Here’s a novel idea for the RTX 4090 if you’re worried that the hefty graphics card might cause some sag in your PC case: a built-in spirit level.
Yes, you read that right: a European graphics card manufacturer by the name of Manli has come up with the idea of integrating a spirit level (actually a pair of them) into the board itself, on the side.
The phenomenon of sag is where the graphics card is so large and heavy that it pulls down on the PCIe slot and the motherboard it’s attached to, which over time has the potential to perhaps damage those components (or the card itself).
The Manli Gallardo RTX 4090 is equipped with those two spirit levels so you can see if the board is sitting straight in its slot, or drooping down at all, and as VideoCardz, which spotted this, points out, it also comes with a support bracket to help defend against the card sagging down.
Note that there is a Chinese graphics card maker, the name of which we won’t mention, which has allegedly stolen the design from Manli and Photoshopped its own logo on top instead, in what would appear to be a shameful grab for publicity (hence not mentioning the brand). Boo, hiss, etcetera….
Analysis: Spirit levels in the material GPU world
As well as that support bracket, Manli makes it clear that the Gallardo RTX 4090 has a strengthened metal backplate (aluminum) for further “structural rigidity”, and it’s quite a smart-looking card. Although we’re not at all sure about the partial covering of one of the three fans with the metal shroud partly overlaying it. (That just can’t be a good idea in terms of airflow, right?)
VideoCardz observes this is a 3-slot card, but on the Manli press release and specs it clearly states it’s a 3.5-slot board, so around the expected size (and fairly hefty). But hopefully those aforementioned features will help as they’re designed to, and the spirit level system will let you know about any sag.
In theory anyway, but what about if your PC isn’t actually level – or rather, the desk it’s sitting on isn’t level, or indeed the floor of the room isn’t level? You could get yourself an actual spirit level to check those things first, of course. Equally, it could be argued that you could stick a spirit level on any board to check it (with the PC turned off, naturally, and usual precautions taken), but the point of this integrated effort is that it’ll constantly show, over time, if there’s any developing problem.
That said, it still feels pretty gimmicky – and with a support bracket in place, there really shouldn’t be any issues – so perhaps this is why Manli doesn’t even mention the integrated spirit level system on its web page for the Gallardo RTX 4090. Or anywhere in the specs, or press release for that matter.
Still, we’ve nothing against trying new ideas, and it doesn’t do any harm to have the system present, even if we’re really not sure of the value add here.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
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).