RTX 4000: size does matter!

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Yesterday was the announcement of the RTX 4000 from NVIDIA, and at the same time, it was quite a cold shower. Between the crazy prices and a deceptive RTX 4080 12Gb , we can also draw a line on the compact cards. Indeed, among the plethora of brand announcements, all the air-cooling cards seen, none of them are strictly dual slot. For this, you have to turn to water-cooling cards.

RTX 4000: no more dual slot cards?

Asus RTX 4090 Strix
The RTX 4090 Strix from Asus, a triple-slot cinderblock over a foot long

For the time being, if you have a mini-ITX configuration or even a rather standard, but relatively compact case, finding a card might be complicated, at least, on these XX90 and XX80 series. Indeed, as we assumed in our article on the 4090 from Lenovo this new generation is made of real cinder blocks. If you opt for an air-cooling card, it will not be impossible that you have to change the case. Whether you are with Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, etc., the vast majority of cards occupy three slots. If not up to four on some models (cf: KFA² Serious Gaming). And not to mention the length of more than 30 cm.

Finally, if you (have to) look for a dual slot model, you will have to turn to factory water-cooling cards. For this, we find a few, from Colorful, Inno3D and maybe MSI. The latter announced an RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid, but not knowing more, it is difficult to speculate on its real dimensions. However, this requires a radiator in 240 mm or perhaps 360 mm, so in ITX, not obvious.

MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid
Maybe another dual slot model… Maybe?

Anyway, the impressive size of the cards is to be put in parallel with the explosion of TDP… And power consumption. This phenomenon began with the RTX 3000 series, whose TDP went from 250W to 320W for the XX80 series. Then from 350W to 450W when passing from the 3090 to the 3090 Ti. However, when you say higher power consumption/heat, you also say heatsink adapted accordingly.

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Moreover, it’s been two generations now where the power consumption of the cards is exploding. It seems that no more efforts are made on this subject… The time is long gone when power consumption became a marketing argument (GTX 600 – GTX 700) – that everyone recited on the networks/forums – to cut the competition.