The Bottom Line
- + Inno3D iCHILL X3 design looks sick!
- + Better than RTX 4090 FE performance, thermals
- + 4K 120FPS+ gaming powerhouse!
- + Top tier RT performance + DLSS 3 goodness
- - No DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity... why!
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Inno3D reached out to me a few weeks ago to organize samples of their new custom GeForce RTX 4070 Ti iCHILL X3 graphics card that I just reviewed, but the company wanted me to check out their flagship GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3... they know me... I'm not going to say no. I'm a GPU and technology addict.
I was incredibly busy reviewing AMD's new RDNA 3-based Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT, and then the review ramped up into NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 4070 Ti. After checking out six different custom GeForce RTX 4070 Ti cards, it was time to check out the flagship Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 graphics card.
I've reviewed a bunch of custom GeForce RTX 4090 cards so far, starting with NVIDIA's own in-house GeForce RTX 4090, some custom cards from ASUS, two custom RTX 4090s from MSI, COLORFUL, and more. Inno3D's custom GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 is a different beast to the others, with their own design flair and more to check out.
Inno3D's custom GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 graphics card is more than capable of running most of your games at 4K 120FPS+ but with the best ray tracing technology in the business -- but more so DLSS 3 upscaling technology -- you have some GPU magic in your hands.
NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace GPU architecture has new Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), new RT Cores, new Tensor Cores, a totally new Optical Flow Accelerator, and a new Video Engine... and we're just getting started.
What a beauty.
NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace GPU architecture has (up to) 12 GPCs, 72 x TPCs, 144 x SMs, and up to a huge 18432 CUDA cores, 144 x RT Cores (3rd Gen), and 576 Tensor Cores (4th Gen). NVIDIA has up to a 2.5GHz GPU clock on the new Ada GPU inside of the RTX 4090 (it pushes up to and over 3.0GHz, btw) with 24GB of GDDR6X memory on a 384-bit memory bus, as well as 2 x AV1 decoders, and a huge 76 billion transistors made on TSMC's new 4N process node.
Ada is 2x more power efficient than the Turing and Ampere GPUs with some commanding performance for 450W (which is the TDP of the current king: RTX 3090 Ti).
There is a lot of new stuff going on under the hood of Ada and the next-gen GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs.
Like, a lot.
But man, when you get to DLSS Super Resolution and DLSS 3... things get real, real exciting for Ada.
Inno3D ships its flagship GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 graphics card in some stellar retail packaging, showing off the card from the front in all its glory. The back isn't so interesting, though.
It's a thick and big card, but it's cooling the behemoth AD102-based "Ada Lovelace" GPU and 24GB of ultra-fast GDDR6X memory, which offers 4K 120FPS+ gaming performance without an issue. The card is thick but it runs 5C+ cooler than NVIDIA's in-house GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics card.
It's thick but not too thick, with it coming in at just over a triple-slot design... damn good considering the power underneath, in terms of 400W+ of cooling and 4K 120FPS+ gaming performance. Inno3D's custom GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 has a single 16-pin "12VHPWR" power connector that converts over to 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
Display connectivity remains unchanged: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and a single HDMI 2.1 port.
Test System Specs
I've recently upgraded my major GPU test bed for 2022, but I will be upgrading again soon, now that Intel has launched its new 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" CPUs and Z790 motherboards, and AMD with its new Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" CPUs and X670E motherboards.
The new upgrades include the shift to the Intel Core i9-12900K processor, ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, 64GB of Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800 memory, and 8TB of Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD goodness. Intel's flagship Core i9-12900K is a beast, with the Alder Lake CPU packing 8 Performance cores (P-cores) and 8 Efficient cores (E-cores) at up to 5.2GHz.
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
I've got that installed into the bigger-than-life ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, which is absolutely loaded to the brim with technologies and features that it houses everything you need. We're talking about one of the best-looking designs on a motherboard yet, PCIe 5.0 support, enthusiast-grade 10GbE networking, and oh-so-much more.
RAM: 64GB Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800
Sabrent helped out in a huge way by sending over 64GB of DDR5-4800 memory in the form of 4 x 16GB DDR5-4800 modules of its new Sabrent Rocket DDR5 memory. The company also helped out in an even bigger way, supplying us with a gigantic and super-fast 8TB model of its Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD.
