paralysis, it came down to few key pillars. I wanted the magical DLSS 3 (frame generation) and the raw power on offer. Sure I could have settled for a different 4080, but just $400 more for the top card made more sense in my anger. The prospect to brute force VR games like No Man’s Sky that struggle with anything else also appealed to me.
Unlike when they first released, there’s plenty of Nvidia RTX 4090s to choose from. After searching through several over and over, I settled on the Galax Geforce RTX 4090. It was lower priced than several of the others, but with extras. It came with a 1 clip Booster 2.0 RGB fan to go over the top of the card and an anti-sag stand. The latter is funny that the card is so massive it really needs a stand.
The downside is that particular card did not come with the Alan Wake 2 bundle others did, but it was $60 less than those so I can just buy the game separate with those saving. This card has a ton of RGB lighting, but I mostly just set all that to red and never touch again.
With all those data points in mind and tired of constantly shopping, I finally completed the purchase.
Galax RTX 4090 Install Time
When the card finally arrived, the box is big, but not shocking. Seeing how big the card is inside the box is shocking. Even after all the reviews, videos and pictures, I was just not prepared for the size. Luckily, my beQuiet case was ready. The 3090 is big, but this Galax 4090 is massive.
The case is big enough, but the bulk of the card was interesting to install. That 1 clip fan is great and the card includes it’s own port to plug that into, but the fan runs right up against my wiring. I sorted it all out without rewiring, but eventually I might have to zip tie them back.
Setting up the stand is easy, but I don’t remember any included level. Sure you can eyeball it, but $1600 card I’m doing it right, so I grabbed my own out of the the tool box. The anti-sag stand is just the perfect type of ridiculous for such a ridiculous graphics card. There’s also an app for the cards RGB and all that, but I might check out what Windows 11 did with their RGB tool to sync everything up instead of installing yet another app.
Best part of the whole install, everything turned on ok. My screen was black on first boot up, but only because I forgot to plug the display port cord back in. Once I fixed my mistake, it was off to the races. I also couldn’t help, but look back and compare my old video card vs new one in the case (see pictures above).
Testing my Galax RTX 4090 in Cyberpunk and No Man’s Sky VR
After double checking I had the latest Nvidia drivers installed, I jumped right into Cyberpunk 2077. Without changing setting from what I had for my 3090 (Everything Maxed, Path Tracing on, DLSS 2.0 and Ray Reconstruction on), my fps went from hovering over 30fps to over 50 and 60. Over 60% performance bump is impressive, but then I turned on Frame Generation.
Despite the synthetic frames I know are there, I could not discern any noticeable visual issues. It is so impressive how that AI magic bumped up fps to around 90. Full path tracing at 90fps is insane. With more and more games adding DLSS frame generation, this truly is a killer feature for 4000 series cards.
Moving onto VR, No Man’s Sky has never run well for me. My 3090 could run it at decent frames with various setting adjusted, but it would look a bit blurry on my Valve Index headset. Well now I’ve cranked everything up, with super sampling set to 2.0 and DLAA turned on.
My Galax RTX 4090 can now display No Man’s Sky almost as crisp as the flat screen version. All with smoother and higher frames than I could have hoped for with my 3090. Sure there’s still some CPU bound frame drops and traversal stutter, but it’s a noticeable improvement.
I feel like the bump in performance in just those 2 games validated my purchase, but Alan Wake 2 will be the first new game to flex those Nvidia muscles even more. The price for the card is crazy, but the raw power is like black magic. Now it’s time to get back to playing.