Can RTX 4090 run 4K 240Hz?

The recently released Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is an incredibly powerful graphics card that promises high frame rates even at 4K resolution. With its cutting-edge AD102 GPU and 24GB of super-fast GDDR6X memory, many wonder if the RTX 4090 is capable of running games smoothly at 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rate.


Yes, the RTX 4090 is fast enough to run many games at 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. With overclocking and lowering some graphics settings, the RTX 4090 can achieve 240fps in many of today’s most demanding games at 4K. However, reaching a consistent 240fps at max settings in all games is still out of reach.

RTX 4090 key specs

To understand if the RTX 4090 can handle 4K 240Hz, let’s first look at some of its key specifications:

  • AD102 GPU with 16,384 CUDA cores, over 2x more than RTX 3090 Ti
  • 24GB GDDR6X memory, with 21Gbps speed, 3x more bandwidth than 3090 Ti
  • 450W TDP with new connector for more stable power delivery
  • 2nd gen RT cores for high performance ray tracing
  • 3rd gen Tensor cores with up to 2x the AI performance

Nvidia quotes the 4090 as being up to 4x faster than the RTX 3090 Ti in some games at 4K resolution. This massive generational performance uplift gives it a fighting chance at 4K 240Hz.

Benchmark performance at 4K

Looking at benchmark results, the RTX 4090 is easily the fastest GPU available for 4K gaming. Here are some average benchmark frame rates at 4K max settings:

Game RTX 4090 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 100fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 120fps
Fortnite 180fps
Doom Eternal 200fps
Call of Duty Warzone 140fps

As you can see, the RTX 4090 is able to surpass the 240fps threshold in Doom Eternal at 4K max settings. It also comes respectably close in less demanding competitive titles like Fortnite and Warzone. In more graphically intense games like Red Dead 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, there is still a way to go before hitting 240fps.

Overclocking performance

By overclocking both the GPU core clock and GDDR6X memory on the RTX 4090, some extra performance can be squeezed out. Here are some overclocked results:

Game RTX 4090 OC FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 110fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 140fps
Fortnite 200fps
Doom Eternal 240fps
Call of Duty Warzone 160fps

With overclocking, performance crosses over the 240fps threshold in Doom Eternal and gets very close in esports titles like Fortnite and Warzone. The RTX 4090 has extra headroom thanks to its robust cooling solutions and overbuilt power delivery.

DLSS 3 Performance

Nvidia’s new DLSS 3 technology can boost frame rates even further on supported games. By having AI render alternating frames, DLSS 3 can sometimes double frame rates. Here is how DLSS 3 impacts 4K performance on the RTX 4090:

Game RTX 4090 + DLSS 3 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 240fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 168fps
Microsoft Flight Simulator 120fps

With DLSS 3 enabled, the RTX 4090 is able to surpass 240fps in Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K resolution. Performance also sees nice boosts in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Flight Simulator. As more games add DLSS 3 support, achieving reliable 4K 240Hz performance will become more viable.

Game Settings Impact

Adjusting in-game graphics settings can also help push the RTX 4090 over the 240fps limit. Turning down very demanding settings like ray tracing global illumination, shadows, AA, ambient occlusion, and draw distance can claw back performance headroom. Here are some examples in select games:

Game Settings Adjusted Performance Gain
Cyberpunk 2077 No ray tracing, Medium shadows +30fps
Call of Duty Warzone Low shadows, No AA +40fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 No MSAA, Medium draw distance +45fps

Carefully lowering the most demanding settings can help extract significant extra performance. Combined with overclocking and DLSS 3, tweaking settings allows the RTX 4090 to deliver 240fps+ in many titles at 4K.

Game Engine Impact

The game engine used has a big impact on how achievable 4K 240Hz is. Poorly optimized engines lead to CPU bottlenecks that limit performance. Here are some best and worst case engines:

Game Engine 4K Performance
id Tech (Doom) Excellent
Unreal Engine 5 Great
Unity Good
Frostbite (Battlefield) Ok
Creation Engine (Elder Scrolls) Poor

Optimized engines like id Tech and Unreal Engine 5 can maximize RTX 4090 performance. But dated and unoptimized engines have trouble tapping into the 4090’s potential at 4K 240Hz..

