GeForce RTX 4090 AIO Review Roundup & Complete Guide
The GeForce RTX 4090 is not just Nvidia’s class-leading flagship of 2023 – it leaves every single competitor in the dust when it comes to gaming performance. Its closest AMD rival is the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, but AMD’s flagship effectively competes with the RTX 4080.
For this very reason, equipping the RTX 4090 with liquid cooling is a very compelling idea, as it is likely to push its already stellar performance into record-breaking territory. In short, it will make you the owner of one of the world’s fastest consumer graphics cards to date.
Unless you have a custom loop setup, all-in-one (AIO) solutions using a closed loop with pre-mounted water blocks, radiators, and fans are the most practical way to get your hands on a liquid-cooled RTX 4090. And while these flagship cards are by no means affordable, the total cost of ownership for an AIO is not necessarily higher than a custom DIY solution.
GeForce RTX 4090 AIO Specs and Comparison
Needless to say, the RTX 4090 AIO market is a relatively small niche in this exclusive flagship GPU space. Several major manufacturers have nevertheless recognized the demand for even more performance. This article will do its best to examine how well they’ve succeeded. But first, a complete list of what products are available (or have been announced).
|Asus ROG Matrix
RTX 4090 Platinum
|Asus ROG Strix
LC RTX 4090 (OC)
|Price not available
|Colorful iGame RTX
4090 Neptune OC-V
RTX 4090 Hydro
|Gigabyte Aorus RTX
RTX 4090 Black
|MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid (X)
When trimming the list for color and OC/non-OC variations, the end result is a relatively short list. Although there are, in theory, more GeForce RTX 4090 AIO models compared to any other current-gen card, availability is limited.
Also, some have yet to be launched – and may eventually turn out to be proof-of-concept cards or paper launches more than anything else.
The ones that have been consistently available in North America and Europe include the MSI Suprim Liquid X, Asus ROG Strix LC, and Gigabyte’s Aorus RTX 4090 Xtreme Waterforce. Inno3D’s iChill Black can also be found occasionally but the Galax/KFA2 Hydro and Colorful Neptune OC-V are largely absent.
As for Asus’ flagship ROG Matrix RTX 4090 Platinum, this card was announced at Computex in May 2023. It wasn’t available for several months following the announcement, but as of early 2024 you can actually find it in stores.
RTX 4090 AIO Reviews
Getting hold of a GeForce RTX 4090 AIO review sample is about as easy as you might expect. These are all low-volume, expensive niche products, and the marketing departments at Nvidia’s AIB partners are not necessarily that enthusiastic about spending their budgets on promoting them.
At least, the handful of available reviews should at the very least provide some indications of what to expect from RTX 4090 AIOs in general.
MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X
One notable exception is the MSI Suprim Liquid X, which has been reviewed by several major tech channels.
KitGuru had the following to say about MSI’s RTX 4090 AIO:
I do love the sleek and clean design, while the AIO cooler offers impressive thermals and very low noise levels (especially if you use the silent BIOS). That said, memory thermals are actually a bit worse than some air-cooled cards we’ve tested, while the delta between the GPU and hotspot temperatures suggests that the cold plate flatness or the mounting pressure could be improved.
Techpowerup posted the following review and awarded the card with an Editor’s Choice badge. Quote:
Manual OC worked very well on the Suprim Liquid X, just like on the Suprim X. Both cards reached over 500 FPS after manual OC—a new record. The differences between all RTX 4090 cards so far are fairly small though, and the silicon lottery also plays a role here.
It’s also been tested by JayzTwoCents:
The overall sentiment from reviews of the Suprim Liquid X AIO is positive, especially regarding design and noise levels. Reviewers were less happy with the card’s VRAM hotspot temperatures and VBIOS limitations on raising the power limit.
Gigabyte Aorus RTX 4090 Xtreme Waterforce
While there seem to be no comprehensive reviews of Gigabyte’s RTX 4090 AIO available, there is also no shortage of strongly worded opinions that appear to be based on experience. In a Reddit thread with the title “Don’t buy …”, a dissatisfied owner lists multiple issues with the card.
A video teardown also shares the impression of this card not being on par with other AIOs like the Asus Strix LC or MSI Suprim.
This PC builder also shares some unimpressive temperature data comparing an air-cooled model to the Aorus AIO.
Colorful iGame RTX 4090 Neptune
Colorful’s graphics cards have somewhat limited availability outside of Asia. The iGame RTX 4090 Neptune OC-V is nevertheless one of the few AIOs of its kind that have been thoroughly tested.
GamersNexus is generally satisfied with the card’s build quality and block design but also brings up firmware-related issues with power targets resetting and poor boosting behavior.
Which is the Best RTX 4090 AIO?
What we do know is that MSI’s Suprim Liquid X has been given a seal of approval by several major tech channels. We have also noted that there have been issues with some of these cards and that users have been less happy with the Gigabyte model, whereas the Asus Strix LC is more favored.
Due to the shortage of comprehensive RTX 4090 AIO reviews, it is however difficult to reach an informed conclusion about which cards are objectively better than others. While it would have been incredibly interesting to test all of these flagship cards, this option has unfortunately not been available to anyone. And even if it had, the limited availability in various regions effectively prevents prospective buyers from choosing between the different designs.
Last update on 2024-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Generally favorable views by the tech press make the MSI Suprim Liquid X one of the safer alternatives. It also has the advantage of being one of the more affordable (or rather less expensive) RTX 4090 AIOs. The Asus ROG Strix LC model has also been well-received and comes with plenty of RGB elements, although the card itself is less compact than the MSI variant hybrid-style cooler design with an additional blower-style fan – and the Asus card is often pricier.
Both of these AIO cards come in variants with or without factory overclocking (with the ‘X’ and ‘OC’ additions to the name, respectively). Factory OC is not particularly relevant for air-cooled graphics cards and even less so for flagship AIO models. Power limits beyond 110% and the ability to apply voltage mods are much more important, but the manufacturers tend to be restrictive with these options.
Cards with liquid cooling will nevertheless be able to run at higher boost clocks for longer periods while usually being much less noisy than air-cooled cards.
Not necessarily, but if you plan on applying substantial overclocks, then the card's power draw can potentially exceed that of comparable air-cooled cards due to more efficient cooling. Graphics card manufacturers recommend up to 1000-watt PSUs, which should be suitable for most builds. A liquid-cooled RTX 4090 may occasionally pull more than 500W by itself when running at a 110% power limit.
The stock TGP (Total Graphics Power) for the RTX 4090 is 450W and Nvidia's PSU (power supply) recommendation for the Founders Edition is 850W.
Overclocking an AIO liquid-cooled GeForce RTX 4090 is technically no different from overclocking any other graphics card. Reaching sustained OC boost clocks should however be easier on average with more efficient and effective cooling. Use an overclocking tool such as MSI Afterburner (works with all brands), which also lets you set a fan curve.
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