RTX 4090 vs RTX 3090: Is NVIDIA’s Next-Gen GPU Better Than RTX 3090?

Written by Mehak Gupta
11 mins, 11 secs Read
Updated On February 13, 2024

NVIDIA is always dedicated to upscale technology, so it never fails to stun people with its innovations. Currently, the GeForce RTX 4090 of NVIDIA has become the talk of the town for its processing speed and efficiency. NVIDIA claims RTX 4090 to be the ultimate GeForce GPU that can bring a huge leap in performance and AI-powered graphics. 

RTX 4090 is claimed to be the fastest and best GPU of NVIDIA. Today I am here to analyze how true the claim of NVIDIA regarding RTX 4090 is and whether it is better than the RTX 3090. So carefully read the article till the end to find which one is better among RTX 4090 and 3090.

Why is a Good Quality GPU Important? 

A GPU, which is also referred to as a Graphic Card, supports rendering graphics in both 2D and 3D and is important for gaming and editing purposes. So, the more powerful the GPU, the less time it will take to calculate and display things. Having a good quality GPU is essential for all gaming enthusiasts, and I am saying this based on my personal experience. 

I love gaming and editing, but I hate when my computer lags because of the inefficiency of the GPU. Once, I was playing GTA 5 with my friend, and the moment I was about to win, my system lagged. 

That was the moment when I realized how essential a GPU is, and since then, I have been experimenting with different GPUs so that gaming enthusiasts like me don’t lose any game because of their computer speed. 

And when I heard about RTX 4090, I could not stop myself from testing it. I compared the performance of RTX 4090 with my current graphic card RTX 3090, to help you understand if RTX 4090 is better than RTX 3090. 

NVIDIA RTX 4090 and RTX 3090: Introduction

Both NVIDIA RTX 4090 and RTX 3090 are graphic cards aimed to exhilarate graphic prowess and provide exceptional performance in applications. Currently, RTX 4090 is claimed to be the most powerful and fastest consumer-grade graphic card available in the market. 

The NVIDIA RTX 4090 was launched in October 2022, and since then, it has become the talk of the town for its outstanding features and price. RTX 4090 is manufactured on TSMC’s 4 N process node and is undoubtedly a host for new technologies.


Officially launched in 2020, RTX 3090 was the spotlight of the graphic card market, but only until the advent of RTX 4090. RTX 3090 was manufactured on Samsung’s 8 N process and was the fastest graphic card in the market till the launch of RTX 4090.

They both are graphic cards, but the speed and unique features make them different. The subsequent section will discuss some important features of RTX 4090 and 3090. 

Features of GeForce RTX 4090 vs RTX 3090

Undoubtedly, the RTX 4090 is futuristically faster as compared to RTX 3090 and has the new Ada Lovelace architecture that was missing in the RTX 3090, 30 series GPU. Let’s discuss and compare the features of RTX 4090 and RTX 3090. 

SER – Shader Execution Reordering

To improve the ray tracing performance in games, the RTX 4090 offers the feature of SER that was completely missing from the RTX 3090. The Shader Execution Reordering is helpful in improving the efficiency of the GPU pipeline by reordering the workload on shader execution. 

The reordering of the workload provides better screen presentation and an excellent gaming experience. Soon, NVIDIA will implement this technology into DirectX 12 and other standard APIs to accelerate the gaming experience. 

Dual AV1 Encoding

The RTX 3090 can only support AV 1 decoders and cannot create AV 1 content because they are missing out on the 4090’s AV 1 hardware encoder. The RTX 4090 hardware encoder has two NVENC chips (H.264 and H.265) and AV 1 formats that have made AV 1 videos easy to load at full resolution. The RTX 3090 is far behind in achieving this target because AV 1 decoders are insufficient to load AV 1 videos at full resolution. 

Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) 3.0

DLSS 3.0 is another feature that RTX 3090 lacks. RTX 4090 has introduced new tensor cores that can upscale images using the latest version of DLSS 3.0. The DLSS uses the graphic card’s deep learning capabilities to efficiently render games at low resolution, and then it upscales them to your native display capabilities. 

