The RTX 4090 begs for a game that can make it shine |  Digital trends

The RTX 4090 begs for a game that can make it shine | Digital trends

The new Nvidia RTX 4090 seems to be absurdly powerful. It’s also a hot and power-hungry card, and even without third-party benchmarks to back it up, it’s already clear that the RTX 4090 is ahead of the best previous-gen cards.

But is there really a point in all this power? Sure, you can run the existing catalog of AAA games at 4K with ray tracing enabled at over 100fps, but there’s nothing on the record that will really push the 4090, and that’s a problem for Nvidia . It might be a while before an exciting new game can show off just what the RTX 4090 can really do.

Useless blow for all this money


According to Nvidia figures, the RTX 4090 is about twice as fast as an RTX 3090 Ti and up to four times faster in ray-tracing games where DLSS 3 is enabled. It’s a huge leap forward, much more in line with the generational progress of older generations than recent generations where incremental improvements and feature updates have been more of the selling point.

But it’s even clear from Nvidia’s own announcement that there’s really nothing to push you into buying such a card. Higher frame rates and detail settings are always welcome, but if you’ve ever played Cyberpunk 2077and explored Microsoft Flight Simulator as you wish, the RTX 4090 is just extra power with no room to gallop.

Nvidia had to create its own demo environment, RTX racing, to even have something new and exciting to show. Elsewhere, it used older AAA games almost exclusively to showcase the performance of its newer cards. Sure Microsoft Flight Simulator at 100 fps is impressive, but this game is already over two years old. Cyberpunk 2077 The new RT Overdrive mode with DLSS 3 and improved ray tracing looks great, but this game was pretty underwhelming at launch from a purely fun standpoint, and most of those who were excited about this game already have it play.

The only upcoming game that Nvidia even mentions in its vague benchmarks for the new card is Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. Considering it’s built on the same engine as 2018 Vermintide 2and isn’t filled with expansive environments or particularly detailed models, it won’t be the most demanding game.

Even looking at the spread of AAA games coming this year, there’s really nothing that’s going to graphically blow anyone away. It doesn’t particularly matter from a gamer’s perspective, and this mostly indie gamer doesn’t care, but it does make selling a new generation of super-powerful graphics cards a real hurdle for Nvidia. Especially when it seeks to drive electricity prices and demands up with it.

The only novelty is even more performance

Nvidia DLSS 3 running in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Where the RTX 2000 Turing graphics cards promised ray tracing and DLSS support as a reward for early adopters, and the RTX 3000 series promised comfortable frame rates in the most demanding games, RTX 4000 just does that and a bit more. DLSS 3 is its only truly unique feature.

And while it’s not really exclusive to this generation, Nvidia said it won’t run well on previous generations of RTX Tensor Cores. While this claim may seem dubious to the most skeptical, it does at least offer a clear advantage for the RTX 4090 over its predecessors, but when the goal of DLSS is to deliver even more performance in the limited number of games supported charging, for a card that’s already more than fast enough for its current job, it doesn’t do much to encourage early adopters. More than that, its best feature, frame generation, is exclusive to the new 40 series cards.

The advancements in ray tracing are good, as ray tracing has, until now, still not been something truly worth the performance. But as pretty as it is, ray tracing has had years to capture the mind of the gamer, and it still fails to do so.

Whether that’s due to its performance limitations or its still relatively limited use, even in large games, doesn’t really matter. Ada Lovelace’s big selling point is, much like Turing and Ampere before him, that he does ray tracing really well, and that just doesn’t seem like something most gamers are excited about right now. .

Maybe modders can save the white elephant

A screenshot of RTX Remix.

As in an appeal to the wider gaming community, Nvidia has thrown a bone at the true RTX evangelists: RTX Remix. This is a modding tool designed to make it easier to scale and add ray-traced lighting to older games, even on outdated versions of DirectX. Given the success of ray tracing on games like Earthquake II and Minecraftthere’s serious potential there for some of the most iconic older games to get a new lease on life with an unofficial RTX remaster.

That’s a good thing, and I’m certainly excited about some of my favorite old games that still take up too much of my time to receive the RTX treatment. It’s also important to credit modders for creating some of the most successful game genres of recent years, including MOBAs and battle royale games, so there’s potential with something like this to discover new exciting new ways to play.

But – and it’s a big but – does Nvidia really hope people spend $1,600 to play a ray-traced remaster of Gate? I definitely wouldn’t, but then I slowed down my RX 6950XT because it was too hot and loud, so I’m probably not the target audience for such a card. Again, who is it?

The RTX 4090 is going to be the most powerful graphics card for a while unless RDNA3 is a real surprise. Most likely at some point next year we’ll have titles that can really push it – maybe a poorly optimized game Ark 2or maybe star citizen will launch another Alpha.

But that’s no good at the moment, and ultimately leaves anyone who decides to spend as much as a high-end gaming PC on a single GPU wondering what they can actually do with it that they couldn’t already. do with an RTX 3090 for $500 less.

The answer, for now at least, is not much.

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