SSD: 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2
We're talking about 7.5GB/sec+ (7500MB/sec) from a single M.2 SSD, along with a gigantic 8TB of capacity. The 2TB drives aren't big enough for all of our game installs for GPU testing... the 4TB is much better, but the 8TB gives us room to move into 2023 without worrying about installing multiple games that are 200GB+ in size.
Some glory shots, of course.
Displays: ASUS ROG Strix 43-inch 4K 120Hz
ASUS has been a tight partner of TweakTown for many years, with the fine folks at ASUS Australia sending over their ROG Strix XG438Q and ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors for our GPU test benches. They're both capable of 4K 120Hz+ through their DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity.
I will be upgrading these in the near future, over to some DisplayPort 2.0-capable panels and some new HDMI 2.1-enabled 4K 165Hz panels in OLED form of course...given that next-gen GPUs are right around the corner, there has been no better time to upgrade your display or TV.
I've been working on this system for a while now, but now we're stretching its legs with the newly-released PC port of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered. Not just in 1080p or 1440p, not even in just 4K... but at 8K with a native resolution of 7680 x 4320. I've run through some of the very fastest GPU silicon on the planet.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD Display (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Sabrent Rocket 64GB DDR5-4800 (4 x 16GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: MSI MPG A1000G Gaming Power Supply 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro x64 (buy from Amazon)
- Display: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ (4K 120Hz) (buy from Amazon)
Benchmarks - Synthetic
Benchmarks - 1080p
Benchmarks - 1440p
Benchmarks - 4K
Temps & Power Consumption
GPU temperatures were sitting steady at around 62-63C during heavy benchmarking and gaming loads, with the GPU hotspot hitting 68-69C. This is with the fans at default speeds, spooling around at 1300RPM or so (40%). Power consumption isn't too bad here, with 325W or so.
What's Hot, What's Not
- Better performance than RTX 4090 FE: Inno3D's custom GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 offers either performance that matches or betters the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition. This is great to see, as the RTX 4090 FE is already a radically fast GPU.
- Inno3D's design style with iCHILL X3: You'll either love it or hate it, but I'm a huge fan of the Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 design aesthetic. It looks great, and it comes in as a slightly thicker than triple-slot design. There's some gorgeous RGB lighting here, too.
- 4K 120FPS+ gaming powerhouse: You'll be gaming at 4K 120FPS+ all day and night long, and even higher than that if the games you're playing are DLSS 3 compatible. Hell, Overwatch 2 runs at 4K 400FPS+ on the RTX 4090... so you'll be good on the Inno3D RTX 4090 iCHILL X3.
- No DisplayPort 2.1 connector, WTF: NVIDIA not including the new display connector moving forward -- DP2.0 -- is a huge mistake. It means anyone buying a $1500+ graphics card in the tail end of 2022 is not going to be able to use next-gen DP2.1-capable gaming monitors that Samsung has already started unveiling now that CES 2023 has kicked off. WTF, NVIDIA? Even Intel's is-it-even-real Arc GPUs have a DP2.0 port.
Inno3D has impressed with the GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 with performance that stands up on NVIDIA's already impressive GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition, all while looking like a boss, and with thermals that are improved over the RTX 4090 FE design.
Speaking of design, Inno3D nails it with the design style of the GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3... which looks a step better than the already impressively styled Inno3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 graphics card that I just reviewed. If you want brute force performance, the new Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 offers it in droves.
I was playing Overwatch 2 completely maxed out at the glorious 4K resolution, enjoying 300FPS+ all day long without a hiccup. Moving over to something a little more graphically intensive in the form of Warzone 2, once again maxed out at 4K, it not only looks beautiful but runs buttery smooth. I actually turned DLSS onto "Quality" mode, so it looked even better than native 4K and ran smoother than native 4K at over 160FPS+ average without a single problem. Loved it.
Inno3D's custom GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3 was capable of running games even better looking than Warzone 2, like Cyberpunk 2077 at 75FPS average -- matching the RTX 4090 Founders Edition -- but if you enable DLSS 3 and ray tracing, the game looks even better, and runs even better.
All of this is happening with the GPU temperature hitting just 63C, which is super chill, and it also ran virtually silent. All of that 4K 120FPS+ gaming grunt, and yet, not a peep. I don't think anyone could be disappointed with the Inno3D GeForce RTX 4090 iCHILL X3, as I certainly loved it.