The next-gen battle between AMD and Nvidia is now fully engaged as both major GPU makers have launched their own flagship graphics cards, with the RX 7900 XTX pitted against the RTX 4090.
Both are incredibly powerful graphics cards by any measure, capable of playing the best PC games with high-quality 4K graphics at fast frame rates. Both are capable of advanced ray tracing, and both can take advantage of hardware-assisted resolution upscaling to improve frame rates across hundreds of the most popular games.
But there are also important differences in price, performance, and design that anyone looking to move to the next generation of PC graphics needs to know before buying either.
Fortunately, we’ve reviewed both the Nvidia RTX 4090 and AMD RX 7900 XTX, putting both cards through a thorough benchmark and check to assess their strengths and weaknesses so we can offer our expert analysis of which is the best graphics card for your specific needs and budget.
RX 7900 XTX vs. RTX 4090: Price
The first thing to know about these two flagship cards is that neither of them make it into our list of best cheap graphics cards. These are excellent pieces of hardware, understandable given the kind of technology and performance they bring to the table, at $999 for the RX 7900 XTX (£899 / approx AU$1,500), and $1,599 for the Nvidia RTX 4090 (£1,599 / approx AU$4,300). Australian dollar).
As you can see, the RX 7900 XTX is also cheaper than the RTX 4090 by a huge margin, so even these two cards are flagship graphics cards, they’re really in two different classes when it comes to price and ultimately performance.
The real competitor in the market for the AMD RX 7900 XTX has to be the Nvidia RTX 4080, but given that the MSRP of the RTX 4080’s launch isn’t much cheaper than the RTX 4090 ($1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,219), we certainly see why. Everyone compares the RX 7900 XTX to the flagship Nvidia RTX 4090 instead.
The inverse of this is also notable: AMD doesn’t really have a direct competitor to the Nvidia RTX 4090. The RX 7900 XTX may be AMD’s flagship card, but it doesn’t have nearly the kind of hardware and performance of the RTX 4090, and by AMD’s own admission, it never really was trying to.
Those caveats aside, in a battle between the two flagships, the best AMD graphics card on the market is 37.5% cheaper. What’s more, it offers the best price-to-performance of any next-generation graphics card, even the slightly cheaper AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT.
RX 7900 XTX vs. RTX 4090: Design
There are a number of major differences in terms of design between the RX 7900 XTX and RTX 4090, and there are quite a few similarities. Both use the PCIe 4.0 interface instead of the newer PCIe 5.0, and both have an HDMI 2.1a output.
This is really where the overlaps end in terms of design. The RTX 4080 is much larger than the RX 7900 XTX.
Nvidia’s RTX 4090 Founders Edition card measures 12 inches (304mm) long, 5.4 inches (137mm) wide, and 2.4 inches (61mm) thick, making it a beast to try and fit in a PC case. Meanwhile, the RX 7900 XTX is 11.3 inches (287mm) long, 5.3 inches (135mm) wide, and 2 inches (51mm) thick, making it more suitable for a crowded computer case.
Another notable difference between the RX 7900 XTX and RTX 4090 is that the RX 7900 XTX features DisplayPort 2.1 output, which supports up to 165Hz at 8K, while the RTX 4090 maxes out at 60Hz at 8K via DisplayPort 1.4. The RX 7900 XTX reference card also supports USB Type C video output, while the RTX 4090 Founders Edition does not.
Finally, we need to talk about the power connection. The RX 7900 XTX uses two standard 8-pin connectors, while the Nvidia RTX 4090 uses one 16-pin connector. If you have an ATX 3.0 power supply, you will have the 16-pin connectors coming out of the PSU directly, but if not, you will need to use the included adapter that converts the four 8-pin connectors into the 16-pin needed for the RTX 4090.
These adapters are the ones you may have heard about in the news due to concerns that they could fail, causing the conductor to melt and potentially creating a fire hazard in the process. How prevalent the situation or the exact cause may be isn’t entirely clear, but given that Nvidia shipped at least 130,000 Nvidia RTX 4090s And there have only been a few reports of this problem, it’s probably not very widespread.
However, if you’re looking to spend that much money on a graphics card, then rolling the dice on whether you’ll become one of this small number of reports isn’t really the kind of thing you want to include in your graphics card purchase premium.
RX 7900 XTX vs. RTX 4090: Performance
Ultimately, the graphics card comes in terms of performance, and that’s exactly where the RTX 4090 comes in. We suggest you check out our Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 review and AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX review for a full breakdown of their performance metrics and specs, since what really matters to us here is where these cards excel and where they fall short.
There is nothing the RTX 4090 can’t do better than any other graphics card on the market. Whether it’s creative performance or gaming performance, the RTX 4090 is the best out there. Especially when you add Nvidia’s DLSS 3 upgrade technology with Frame Generation, which greatly boosts frame rates in high-end games. AMD has an FSR 2.0 upgrade which works very well, but it’s not quite as good as DLSS.
The RTX 7900 XTX is the second best graphics card overall, especially for gamers, and it comes in at a much lower price than the RTX 4090, so it may be a much better option for those who want great performance without paying very high premiums. for the privilege.
Which one should you buy?
Buying the RX 7900 XTX vs RTX 4090 will ultimately do the trick if you want to enjoy best-in-class performance across the board and you’re willing to pay a premium to get it.
But what a premium. While it’s not quite as expensive as Nvidia’s commercial GPUs like the Titan from past generations, it’s still an expensive card that will make you wonder if the extra performance is worth it, especially when you’ve got an RX 7900 XTX in there. While not as clear the case as with the RTX 4080, the RX 7900 XTX still makes a compelling case for gamers by offering second-ranking performance for much less.
We believe that the best graphics card isn’t just the one that gives you the best fps in absolute terms. The one that offers the most attractive value for your money is the one we recommend every time, and so we still think the edge should go to the RX 7900 XTX, which strikes the perfect balance of performance and price for a flagship graphics card.