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Even the RTX 4090 isn’t enough to unlock support for Copilot+

Not smart enough for Microsoft?
Last Updated on May 24, 2024
Even the RTX 4090 isn't good enough for Copilot+
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There has been a lot of news lately regarding Microsoft’s development of their AI companion, Copilot. And now they’ve introduced Copilot+ PCs, a subcategory of Windows PCs specifically designed for AI. Right off the bat, a number of laptops have been announced to be Copilot+ capable, but it doesn’t look like great news for current desktop owners, at least not just yet.

Even if you have Nvidia’s current flagship card – the RTX 4090 with it’s fantastic deep learning capabilities – you still won’t qualify. This is because the implementation is currently designed for laptops in mind, with Microsoft due to focus on desktop integration in the future.

Copilot+ system requirements versus the RTX 4090

So with that, no current dedicated graphics card will give you access to Copilot+ locally. Looks like you’ll have to stick to cloud-based Copilot implementation for now, or maybe wait around for the RTX 5090. For reference, there are three main ingredients that make up the requirements:

  • NPU (Neural Processing Unit) of 45 TOPS or more
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB storage

Of course the latter two details aren’t related to your graphics card, so the first requirement is the one that slams the door shut on any GPU right now – or is it? Well, with a little bit of research you’ll find that the RTX 4090 should absolutely smoke this requirement with 1,321 AI TOPS according to Nvidia thanks to its Tensor Cores. The problem instead lies with desktop hardware in general.

Microsoft’s introduction to Copilot+ PCs

Why isn’t it good enough?

It’s not a question of whether the RTX 4090 is powerful enough for Copilot+, because it clearly should be. Instead, it lies with desktop compatibility as we learned from Microsoft (via XDA Developers). They claim that they’re “just focusing on laptops right now” which is probably fair enough. It looks like baby steps at the moment, especially with laptops being the weapon of choice for many productivity users looking to benefit from Copilot’s AI features.

The RTX 4090 and its close relatives are excellent video cards for AI workflows, but you’ll have to miss out on Copilot+ for the time being. The features of this new tech to create what Microsoft calls the “most intelligent Windows PCs ever” are designed to work best with NPUs, rather than the Tensor Cores that currently feature on RTX GPUs. Graphics cards with on-board NPUs may not be too far away though.

At PC Guide, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.

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