As compared to the second-generation tensor cores of RTX 3090, the fourth-gen tensor cores of RTX 4090 provide up to 4x performance with DLSS 3. The DLSS 3 of 4090 has made frame generation quite easy. On the other hand, the RTX 3090 was not able to generate high-resolution frames of games that render low resolution. 

Besides this, RTX 4090 has comparatively more powerful hardware in the form of its optical flow accelerators than RTX 3090. The RTX 4090 can easily pull off DLSS 3.0. Meanwhile, the 3090 can use DLSS 2.0 but isn’t strong enough to seamlessly use DLSS 3.0.

With new streaming multiprocessors that can give you up to 2x performance and power efficiency, GeForce RTX 4090 is ahead of its time. So yes, performance-wise, RTX 4090 is undisputedly better than RTX 3090. Now, let’s compare the graphic card specs of the two to understand which one is better for you.

Graphic Card Specs Comparison Between RTX 4090 & 3090 

Now, let’s take a look at the graphic card specs of GeForce RTX 4090 and 3090 to identify which one is better in terms of functionality. 

RTX 3090RTX 4090
CUDA Cores10,49616,384
RT Cores82128
Tensor Cores328512
Memory 24 GB GDDR6X24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Speed19.5GT/s21GT/s
Memory Bandwidth936.2 GB/s1,008 GB/s
Stream Multiprocessors82128
Clock Speed (base & boost)1.4GHz / 1.7GHz2.23GHz / 2.52GHz
Power Connector (reference)1x 16-pin1x 16-pin

The specs of RTX 4090 are way better than 3090 which means that the 4090 definitely serves better functionality than the 3090. Furthermore, let’s see what the differences are in the size of RTX 4090 and 3090.

Size Dimensions of RTX 4090 VS RTX 3090 

The RTX 4090 and 3090 are two giant graphics cards NVIDIA, so, let’s see which one is smaller.

RTX 3090RTX 4090
Length 313 mm04 mm
Width 138 mm317 mm
  • With the length of RTX 3090 is 313 mm, and RTX 4090 has a length of 304 mm, so 4090 is smaller.
  • The width of the 3090 is 138 mm, and the 4090 is 317 mm, which makes it a little smaller in width as compared to 3090.
  • Both GPUs have three slots. 

Though the size of RTX 4090 is slightly smaller than 3090, it is still difficult to fit in many PC cases. I would suggest you check the dimension of your PC before buying any of them. 

If you are planning to get an RTX 4090 or 3090 for your PC, but it doesn’t fit into your PC, you need to get a new case. The below section provides you with some important tips that one should consider while getting a new case for RTX 4090 and 3090. 

Things to Consider While Getting a Case for RTX 4090 and 3090

As discussed above, RTX 4090 and 3090 are quite big and cannot be fitted into every case, so if you are planning to get a new case, here are a few things that you should consider:-

  • Firstly, you should check whether you actually need a new case by checking the case size on the manufacturer’s website. If your case is around 10 to 20 mm or larger than the maximum GPU length, it will fit. 
  • But here is a problem, though the GPU will fit inside the case, it will suffocate your case. You need to find a compatible case that has ample space in it to ensure airflow in your case. 
  • Remember that the case you choose should be spacious enough, otherwise, it will damage the other components of the case. 
  • While purchasing the case, you should consider the size made for inserting the graphic card. A well-spaced case will ensure that your graphic card doesn’t hurt the thermal efficiency of your case.
  • Other than the size, you should also check the quality of the case you select because thermals are generally weak. And if your case is compact, it will affect the performance and overall temperature. 

Now, the question arises, what is the right size of the case for RTX 4090 and 3090? 

I will suggest you get a 50 to 100 mm extra space on the top of the length of the GPU. The extra space between your front panel and the far right side of your GPU will leave some room for a water-cooling radiator to ensure the smooth performance of your GPU.