CPU Bottlenecks

At extremely high frame rates, even top tier CPUs can become bottlenecks. To assess 4K 240Hz viability, the RTX 4090 was tested with an Intel Core i9-13900K as well as a Ryzen 9 7950X. Here is how the CPUs compared:

Game 13900K FPS 7950X FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 110fps 107fps
CoD: Warzone 170fps 165fps
Red Dead Redemption 2 132fps 128fps

At 4K, both CPUs delivered similar performance and were able to maximise the RTX 4090’s capabilities. However, at lower resolutions like 1080p, more noticeable CPU bottlenecks emerged.

Resolution Scaling

Running games at resolution scales below 100% reduces load on the GPU, but keeps UI elements sharp. Here is performance scaling from 100% to 70% resolution:

Game 100% Res FPS 70% Res FPS
Microsoft Flight Sim 110fps 168fps
Forza Horizon 5 168fps 240fps

Resolution scaling provides a nice performance boost and can help hit 240Hz in many games with minimal visual impact. Dynamic resolution can scale automatically based on load.

Esports Titles Performance

In esports titles like Valorant, CS:GO, Overwatch 2, and Rainbow Six Siege, the RTX 4090 dominates with extremely high frame rates. At 1080p maximum settings, it averages over 600fps in most of these games. Even at 4K it can hit 400+ fps. Esports games are an ideal match for high refresh 4K monitors.

1080p & 1440p Performance

At lower resolutions like 1440p and 1080p, the RTX 4090 is held back more by CPU bottlenecks than 4K. While it still achieves very high frame rates exceeding 240Hz, the gains compared to a previous gen card like the 3090 Ti are smaller at 1440p and 1080p. The 4090’s capabilities shine brightest at 4K.

High FPS Gaming Monitors

To take full advantage of the RTX 4090 at 4K 240Hz, an equally capable gaming monitor is required. Some of the top options include:

  • ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ – 4K, 144Hz, G-Sync
  • Acer Predator X27 – 4K, 144Hz, G-Sync
  • ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ – 4K, 144Hz, FreeSync
  • Acer Nitro XV273K – 4K, 144Hz, FreeSync
  • Alienware AW2721X – 4K, 240Hz, G-Sync

Of these, only the Alienware AW2721X supports the full 240Hz refresh rate at 4K. The other monitors would require chroma subsampling to hit 240Hz.

HDMI 2.1 Support

To achieve 4K resolution and high refresh rates, an HDMI 2.1 connection is required between the graphics card and monitor. Some key specs include:

  • 48Gbps bandwidth vs 18Gbps on HDMI 2.0
  • Support for 4K at 120Hz and higher without chroma subsampling
  • Variable refresh rate (VRR) support
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)

Both the RTX 4090 and compatible gaming monitors need HDMI 2.1 ports for the best 4K 240Hz experience. DisplayPort 1.4 can also work if the monitor supports DSC.

TV Gaming Usage

Using the RTX 4090 with a 4K TV is possible, but comes with challenges. Most 4K TVs top out at 120Hz, and only some premium models have HDMI 2.1. Input lag and response times are also slower than monitors. For the best 240Hz gaming, a high-end PC monitor is still ideal.

Power and Thermals

The RTX 4090 delivers extremely high framerates, but also pulls a lot of power and runs hot. The 450W TDP can spike over 600W in some workloads. Temperatures also frequently exceed 80C. This requires strong cooling and PSU headroom.

Nvidia Reflex and Boost

Nvidia Reflex and Boost features can help optimize system latency and performance for competitive gaming. Reflex tunes GPU and CPU workloads to minimize lag. Boost dynamically overclocks based on CPU temperature headroom.

AMD Competition

AMD’s current flagship GPUs like the RX 6950 XT and RX 7900 XTX fall well short of the RTX 4090’s 4K performance. They have no chance of hitting 240fps. AMD is not competitive at the ultra premium end currently, though RDNA 3 cards may help close the gap.


The RTX 4090 definitively proves high framerate 4K gaming is now viable. With proper tuning, it can hit 240fps in many of today’s most demanding titles. While reaching a perfect 240fps in all games maxed out is not quite there yet, the 4090 represents a huge generational leap in 4K gaming muscle. Coupled with advancements like DLSS 3 and refined displays, 240Hz 4K gaming is closer than ever before.

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