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7 things the RTX 5090 needs to do better than the RTX 4090

The next generation of Nvidia GPUs is coming soon, but here's what we want to see the 5090 improve on the 40 series
Last Updated on May 22, 2024
7 things the RTX 5090 needs to do better than the RTX 4090
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At the top of the best graphics card tier list, there’s no other card than the RTX 4090. Leading the tech with all the power and hardware behind it means it’s a beast to try and conquer. But even still, it doesn’t mean it’s a perfect card, there is always something that can be improved and that’s where the next generation of GPUs can come in to help with that. With the RTX 50 release date rumored to be by the end of 2024, we’re in the run-up to it already, so it might be soon that we see if we get any good changes.

1. Size

The first thing we saw with the release of the best RTX 4090 graphics cards is the sheer size of them. Releasing with a thickness of four slots in some cases as in our 4090 review, makes them rather over-the-top components. Having to find the right PC case to actually fit it in makes picking the right one for you a lot more restrictive and having to consider cooling and sizes a lot more.

Even sizing down to a mATX case was possible with smaller cards as long as the bottom of the case didn’t restrict the GPU fans. Now a four-slot card makes that a bit more difficult without causing issues along with the length as well and that can come into problems as well. Along with the bigger size, you may experience GPU sag and may need to opt for a GPU support bracket to help prevent it with the absolute weight of the cards making them bend down and distort permanently. So the 5090 should aim to downsize at least a bit to keep things a bit neater and with a lot less issues.

ROG Strix RTX 4090 with MSI RTX 3090 on top, Image by BGFG
ROG Strix RTX 4090 with MSI RTX 3090 on top, Image by BGFG

2. Power consumption

Kind of leading on from the size is the power, it’s what causes the sizing of the cards considering the cooling they have the jam on top of the PCB. As the 3090 had a TDP of 350W, and the 4090 increased that to 450W, it’s hard to see the 5090 jumping up another 100W. That would be insane and requiring so much power in your PC is unfathomable.

It would certainly put a dent in your power consumption and is over the top for a gaming PC on your desk. That could even increase the PSU suggestion up to a whole kilowatt, and now that’s a lot of power that is way more than necessary. The 5090 should look to utilize its power and components to higher efficiencies instead of pumping more and more power through it.

3. Power connector

One of the big dangers of the massive GPU is also its power connector. To this day RTX 4090 power connectors are still melting. As Nvidia opted for a 12VHPWR connector and required a native ATX 3.0 PSU or using a ridiculous octopus power adapter puts a lot of power through that cable and burns it, causing damage and breaking the card requiring fixing. Even possibly causing even more damage to the rest of your system.

What the 5090 needs to do is change it, I doubt Nvidia will go back to the trusty 8-pin, but it will have to improve the current one. PCI-SIG already has modified the 12VHPWR to 12V-2×6 so that should help the 5090 power through without hurting itself in confusion but it should definitely not stick to what it has now as that’s a lot of headaches.

RTX 4090 power connector, Image by PCGuide
RTX 4090 power connector, Image by PCGuide

4. Provide the latest display standard

Being the top of the line hardware it should keep up with the latest standards as well. In that case, the 5090 should feature the DisplayPort 2.1 standard so it can utilize its power to its full potential as well. That also applies to HDMI 2.1b although most cards only come with one of those anyway so it’s less likely to be used. But DP being the main port you should get the most out of it especially when you’re paying so much for the card, you should expect the best out of it.

DisplayPort 2.1 will allow the card to even run 4K 240Hz, and higher refresh rates throughout its resolutions and higher ones too. That was where the 4090 lacked as even though it had 4K capabilities the FPS might be high but the screen needed to match.

5. Pricing

It is the top-spec card and we can expect it to be pricey, but that applies to Nvidia’s whole lineup. The 40 Super release made that offering a bit more good value and even dropped the price of the 80 series. Well now the RTX 4090 is still expensive and selling for above MSRP, likely the only current card to be doing so.

This likely comes from the AI boom Nvidia is in the middle of. As its stock prices rise and its selling enterprise hardware, it’s GeForce gaming lineup might suffer from it. As those who can’t afford the big card, the 4090 can bring that on the consumer level. This means it’s in demand even at this price and level, so the 5090 should come down or at least not increase as a consumer-grade GPU shouldn’t be costing more than a decent build.

6. Availability

Another struggle for the 4090 has been the stock throughout its product cycle. Either at the beginning or in the middle, there have been plenty of times that it has been out of stock and everyone wanted it. Even if the price is high there’s clearly a demand for it and as a GeForce card, it should go to gamers or consumers so making enough cards to satisfy that instead of going to enterprise cards is key and makes us believe Nvidia won’t forget us gamers when their AI sector outgrows us. The RTX 5090 should be available and go to the right hands as well.

ROG Strix RTX 4090 box contents, Image by PCGuide
ROG Strix RTX 4090 box contents, Image by PCGuide

7. Less AI reliance

Alongside the RTX 40 series launch, we got DLSS 3 introducing frame generation and AI creating extra frames in between what’s actually there. But as the top-level card, it should be performing excellently without the need for AI to improve it. Yes it’s fun for big numbers to get bigger but with the cost the 4090 had on it, you shouldn’t need to rely on frame generation and AI to get it higher.

Don’t get me wrong it’s a great tech innovation but you want to get a strong performance no matter what from everything that’s been built into it. The 5090 should, and likely will run everything native but allowing it to thrive without extra is kind of key at this price point.

Final word

Overall, we expect the RTX 5090 to be an absolute unit once again. But my worry is Nvidia forgetting the gaming market and it is a second thought. As it thrives in AI and other sectors, my hope is the 5090 improves the 4090 in these ways and actually brings something new and exciting to the market once again

With a fascination for technology and games, Seb is a tech writer with a focus on hardware and deals. He is also the primary tester and reviewer at BGFG and PCGuide.

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