ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 | Review

ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 | Review

Yesterday saw the debut of the new range of NVIDIA RTX 4000 video cards, led by the top of the range RTX 4090 Founders Edition, which we talked about in the dedicated review that you can read at this address. In this review, we will talk about the ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 4090, a card that promises to be particularly interesting and introduces several new features compared to the TUF Gaming models of the RTX 3000 series.

The RTX 4000 series is based on the new Ada Lovelace architecture , produced with TSMC's 4nm. It introduces several new features, including the next generation RT Core and Tensor Core, DLSS 3 and full support for the AV1 codec. We talked in detail about these and other innovations in the review of the Founders Edition model, to which we refer you for an in-depth reading; here we will focus on the news regarding the TUF Gaming model we received from Asus.

The design of the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming is different from that of the previous generation: the backplate and the heatsink cover are always in metal, but to the touch they give a different feeling compared to the previous models. The lines are still reminiscent of the military, a typical reference to the TUF range, but the gray color that predominates on the card is of a different tone on the new model and the TUF Gaming logo, present on the fans and on the cover, is also different. Also on the new RTX 4090 TUF Gaming there are RGB LEDs, located on the edge, in correspondence with the TUF Gaming logo. In general we like the new aspect of the card more than the previous one, but we know that it is something very personal and that not everyone could agree.

Inside the package we find, in addition to the adapter 16 pins, a custom velcro and a graphics card holder that doubles as a screwdriver.

Still comparing the new RTX 4090 TUF Gaming with the previous series, we see that the cooling system uses larger fans, with a diameter of 104mm, and a more massive heatsink: the card in fact it measures 348.2 x 150 x 72.6 mm and is thicker, reaching 3.65 slots against the 3 slots of the RTX 4090 Founders Edition, or the RTX 3090 Ti TUF Gaming. Compared to the latter, the card is also 22.3mm longer. There is also a 0dB mode, which stops the fans when the GPU is below 50 ° C and activates them when the temperature rises above 55 ° C, and the alternating rotation of the fans, which helps to reduce noise.

On board the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming there is also the classic double BIOS, which allows you to choose between Performance Mode and Quiet Mode. The first, as can be guessed from the name, gives priority to performance, making it noisier but keeping the temperatures lower; Quiet Mode, on the other hand, sacrifices the dissipation capacity in favor of greater silence. Asus then worked to insert everything on a small PCB, which allows you to take advantage of the outermost fan to let the air flow through the heatsink and the large hole that we find on the backplate, so as to cool the heatpipes more effectively. and keep temperatures under control more easily.

The card is accompanied by the GPU Tweak III software, renewed for the occasion. The interface has been updated and now all the information is present within a centralized dashboard, it is possible to customize the OSD interface, record logs and configure the automatic switching from one custom profile to another. ASUS has also revised the interface for the optimization of the voltage-frequency curve, so as to facilitate even more the overclocking of the card.


To evaluate the performance of the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming we performed the tests with our classic video game suite, containing several triple A titles of various genres. The benchmarks were also performed with ray tracing and DLSS (in games that support the technologies), on a test platform consisting of Intel Core i9-12900K, Z690 motherboard, Corsair H150i Elite LCD heatsink, and 32GB of DDR5-6000 CL30 RAM .

In all games we have selected the “Ultra” preset for graphic detail, as well as for ray tracing in supported games. With regard to the DLSS we have instead selected the "Quality" option.

In all the games where it is available we have used the integrated test, in particular in F1 22 we have selected the Monaco circuit and a rainy weather condition . In Doom Eternal, where there is no benchmark, we always follow the same path to have a repeatable scenario.

Classic rasterization performance

As you can see from the graphs, the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming offers almost identical performance to the Founders Edition model, confirming the enormous performance increase guaranteed by the new Ada Lovelace architecture. Overall, with ray tracing and DLSS disabled, the GPU is about 55% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti and 64% faster than the RTX 3090.

Ray-traced performance

Even in ray tracing, the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming reconfirms the excellent performances of the Founders Edition, resulting on average 69% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti and 85% faster than the RTX 3090 .

Performance with ray tracing and DLSS

The same goes for performance with ray tracing and DLSS active, where the RTX 4090 TUF Gaming it is 59% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti and 77% faster than the RTX 3090. In the test we carried out on Cyberpunk 2077 with Ultra and DLSS 3 graphics and ray tracing details, the ASUS GPU achieved 142.7 FPS average, also in this case a result in line with expectations.

Consumption and temperatures

To measure consumption and temperatures we use the Watch Dogs Legion benchmark, performed at 4K resolution with graphics and ray tracing details both set to Ultra. The RTX 4090 TUF Gaming is cooler and slightly less energy-intensive than the Founders Edition model, with a maximum temperature of 61 ° C and a consumption of 409 watts.

Here too we ran some preliminary stress tests with more demanding loads than a video game: the card performed well, registering a maximum consumption of 444 watts and a temperature never exceeding 72 ° C.


The ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 4090 highlights again the good things they told you in the review of the RTX 4090 Founders Edition: exceptional performance, overall (between classic rasterization, ray tracing and ray tracing with DLSS) about 60% higher than those of an RTX 3090 Ti and over 70% higher than an RTX 3090, accompanied by consumption and temperatures even slightly lower than those of the former top of the range, a sign that the new architecture does an excellent I also work in terms of efficiency.

What changes from NVIDIA's Founders Edition model are size and price. The card is larger, we are talking about 348.2 x 150 x 72.6 mm against the 306 x 137 x 61 mm of the FE and as mentioned it occupies 3.65 slots, making it impossible to use any PCIe expansion slot positioned at the height of the fourth slot. You may or may not have the problem depending on which motherboard you use, as some in that location have space for M.2 SSDs, but it's still something to be aware of and carefully consider if you need to consider in addition to the video card. for example also connect a sound card, or an acquisition card. Still in terms of size, the card is also long, so make sure it fits in your case if you're thinking of buying it. this review debuts on the market at € 2499, while for the "base" model, not OC, € 2399 is required. Always staying at ASUS, the two ROG Strix (OC and "base") will instead come at the price of € 2699 and € 2599 respectively. This is € 520 more than the Founders Edition model, for a customization that guarantees you practically the same performance in game with slightly lower consumption and staying cooler, as well as providing software that allows you to manage and monitor the GPU with ease.

To buy it or not? It will seem obvious, but it depends on your needs and availability. Like any RTX 4090 that will arrive on the market, it is a niche solution, suitable for a very small slice of users: it is the right card for those who are willing to spend any amount to have the best GPU on the market (at least until a RTX 4090 Ti, if it comes), to be able to really play without compromise on any title, or play in 8K if you have a suitable TV, or for content creators who can take advantage of AV1 support, the huge amount of VRAM or by the significant increases in performance that are also obtained in content creation software, as well as in video games. If you recognize yourself in one of these descriptions, then yes, the RTX 4090 could be for you and certainly TUF Gaming customization can be a valid choice. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a powerful GPU, but with a more affordable price, you have two options: buy today an RTX 3090 Ti or RTX 3090, easily available for 1000-1200 euros less, or wait for the arrival of the RTX 4080 or the future RTX 4070 / RTX 4060, which are likely to guarantee excellent performance anyway, but at a lower cost.

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