For the past year, gamers and PC experts alike have spilled a steady stream of complaints against the RTX 4090. The 2023 GPU landscape is hardly different, with notable tech YouTubers and other PC experts continuing to receive faulty or broken graphics cards to this day.
Originally released by NVIDIA in October 2022, the GeForce RTX 4090 has been nothing short of disappointing. Tech enthusiasts anticipated the promises of ultra-high performance – only to find its specs sincerely lacking when compared to the 4080 16GB.
The GeForce RTX 4090 was initially announced in September of 2022 at GTC 2022. (Image source: NVIDIA)
Throughout the initial shipment of the RTX 4090 cards, NVIDIA had a benchmark embargo in place, making it difficult for gamers to get the inside scoop on the card’s performance. This also created barriers to third-party selling of the RTX 4090 through retailers such as MSI and Asus. After the embargo was lifted, real numbers revealed that the RTX 4090 may not have been designed with gamers in mind.
In fact, we covered the RTX 4090 benchmarks last year and came to the conclusion that the $1,600 card is not really for gamers. It may be a friendlier option for small to medium-sized businesses looking to get a leg up in the freelancing space.
The GeForce RTX delivered some powerful capabilities with its Ava Lovelace framework, but gamers still found the card to be underperforming as it was not made with them in mind. (Source: PCMecca)
Not even a month later, we covered the RTX 4090 again by comparing it to the AMD 7900 XTX, surmising that the newest GPU release also is not a top go-to card for gaming fans. Though certain games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Warhammer 40,000: Darktide can be run at 4K without any lags or stutters, the true essence of the RTX is that it makes for one of the company’s highest profit margins when marketed towards businesses.
As we said last year, “NVIDIA’s bread and butter aren’t gamers. We simply get the leftovers.” And with the seeming lack of quality control in place for properly testing and distributing cards, this may not be too far off the mark.
This could not be more evident than in the latest NorthWestRepair video on YouTube. Well-known tech enthusiast and repairman Tony received an MSI 4090 card that was beyond DOA – it was completely broken as several contact pads had oxidized. Dozens of the small contact pads that are meant to facilitate secure connections between the GPU and the motherboard were completely dried out, rendering them useless. As Tony installed the GPU and turned the computer on, there was no response from the graphics card.
A handful of contact pads on the RTX 4090 have been rubbed away due to oxidization. (Source: NorthWestRepair on YouTube)
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why NVIDIA failed to produce the proper quality control for their RTX ‘40s line, especially the 4090, which is just over a year old at this point. One thing that is certain, though, is that it seems to be a trend. Since October of last year, there have been numerous Reddit complaints and forum posts where individuals have complained about their cards being completely dead on arrival.
Reddit users complain that some of the 4090 GPUs coming from third-party sellers have malfunctioned or been DOA out of the box. (Source: Reddit)
Most complaints have come from users who have had experiences with third-party card sellers, namely MSI and NZXT. Individuals have attempted to schedule RMAs (Return Merchandise Authorizations) with varying levels of success.
Unfortunately, some third-party manufacturers can be dodgy with user warranties, citing an error on the user’s end in order to avoid recalling or refunding the product. Many find it surprising that the RTX 4090 still lacks quality control to such an extent, even after newer iterations of the 40 series have been released.