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MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X Review

Rating: 7.0.

With graphics card power draw increasing generation-on-generation, Nvidia's flagship RTX 4090 can often pull more than 450W. That's a lot of heat to deal with, which is why the graphics cards themselves are bigger than ever. MSI, however, is taking a different approach with the Suprim Liquid X. The card itself is relatively compact as it makes use of a 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler. What benefit does this provide for thermals and noise levels? We find out today…

Alongside the 240mm AIO cooler, the MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X ticks a lot of boxes that we'd expect from a top-tier graphics card. A custom PCB design is used, dual-BIOS is present, there's an aggressive 105MHz factory overclock plus all the usual RGB bells and whistles.

There's no denying that such a bevy of features for a watercooled GPU comes at a price. Rather eye-wateringly, the Suprim Liquid X has an MSRP of £2179.99 here in the UK. Today we find out exactly what sort of performance is on offer for the money.

RTX 4090 RTX 3090 Ti RTX 3090 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080
Process TSMC 4N Samsung 8N Samsung 8N Samsung 8N Samsung 8N
SMs 128 84 82 80 68
CUDA Cores 16384 10752 10496 10240 8704
Tensor Cores 512 336 328 320 272
RT Cores 128 84 82 80 68
Texture Units 512 336 328 320 272
ROPs 176 112 112 112 96
GPU Boost Clock 2520 MHz 1860 MHz 1695 MHz 1665 MHz 1710 MHz
Memory Data Rate 21 Gbps 21 Gbps 19.5 Gbps 19 Gbps 19 Gbps
L2 Cache 73729 KB 6144 KB 6144 KB 6144 KB 5120 KB
Total Video Memory 24GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X 12GB GDDR6X 10GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 320-bit
Memory Bandwidth 1008 GB/Sec 1008 GB/Sec 936 GB/Sec 912 GB/Sec 760 GB/Sec
TGP 450W 450W 350W 350W 320W

First, for a quick spec recap. Using TSMC's 4nm node has allowed Nvidia to vastly increase transistor count, up from 28.3 billion with GA102, to a staggering 76.3 billion with the largest Ada GPU, AD102. Accordingly, core count has gone through the roof, with the RTX 4090 home to 16384 CUDA cores, with 512 Tensor cores and 128 RT cores, with a sizeable increase to the ROP count too, up to 176.

Such a leap forward in process node has also allowed Nvidia to crank the clock speed significantly, with the RTX 4090 now sporting a 2520MHz rated boost clock. The MSI Suprim Liquid X we are reviewing today has tweaked that further, adding an extra 105MHz out of the box.

Memory configuration is almost identical to the RTX 3090 Ti, with 24GB GDDR6X running at 21Gbps, operating over a 384-bit interface, totalling memory bandwidth of just over 1TB/s. That said, there has been a substantial upgrade to the L2 cache with the Ada architecture, with the RTX 4090 now offering 73MB, compared to 6MB for GA102.

Power draw also remains at 450W, as per the RTX 3090 Ti, though MSI has increased this further to 480W out of the box, and it can reach up to 530W when overclocking.

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