Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU breaks world records with staggering 3.7GHz overclock

Galax RTX 4090 HOF being overclocked with liquid nitrogen
(Image credit: OGS / HWBOT / Galax)

Nvidia’s RTX 4090 has been overclocked to a rather staggering 3.7GHz and as you might expect, when ramped up that far, the GPU claimed some new world records.

VideoCardz picked up on this one, reporting that overclocking outfit Team OGS took the Galax RTX 4090 HOF – the graphics card we wrote about yesterday that has two 16-pin power connectors, enabling it to be cranked to 1000W – and cooled it with liquid nitrogen to reach 3705MHz (3.705GHz) in the GPUPI benchmark.

OGS achieved 13th place in the rankings for GPUPI, but was the fastest result for a single GPU – the overclockers ahead of the RTX 4090 used multiple graphics cards (eight RTX 3090 GPUs in the case of the top spot – yes, eight).

Now, GPUPI is not a graphically intensive benchmark. In fact, it’s a compute test (calculating Pi to the nth degree with a GPU as the name implies), but the RTX 4090 also grabbed a world record in 3DMark Port Royal, where clock speeds weren’t quite as fast (as it’s a more intensive benchmark).

OGS still hit 3570MHz with liquid nitrogen, though, to score 31,096, enough to claim fifth place in the all-time rankings, but again the RTX 4090 was the top performing solo GPU – the four better scores were achieved by twin RTX 3090 graphics cards.

Analysis: Bigger things to come, no doubt

This is impressive stuff, with the Galax RTX 4090 HOF beating out the other RTX 4090 card in the top rankings here (a Colorful model from China, also cooled by liquid nitrogen) by just over 1,000 points.

And going forward, we can only expect that bigger feats will be achieved, and more records will fall, as is always the case when overclockers get more time to play with a GPU (or CPU) and push it even harder. Indeed, we’ll likely see other overclockers using the Galax HOF (‘Hall Of Fame’) RTX 4090 soon enough, as we know that Norwegian overclocker Rauf has got one (that’s where those leaked pics came from yesterday).

The HOF graphics cards from Galax have been around for quite some time (since Nvidia’s 900 series, in fact). They are specifically designed to be used in extreme overclocking scenarios, and with ridiculous wattages, like 1000W or more (we don’t actually know what the power usage was in these record attempts, as we’re not told, but you can bet it was seriously hefty). They’re not cards intended to be bought by consumers, with HOF models being pricey and produced in limited numbers for that niche overclocking audience.

Back in the real world, consumers who are well-off enough to afford an RTX 4090 for their PC are still worried about power consumption and reported incidents of melted cables, and we’re waiting to hear from Nvidia on this score.

Meanwhile, later today we can look forward to the launch of AMD’s RDNA 3 flagship and seeing how that will compare to Nvidia’s Lovelace top dog – with power efficiency expected to be much better for Team Red. How overall performance and relative pricing will stack up will, of course, also be key factors.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).