You might need a new power supply for the RTX 4090 after all

Just as we thought we were out of the woods when it came to Nvidia’s RTX 4090 power requirements, the custom builds are here to prove us wrong.

While the GPU has been spotted hitting remarkably high clock speeds, even exceeding the 3GHz limit, some of Nvidia’s board partners are hitting with equally intense power demands. In short, you might need a 1200W PSU to run the RTX 4090.


The power requirements of Nvidia’s new flagship, the RTX 4090, were the subject of much speculation for months before its release. The reality turned out to be less dire than some might have imagined. In Nvidia’s Founders Edition, the card features a 450W TBP, and Nvidia recommends using an 850W power supply to run it comfortably. Of course, that’s not a conservative amount, but some earlier whispers pointed to a 1000W or higher PSU, so that still seemed like good news.

Unfortunately, Nvidia’s board partners bring those considerations back right away. All the giants, such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and others (EVGA excluded) will release their own versions of the beastly GPU, and they’ll have their own power recommendations to match.

Tom’s gear checked all the custom builds of the RTX 4090 we currently know of and compiled a recommended PSU power list. Some add-in board (AIB) manufacturers stick with Nvidia’s 850W recommendation, such as MSI, PNY, Galax, and Inno3D. Others, however, demand more, with a particularly outrageous recommendation.

Asus, Gigabyte, and Zotac recommend a 1000W power supply for their flagship cards. Palit, however, went all out with its RTX 4090 GameRock OC graphics card, calling for a whopping 1200W power supply.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 with a custom Cyberpunk 2077 backplate.

Is this kind of power really justified? It’s hard to know without seeing the map’s TBP, which Palit hasn’t shared yet. The power required also depends heavily on the rest of your rig.

Given that non-reference models often push the limits a bit harder than the Founders Edition, it’s not really surprising that the minimum PSU wattage is also listed as higher. However, it could also be that GPU manufacturers are trying to cover all the bases and don’t want to be responsible if someone uses a PSU that doesn’t meet the requirements of its entire build.

After all, it’s not just the graphics card that consumes a lot of power, and anyone using an RTX 4090 is likely to pair it with one of the best CPUs, beefy coolers and other components – it all adds up. .

The RTX 4090 among the green stripes.

Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 4090 will no doubt quickly climb the ranks of the top graphics cards. It was recently Point in a benchmark, reaching a massive clock speed of 3.0GHz and going up to 616W. Obviously, if you’re going to overclock your GPU and CPU, you’ll need a much better power supply.

In general, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, although the requirement for a 1200W PSU seems pretty extreme. If you’re going for an 850W PSU for one of the cards that just do that, remember to buy something top shelf and don’t go cheap. The stability of your whole build depends on the PSU, so it’s always better to allocate a bit more of your budget in that direction than doing anything later.

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