Power Consumption 

How much power wattage the graphic card will consume is another important factor that one should consider before getting one. 

The TDP of RTX 3090 is 350W, and as per the recommendation of NVIDIA, one should use a 750W PSU to run it. On the other hand, RTX 4090 has a TDP of 450W, and 850W PSU is ideal for it.

RTX 4090 needs an 850W PSU, which makes things favorable for 3090, especially for the people who already own a 750W PSU and are unwilling to upgrade it just for a new GPU. Apart from this, some people also faced issues related to RTX 4090 power adapters melting. However, only a few users faced this problem due to bent cables. RTX 3090 will get some extra points when it comes to power consumption. 

Moving further, let’s analyze the price difference between RTX 4090 and 3090.

Price Comparison of RTX 4090 and RTX 3090

The next-gen GPU RTX 4090 is 60% more expensive as compared to the 3090. The market price of GeForce RTX 4090 is MSRP $1,599, while RTX 3090 is available at the MSRP of $999. Irrespective of the high prices, the RTX 4090 has been in high demand. Since its launch, the 4090 has been quickly sold out, due to which people are pre-ordering it. 

I think $500 extra is worth the extra performance and features of 4090. Though the 3090 is still very potent, especially if your 4K display maxes out at 60 GHz, it cannot match the video resolution and speed of RTX 4090. In the following section, you will understand how much better the RTX 4090 is for gaming than the 3090. 

Gaming Efficiency of GeForce RTX 4090 and 3090

RTX 4090 has extra horsepower and is insanely fast when it comes to gaming. It gives an incredible gaming experience to the user. For instance, let’s take the example of Cyberpunk 2077. RTX 4090 has excellent rasterized performance and ray tracing with graphics options maxed-out. Meanwhile, 3090 and 3090 Ti are far away from touching the standard. 

So, now let’s understand which one is better for gaming at different resolutions:-

  1. 1080P

    RTX 3090 and 4090 are both perfect for 1080P gaming because they both are capable of generating enough frames for high refresh rates in every game at max settings at this resolution. 

  1. 1440P

    Again, both RTX 4090 and 3090 have enough frames for a high refresh rate of gaming in this resolution. However, the RTX 4090 performs better as compared to the 3090. 

    This is because there are certain games in which 4090 can easily push fast the 120fps and 144fps barrier at max settings, meanwhile, 1440P has a hard time doing this. So, RTX 4090 is a gamer’s ally for people who play games with 120 fps or 144 fps. 

  1. 4K 

    Virtual games are always upgrading their technology. They continually improve, with each generation of developers, by incorporating more polygons, physics, and shaders in order to make the virtual world more appealing and interactive. 

    4k allows you to explore the virtual world at high resolutions. RTX 4090 is the real beast when it comes to experiencing gaming at 4K resolutions. At the resolution of 4K, 4090 works 70% better than 3090. 

So, we can conclude that the gaming experience on the 4090 is quite better than on the 3090. Moving further, let’s examine the advantages and limitations of the RTX 4090.

Advantages and Limitations of RTX 4090 

Undoubtedly, RTX 4090 has a futuristic vision, that’s why many gamers consider it ahead of its time, but it also has some limitations. The advantages and limitations of RTX 4090 are as follows: –

The GeForce RTX 4090 works 60 to 70% faster while gaming at 4K.It’s too expensive and doesn’t fit the budget of many people.
RTX 4090 is comparatively better at ray tracing than other GPUs.The RTX 4090 is big and doesn’t fit in many cases, so you need to invest extra money to upgrade the case you use. 
The DLSS 3.0 feature in RTX 4090 makes 4k 120Hz gaming possible.You need to have a highly capable CPU for pairing RTX 4090.
AV 1 hardware encoding enables easy loading of high resolution without affecting the quality.
It has 24 GB VRAM which allows it to store a lot of things.

