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We don’t need the RTX 5090 – especially with DLSS already here

Nvidia's upcoming RTX 5090 might be too much
Last Updated on May 15, 2024
We don't need the RTX 5090 - especially with DLSS already here
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Hype is building for the upcoming RTX 50 series, and the allure of the 5090 in particular is hard to ignore. We got some leaked specs not too long ago and it looks to be a gigantic upgrade – but do we need it? The RTX 4090 is already a beast, but we’re actually living in a timeline where screen resolutions outpace graphics power. 8K gaming is certainly a stretch and those using a dual-4K (horizontal 8K) ultrawide monitor may feel the same way based on current hardware.

However, most of us aren’t gaming at resolutions like this, and the current 40 series is more than enough to handle what most players ask of it. Plus, DLSS technology – especially frame generation – might already be making the 50 series irrelevant unless Nvidia has yet another exclusive feature to brag about later this year.

Is DLSS already enough?

In our RTX 4090 review, we put the flagship card to the test and it obviously didn’t disappoint. Looking at pure rasterization though, it managed an average of 43 FPS on Cyberpunk 2077 maxed out with ray tracing on. Take into account though that this is without the help of DLSS, so it’s a respectable score.

With the flick of a switch, DLSS makes a massive different to framerates and we think that it will help carry the 40 series for a long time. With that in mind, it makes sense to argue that something like the 5090 is just not going to sell the same way as the 4090 did. The leaked specs do suggest that something insane is coming, but all that power may only appeal to a niche group when the rest of us can happily stick to utilizing DLSS and achieve high enough framerates.

What about power draw?

We’ve seen people joking about what kind of power connector the RTX 5090 will need, but it is expected that Nvidia will stick to the current 16-pin connector. That does mean a max output of 600W, which lines up with current rumors regarding cooler testing, but past problems of melting connectors should definitely be ammended. If not, then Nvidia is failing to address one of the biggest concerns of high-end users right now.

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card boxed, taken by PCGuide
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card boxed, taken by PCGuide

DisplayPort 2.1 could be a big selling point

Perhaps the saving grace of the 50 series for us is that DisplayPort 2.1 is expected to be the new standard for these cards. More DisplayPort 2.1 monitors are arriving on the market, with current users of the Samsung Neo G9 57″ perhaps waiting for Nvidia’s next generation to make the most of it. It will also be relevant to upcoming 8K monitors.

The fact that this standard will hit up to 240Hz at 4K without any kind of compression is a big deal for some, bypassing the need for the DSC (Display Stream Compression) tech used by HDMI 2.1 to achieve the same. It will also support up to 85Hz without compression at full 8K.

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.