The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition has been available for a few weeks now, and today we’re looking at another third-party custom variant of Nvidia’s high-end graphics card: the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X 24G. Unlike the also-massive custom 4090 from Gigabyte that we previously reviewed, the Suprim Liquid X features a built-in AIO liquid cooler. This gives it a unique advantage – or disadvantage – when trying to fit into otherwise cramped cases compared to the absurdly bulky air coolers found on most other RTX 4090 cards.
MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X – Photos
MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X 24G – Design and Features
Like the flagship Founders Edition, the Suprim Liquid X features 16,384 CUDA cores, but with an increased boost clock of 2.62 MHz, compared to the FE’s 2.52 MHz. The standout difference is the built-in all-in-one liquid cooler which slims the primary graphics card unit down to a svelte two-slot design, measuring 11 x 5.5 x 1.69 inches (280 x 140 x 43 mm), compared to 11.9 x 5.4 x 2.4 inches (304 x 137 x 61 mm) on the Founders Edition.
Of course, that’s not accounting for the connected radiator and pair of 120mm fans. This means you have a lot more clearance to fit the card in a larger variety of cases than the larger 3-slot 4090s (we had to switch cases in order to fit the Gigabyte card, for example) – but you’ll also need a spot to mount the radiator, which including fans measures 10.7 x 4.7 x 2.1 inches (274 x 121 x 55 mm). Most cases have at least one spot to mount a radiator, but if that spot is already occupied by a CPU AIO, you might have an issue.
Beyond the AIO radiator, which attaches to the main card via a pair of 17-inch braided PVC tubes, there’s a single 95mm Torx fan 5.0 on the card itself. Next to this fan is a small RGB illuminated chevron, while the Suprim logo on the top, and a geometric design on the backplate also light up.
Beyond its cooler design, the Suprim Liquid X bears the same 3x DisplayPort 1.4a 1x HDMI 2.1 outputs as most RTX 4090 cards, and is powered by the same 16-pin 12VHPWR connector. Finally, there’s a BIOS switch on the PCB that changes between Gaming and Silent mode, for more performance or less noise, respectively. All of our tests were performed with it set to Gaming.
MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X 24G – Performance
My main question going into benchmarking the Suprim X Liquid was how much its liquid cooling solution would improve performance compared to the air coolers on the Founders Edition and most other custom cards. It turns out: not that much.
Starting with our synthetic benchmarks, the RTX 4090 Suprim X Liquid matches the Founders Edition in 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, although both cards fall a bit short of the Gigabyte Gaming OC card, which has about a thousand-point lead over the pair.
Next, in Unigine Heaven, the Gigabyte card again takes the lead at 1080p and 1440p, however the MSI and Founders Edition cards hold the lead at 4K, with the pair landing near identical scores of 2,838 and 2,842, respectively.
In the ray tracing synthetics, the three 4090 cards again land within a few points of each other, although this time the Suprim Liquid X actually wins out in all three tests, although by an admittedly small margin.
Moving on to our gaming benchmarks, which are conducted at the highest available graphics preset, with ray tracing and DLSS enabled where possible, the story is largely the same. All three 4090 cards are within a few FPS of each other, give or take depending on the game and resolution tested.
MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X 24G – Gaming Benchmarks
Looking at a handful of additional games at just 4K, we again see the three 4090 cards trade blows. This is largely as expected, as the AIB cards only carry a minor factory overclock, with their main difference coming down to their cooling solution.
With that in mind, I took a look at temperatures while benchmarking, and this was the one area where the MSI took a solid lead. The RTX 4090 Founders Edition hit a peak of 64.7C during benchmarking, while the Gigabyte Gaming OC topped out at 62C. The MSI Suprim Liquid X meanwhile maintained 55C while under load. That’s a considerable temperature difference, showing that there’s more headroom available should you want to overclock the card further and squeeze out some additional performance.