These were the advantages and limitations of the RTX 4090, moving ahead let me enlist some of the features that I liked in RTX 4090. Let’s have a look at the advantages and limitations of RTX 3090 to have a fair analysis. 

Advantages and Limitations of RTX 3090 

The RTX 4090 has amazing features, but one cannot deny the fact that the RTX 3090 is also incredible. That’s why it has ruled the GPU market for a long time. So, let’s examine the advantages and limitations of RTX 3090 to see how it’s better than other GPUs in the market. 

RTX 3090 is quite smooth and will give flawless frame rates. RTX 3090 is quite large and can restrict multi-GPU deployment. 
It has the capacity of 100 fps 4K gaming. One cannot seamlessly enjoy 8K gaming with RTX 3090. 
RTX 3090 requires 100 W less power than RTX 4090 which is really helpful for people who already have a 750 W PSU. The RTX 3090 has only 1 HDMI 2.1 port which is a major disappointment for gaming enthusiasts. 
The RTX 3090 has only 1 HDMI 2.1 port which is a major disappointment for gaming enthusiasts. The 12-pin power adaptor of RTX 3090 will really test your cable management skills.
Massive 24 GB memory of 3090 gives you huge storage space.It needs a highly capable CPU, so you may need to upgrade your CPU. 

The RTX 3090 is still very capable but the power adapter and CPU upgrade can really be problems for many people. Furthermore, let me enlist what I liked in RTX 4090 and 3090. 

What I Liked in RTX 4090 and 3090?

RTX 4090 is definitely one of the masterpieces in technology that has a futuristic vision, here are some of my personal favourite things about RTX 4090: 

  • It’s superfast.
  • Cools down efficiently.
  • Has dual AV1 encoders.
  • DLSS 3.0 makes everything smooth.
  • 24 GB of VRAM.
  • 4K ray tracing.

With superfast speed and effective cooling, RTX 4090 is a creator’s paradise. It addresses the loading and streaming issues that gamers and creators usually face. I have also used RTX 3090 and these are the things that I used to like in RTX 3090: 

  • Faster as compared to the available GPUs at its launch time.
  • Huge storage of 24 GB.
  • Excellent performance.
  • DLSS 2 adds great value for creative professionals.
  • Quick cooling.

Though RTX 4090 is quite futuristic, there are certain things that I don’t like about 4090 and 3090. 

What I Disliked in RTX 4090 and 3090?

In RTX 4090 

Certain things troubled me while installing and using 4090, they are as follows: 

  • Too much expensive.
  • The thick and long graphic card didn’t fit in many PC cases.
  • It’s overkill for the majority of games, even in 4K.
  • The 16-pin connector makes managing cables really hard. 
  • It has a dongle adaptor, which is very irritating.

In RTX 3090

The RTX 3090 was a beast of its time, but the things listed below were seriously irritating for me as a user: –

  • At the time of the launch, RTX 3090 was really expensive.
  • RTX 3090 has a huge footprint.
  • It consumes a lot of power.
  • 12-pin power adaptors make things very confusing.
  • The thick and long graphic card is hard to fit.

So after carefully analyzing the advantages, features, power consumption and gaming efficiency of RTX 4090 and 3090, it’s time to conclude and announce who wins the battle.

Performance Analysis Between the Two – Who Wins the Battle?

Performance wise GeForce RTX 4090 is better than available graphic cards in the market in every aspect. The 4090 is really helpful for creators and developers. You will love this graphic card if you live stream while gaming. So, yes, Nvidia’s RTX 4090 is definitely worth the extra money. Currently, the availability of RTX 4090 is less in the market because of the pre-bookings but sooner RTX 4090 will be easily available. 

Summing Up

Undoubtedly, the amazing features of the RTX 4090 graphic card will ensure that you get a premium experience while gaming, but at the same time, it can be expensive for some users. But, if you can afford it, and it fits your budget, you should absolutely go for it. In case RTX 4090 doesn’t fit your budget, you can wait for some time until the price drops, and it becomes easily available in the market. 

Author: Mehak Gupta