Putting The NVIDIA RTX 4090 On A Diet, Performance At 450 W And 600 W

Watt’s Up With That 12VHPWR

The NVIDIA RTX 4090 is an immensely powerful and power hungry card, to the point where the internet is aflame with rumours of combustible 12VHPWR connectors.  TechPowerUp was curious as to the difference that would be seen using a native 600W 12VHPWR connector versus connecting three eight pin PCIe power connectors to the 450W 12VHPWR adapter.  It is worth noting that they ran their tests on a 1000W PSU that is not rated for PCIe 3.0 without issue, if you were concerned your current PSU is not up to the task.

The results of their tests might not be what you expected.  They set the power limit of the card to 500W, and when they used the native 600W 12VHPWR connector the NVIDIA RTX 4090 ran cooler and quieter than with the 450W adapter.  The performance was essentially the same, and there were no real power spikes to speak of.  Overclocking went better on the 600W 12VHPWR, however the significant increase in power consumption and associated heat and noise suggest it isn’t worth doing on this specific card.

It looks like the native adapter is kinder to the card’s VRMs but it isn’t necessary from a performance perspective.

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